Even though you may have set some concrete goals at the beginning of the year, the daily stressors we experience make it easy to lose sight of what we aimed for in early January.
Don’t beat yourself up too much if things outside of your control have knocked you off your path.
However, if you do want to achieve your goals — and I’m sure you do, otherwise you wouldn’t have set them in the first place! — then you should take time to reflect on how things have been going thus far, and set the course for the rest of the year.
Since this is a digital marketing blog and that’s where my expertise lies, this article is going to be about reaching those business goals.
And I want to assure you that it’s not too late to hit your year-end goals.
I placed this article right at the middle of the year, because NOW is the best time to assess what is working and what isn’t with your marketing plan.
July is the 7th month of the year and since I developed the seven pillars of marketing, it only makes sense to publish this on the 7th month. It’s the little things like this, folks, that make people like me tick! 😆
Seven is a beautiful number. Seven days in a week, seven deadly sins, seven notes in a major or minor scale… and when it comes to business, seven pillars of marketing are critical to have true success.
Sure, you can get some results with six or five critical pillars…but it would basically mean you won the lottery or beat the odds.
But if you don’t make it a best practice to incorporate all seven pillars of marketing, you are skating on exponentially thinning ice on a hot summer day.
And you’re going to find yourself in a hole of some kind sooner rather than later.
So, today, I’m going to explain how you can ensure your marketing strategy has the best chance of real success following the seven pillars of marketing.
1. Identify the Ideal Customers
2. Craft the Brand Voice
3. Create the Brand Pitch
4. Map the Customer Journey
5. Build the RAMP Stages
6. Infuse Points of Delight
7. Plan and Create the Assets
If you’re familiar with my work, then you know that it took me nearly a decade to develop a proprietary process called the Marketing RAMP®. This process provides our clients with their customer journey completely mapped out and includes all seven pillars.
I’m going to share with you a brief outline of just some of the things it addresses. It will be a good gut check for you to go through this list and see how your marketing plan lines up.
1 - Identify the Ideal Customer:
Does your marketing plan go into detail about who your ideal buyers are, and how you currently (or will) communicate with them?
A mistake a lot of companies make is not focusing enough on the customer. Instead, their messages tend to focus on the features of their products, or their own origin story and why they’re the best.
The key is to focus on the customer and ask the right questions to build out your ideal customer profile. These questions will help identify their needs, wants, problems, and common objections.
By getting inside the minds of your ideal customer, you will discover their driving desires and be able to use that to say the right thing, at the right time.
This is why the very first pillar of the Marketing RAMP® begins with identifying the ideal customer. When you incorporate this pillar into your marketing plan, your messaging will make prospects feel like you’re truly on their side.
2 - Craft the Brand Voice
Does your marketing plan include a clearly defined brand voice that is in complete alignment with the rest of your marketing goals?
Establishing a brand voice is a critical step in the path to success, which is why it’s one of the seven pillars of marketing.
A brand voice allows your prospects to get to know your business. A brand voice will make your brand feel more personal, authentic and close. And because humans naturally gravitate towards what is consistent and expected, your prospects will be attracted to that consistency. This will allow you to have a much easier time building brand trust.
I went into detail about crafting your brand voice in another blog here. Check it out to learn more; or, do it yourself by signing up for our Marketing RAMP® Software for free by signing up below.
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3 - Create the Brand Pitch
Does your marketing plan include your differentiating statement that clearly states why your brand is better than the competition?
Creating the brand pitch is a bridge. It takes the insights you’ve gleaned when you identified your ideal customer and brand voice, and distills them down into a succinct and clear brand message.
Your pitch helps drive all your messaging so customers can quickly understand what makes you great and how you can help them. A pitch, when done well, will keep its focus on what your company can do for the customer.
And when you’re able to create a rock-solid brand pitch, you will have a pathway to build trust and user engagement faster than anything else.
4 - Map the Customer Journey
Is your customer journey capable of adapting to behavioral changes in the buying cycle? I believe all seven pillars of marketing are essential to success, but the fourth pillar — Map The Customer Journey — is one of the most vital.
The customer journey is dynamic. It’s a two-way conversation. It’s cyclical. It’s indecisive. It’s short for some, long for others. Unlike traditional sales funnels, mapping the customer journey (via the Marketing RAMP® process) allows your marketing plan to adapt to these changing behaviors.
The Marketing RAMP® allows you to have a plan for every action your customers take. By adapting to the behavior of your prospects, you’re able to close the gap where they would have fallen off and instead transform them into customers. Interested to learn more? Sign up for the Marketing RAMP software, or read this article, How to Turn the Customer Journey Into a Scalable Buying Experience.
5 - Build the RAMP Stages
Building the Customer Journey stages might seem like a straightforward marketing pillar, but like the Marketing RAMP®, when done to a certain standard, this can be the lynchpin to your marketing success.
That’s because, just like marketing, building the RAMP is all about timing. How long should each prospect and customer live in each stage? When should you give up? When should you push hard?
This is why the terms: ideal duration, max duration, and cadence are everything when it comes to building the RAMP stages. I have gone into all three concepts in great detail in previous articles, including this one that I recommend you read: Why Ideal Duration is a Must-Have for Every Marketing Campaign.
6 - Infuse Points of Delight
Infusing points of delight might not seem like an “essential” pillar of marketing. However, it is a critical factor in providing consistent value. If you strive to delight prospects and customers alike, you will ensure that they never feel like they’re being sold to.
How can you delight prospects? Let them know you appreciate their attention (and future business) by giving them something that will help them get closer to their goals, such as a video, helpful eBook, special discount, or free 10-minute consultation where you give them some usable insights.
It’s equally as important to delight those who are already your customers. Just because you’ve “won” the sale doesn’t mean the experience should end there. The more delight you provide, the happier they will be to pay more, refer you to friends, and provide you with lifetime loyalty.
7 - Plan and Create the Assets
With all these opportunities to amaze and delight, that means you will have to do some additional planning of the assets you will create for each stage of the Customer Journey.
By planning out the valuable, educational or other helpful assets you will share, your brand will live out the commitment to deliver the best possible experiences for your prospects and customers.
That commitment is what will set you apart from the competition and it’s why "planning the assets" is the final — and essential — step in the seven pillars of marketing.
Your Seven Pillars of Marketing
Ensuring that your strategy includes all seven pillars of marketing might sound like a lot of work, but trust me, the results are worth it.
This is why my agency begins with the Marketing RAMPⓇ for every single client. If you want to learn more, sign up for free below! Or schedule a free call with my team and I today to discuss your needs and what we can do to set you up for the greatest possible chance of success for the rest of this year!