As I’ve connected with hundreds of people from around the world about transitioning to modern marketing, many tell me they struggle with getting started. I created a free (no registration required) Web Marketing Strategy Planning Template to serve as a guide for how to implement strategies for reaching buyers directly.
Most of the implementation challenges that people describe involve the shift from focusing on products and services to the more effective approach of focusing on buyer personas and information that helps solve buyers’ problems.
A secondary challenge people share with me is the shift in emphasis from offline marketing techniques and programs (such as direct mail, trade shows, and advertising) to reaching buyers on the web.
We’ve revised many times over the years, and it is now in version 11. More than 30,000 people have downloaded various editions of the template.
A tool to transition to modern marketing
We created the template to help people implement strategies for reaching buyers directly. I believe it’s essential to shift out of the marketer’s comfort zone of preaching about products and services. For example, if you were to say to me, “I want to start a YouTube channel,” I would point you to the template and have you start asking the following questions:
Who are you trying to reach with the YouTube channel?
Is a YouTube channel the best tool? Or might another form of content be better?
What problems can you help solve for your buyers?
What value do you bring as creator of this content?
What search terms are people entering to find you? (This will help you name the YouTube channel itself and to title individual videos.)
What sort of person are you, and what is your company’s personality? (This is helpful for creating the design.)
What do you want people to do—buy, donate, subscribe? (It is helpful to create appropriate links to additional content.)
This approach becomes clear on the first page of the strategy template. It illustrates how publishing valuable information (videos, blogs, Twitter feeds, e-books, and so on), creates the sorts of links that search engine algorithms love. Thus, your content surfaces when buyers are looking for help solving their problems!
It also reminds you that the information people find will drive them to action and help you achieve your goals. Moreover, you can monitor your own effectiveness: You can measure how many people follow you on Twitter, sign up for your email newsletter, or download a white paper. You can also measure how your marketing strategies are helping your organization reach its most important goals, such as new sales and revenue growth.