Top tips for turning the data you have into the marketing plan you don’t

No marketing plan and no idea where to start? You’re not alone.

Businesses across all sectors, whether start-ups or long-established, can be confused about how to establish a strategy for success.

Yet the answers usually lie within the business itself.

Here are some tips for where you can find priceless information and how you can use it to drive your company forward.

Tip 1: Insight hidden in plain sight

If your business is lucky enough to have its own insight team, it should be your first port of call before creating a marketing strategy.

It’s their job to have a clear overview of the business and its place in the market, so you can spot opportunities or threats. This knowledge is a firm foundation on which to build your marketing strategy.

But if you don’t have an insight team – that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any insight to be found within your business.

Your financial team should be able to offer brilliant nuggets on your average customer spend, top performing product and service lines or things like which customers are not in contract. It’s likely that your operations team could even tell you where your customers are, and perhaps more crucially, where they aren’t.

Don’t neglect more informal insights too – you might be surprised what you can learn from chatting to people across all levels of the business and what they can tell you about which direction your marketing strategy should be heading in.

And while it may feel a bit of a pain when the insight isn’t all coming from one place, don’t be afraid to get yourself quickly up to speed on a bit of excel wizardry – plugging tangible data like these examples into a spreadsheet can help you begin to draw out some simple trends that can inform your strategy and importantly, your commercial objectives against which you need to deliver.

Tip 2: Wants vs. need

If your business has a particular specialism or service that it is known for, your marketing may well be heavily skewed towards this.

And why not? It’s what you do best and you’re right to shout about it. But a bit of insight could help you find other ways to reach new customers.

For example, if you’re a tourist attraction that regularly pulls in visitors to your area and your marketing reflects that, that’s great. But what if you could be missing out on significant trade from people who live right on your doorstep?

A bit of insight work will help you look at other potential avenues of growth which you could be making the most of with marketing.

In short, never rest on your laurels. Explore avenues that address audience needs – needs that they might not even know yet. Get out there and ask questions.

Tip 3: The wheel of fortune

So you’ve found your insight and you’ve developed a marketing strategy based on what you’ve discovered.

Now what? It’s time to go back to your insight team. You need to know whether your marketing is making the impact you want and this is where insight is once again vital.

It will not only inform your strategy but tell you whether or not you are getting results, so it’s worth building-in KPIs around what you know you can get from insight.

In turn, this insight will shape your marketing so it becomes a revolving cycle that keeps a tight focus on business aims throughout.

It’s this approach that ensures marketing works as a core function of your business, contributing directly to your objectives and delivering real ROI (not just the team that orders the annual calendars).

If you’d like some help with unearthing the hidden data and insight in your business, get in touch for your free marketing review here.