What does it take to successfully market your business or service? A hefty online marketing budget? A larger marketing staff? Or maybe a boss that approves of all your ideas? Those may all be handy, but not very realistic for most of us. I do think that a successful marketing plan can be simply summed up with the 3C’s of Marketing.
Creativity (the idea)
Remember that great idea you had in the shower last week? Or the new spin to the tactic that worked five years ago? Creative ideas can be big or small, short-term or long-term, custom-created for your business, and your industry. How do you get creative? Sometimes the idea just comes. Other times you need to work REALLY hard at creativity: Put your brainstorming hat on. Read. Have a designated place to write down your thoughts, no matter where you are. Take a break, and then come back. Change your environment. Exercise your body and brain. Think like a kid. Share your ideas with others who are creative and see where it goes. And do it all again until the creative solution is there.
Writing down a goal or plan makes it concrete. Reviewing your plan frequently helps you focus on the tasks the you need to do to achieve that goal. Show your customers that you “walk the talk” by giving them the quality they expect and over and above. Your marketing messaging also needs to be consistent to stick. Consistency in your marketing and actions help reduce customer confusion. When the customer is clear about who you are and what you stand for, you will gain customer loyalty and trust.
Connections (the people)
More than ever in today’s social marketing landscape, connections and knowing your target audience are key. Who you are connected with – in real life, in your customer file, on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter truly defines your community. These are all the people who can help you build referrals, tell your story, and recommend your products and services. Giving back to your connections can help build trust and credibility. Marketing is relationships. Your relationships today can bring you new connections (and customers) tomorrow. Continue to build, nurture, and grow your connections in a meaningful way.
If you have Creative ideas, a Consistent marketing plan (and action to back it up), and you are nurturing your Connections online and offline, you are on the road to marketing success.
What do you think? Is it that simple? It’s not as clear cut as the 4 P’s of Marketing, but the 3 C’s of Marketing work for me.