These are common questions that are asked when owners begin to consider the development of a marketing strategy.
1. Where can I find more information about marketing strategy? John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing is the absolute expert on small business marketing. His approach to marketing (simple, practical, effective) is right on target and just what I was looking for nearly 10 years ago when I went looking for a proven approach to small business marketing.
A disclaimer: Valens Point is part of the Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network and utilizes the Duct Tape Marketing framework in our work.
2. What’s the best way for me to develop a marketing strategy? The answer is based on you and your business. Basically, there are three ways small business owners go about building their strategy: on their own, with help, and hiring someone to do it. If “doing it on you own” is position 1 on a 1-to-10 scale, and hiring someone to do it is position 10, I’d say the most effective way is working with someone and getting to position 7 or 8.
Why? A marketing strategy professional will have the tools and processes to move through the strategy development process and understand how to integrate your business knowledge.
Complete outsourcing of the process (position 10 on the scale) would not be wise as your input and guidance is absolutely critical to a quality strategy. In most cases the do it yourself approach is a nice thought, but the process is routinely pushed aside due to running your business and other commitments.
When you hire someone to lead the strategy development process its more likely to get done.
3. How much will a marketing strategy project cost me? A typically marketing strategy project has a cost of between $5,000 and $15,000 depending on complexity, research and analysis, and deliverables.
Variables that impact the cost include the number of customers interviewed, competitor analysis, and brand identity material.
4. How long does a strategy development project last? Most strategy development projects last between two and eight weeks, depending on the complexity and in-depth analysis that needs to be complete.
A hyper-local strategy for a small business will take less time than a B2B national software business in a competitive market.
5. Does the strategy have to be complete before any marketing activity can be started? Absolutely not. Most businesses have immediate actions that can start during the strategy development project. That might include brand identify elements, cultivation of reviews and referrals, and evergreen content development.
We have never started a marketing development project without some level of concurrent marketing effort.
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