Like so many things in life, a diet, exercise, even saving for retirement, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else. Great things can be achieved if you break it down, make a plan, monitor the data, and adjust as needed. But, if you do not have the playbook ready, strategies blur and nothing happens to help meet the goals you set.

For most small businesses the lines between Marketing, Advertising, and even Sales can be very blurry. Any business that is looking to grow should consider developing a plan with specific strategies for these three branches of business planning.

Marketing

Marketing is the starting point. It is your game plan for success for your product or service. Your marketing plan should assess the needs of your customers and how your business will solve those needs with the best benefits for both parties. This is your battle plan. Do not go into battle without a plan.

Advertising

Advertising is getting the word out. The MARKETING research on your target market and your competitors will help to develop the advertising plan. This could be traditional media (radio, tv, billboards, etc) or digital advertising (search engine ads, email campaign, social media). This should not be a game of spending as much money as you can. It is about using facts and data to spend strategically to attract the right customers.

Sales

Well this one is easy? Right? Right? NO, we all know this. A well executed marketing plan and targeted advertising campaign will result in leads to convert to sales. Sales needs to close the deal. Often this involves further qualifying the lead and conveying to the buyer that “the price is right” or that this relationship will be the most fruitful one.

Having a sales team with no marketing strategy or advertising plan puts all the onus on sales. If you open a shop in a strip mall and do nothing to bring in customers you will have a long challenging road ahead. Having a marketing strategy and no means to communicate it to the public will not generate leads. Finally, advertising with no research on customers and their needs could be simply throwing dollars right out the window.

A well developed marketing plan establishes the primary, secondary and target markets and their needs. The products and services are examined from the markets’ perspective to find greatest value. A great advertising campaign takes the market plan and determines the best channels and methods to reach those markets. There should be tracking methods and software in place to capture prospects and leads. From there a strong sales strategy is founded in managing the process of moving leads from initial meeting to close.

Marketing Tools

Incorporating digital marketing tools into your marketing plan allows you to more easily examine your markets and competition. It also enables you to bank data and monitor changes which will give you insights during quarterly and annual reviews of your plan.

There are hundreds of marketing tools at your disposal. At Firefly, our team has really enjoyed using a tool called SEMrush. SEMrush is like the Swiss Army knife of marketing tools. There you can track your own digital performance, analyze your competition, discover top keywords and topics, and more.

Advertising Tools

Data action during digital advertising programs is easy and potentially overwhelming in the quantity and depth of numerical information that is available. Just tracking Google Ads can lead to dozens of ways to examine who is seeing your message and where it’s being seen.

Whether you’re using Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook Ads, or LinkedIn Ads, each of these platforms are filled with the tools you need to make effective, targeted advertisements.

Sales Tools

Sales management requires integration with the sales efforts so as leads are produced the results are fed into a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) software. CRM systems if used correctly can be one of the best bangs for your buck in business. A sales manager can review an entire week of a salesperson’s activities in a few minutes. Sales staff can be on top of the status of any deal so they know when and where to focus.

CRM systems such as Numerous, Zoho Salesforce, and FreshSales, give a salesperson and their manager a real grasp of how the sales process is working. If used correctly, reports from a well maintained CRM system will help find where the sales process is breaking down and improvement can be made.

Looking for a marketing partner?

Making the plan, putting out the words, and managing the process is our speciality. Bringing on board an excellent digital marketing company like Firefly offers a clear advantage.

Regardless of where you are at, Firefly is prepared to meet with your team to discuss:

  • Digital marketing
  • Website development
  • In-bound marketing
  • Google My Business
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search ad campaigns
  • Social media marketing
  • Branding

Firefly’s team wants to learn about your business and goals, develop a plan, start setting goals and doing what it takes to hit those goals. With over 20 years experience working with some of the best companies in south Louisiana, we are confident we can help you find new growth. Contact us today to start a great process of seeing goals accomplished.

Production and Sales Meeting for a Pitch

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