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This is honestly where it all starts. You can’t be successful with you marketing if you don’t first take a few moments to plan it. When DripMedia say’s “plan” we mean very in depth. There is a lot to consider for you marketing and today it relies heavily on content. As you may have found a majority of your marketing stress in around content - Press Releases, Social Media Posts, Status Updates, Comments, Pictures, Videos, Fliers. You need to make sure that what you put out there is consistent, relevant and most importantly representative of your business.

Here are a few big picture items to consider before you even begin to produce marketing materials.

Your Goal: This is always at the top of the list. What do you want your marketing to accomplish? Are you starting an uprising, beginning a discussion, educating, becoming recognized or simply building awareness? How you define your goal will pave the way for everything else.

Your Audience: Who are you engaging? How do they spend their days and what is on their mind for most of that day? Your business must be aware of who your customers are and who they hang out with. You need to know what makes the tick so you can be as relevant as possible.

Listen: Once you know who you’re engaging, you have to take a few days to listen to them. You may discover your first impressions of your audience were wrong. Be open to anything that challenges your assumptions.

Choose a Tone: Tone is very important and sometimes is driven by who the audience is. But you can always put your own touch on it. Are you going to be funny like Conan O’Brien, sarcastic like Janeane Garafalo, angry like Lewis Black or serious like Nixon – or maybe even seductive? If you listened to your audience you should have a good feel for how to get through to them.

Choose a Focus: There are really only two options. The content you put out there can relate either industry wide or to a local market. Each piece of content may vary from one or the other. It also depends on who you decide to be your audience. B2B may focus more to industry changes whereas B2C will focus on the local struggles of the consumer.

Create an experience: This goes far beyond words. It’s the feelings and “take away” your audience will get when they see your materials, brand, presence and when they purchase as a whole. Each piece of marketing material you develop should add to the experience. Give it your personal touch. Ask yourself: “How can I make my audience want to say ‘thank you’ every time my business touches them?”

Give Back: Don’t forget to say “Thank You” to your audience. Consider ways to show your appreciation to your audience for listening to you, participating in the conversation and certainly for purchasing. Business isn’t just an exchange of money for goods and services, it’s a relationship.

The Track: What’s next for your audience after every piece of marketing material they encounter. What do you want to drive them to do? Where do you want them to go? This should be included in your goal and every piece of marketing material should point them there, or to a piece of marketing that does. That’s Integrated Marketing!

Once you’ve filled in the blanks, building marketing materials should come easy! Please share with us your plan for your marketing!

Merlin U Ward