As business owners, we all know we could do better with our marketing. You may have even thought about attempting to systemise your business marketing, and bring much-needed focus and clarity to the lead-generation side of things.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t always sense much urgency surrounding our current business systems. Perhaps, we figure, if our marketing strategies didn’t work, it was because of external factors, such as the “market” or unforeseen circumstances that led to a breakdown in our pursuits of building a successful business.
But building a business is hard and the more we realise that system deficiencies in our business — rather than random occurrences — are the real deciding factor in whether we achieve the goals of our business plan, the better we’ll be able to handle the ups-and-downs of our marketing performance.
Here’s a simple, four-step process to building business systems that boost your marketing and help systemise your business to be ready for whatever comes its way.
Step One: Create Your Buckets
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make when attempting to add proven business systems to their venture is to view “marketing” as one single system. It isn’t.
Marketing is numerous systems and procedures, under the marketing umbrella. Getting a handle on all the moving parts of your marketing can be a great first step to streamlining your offline and online business systems.
This means organising your marketing into a logical hierarchical structure. For example, at the top level, you could organise things by what phase of the marketing each activity is in:
- Branding (for total strangers)
- Engagement (from strangers to acquaintances)
- Lead-capture (from acquaintances to leads)
- Follow-up (from leads to customers/clients)
Under “branding,” you might include things like Facebook, YouTube, direct mail, etc. And then for each of these you could categorise even further, such as Facebook Live, Facebook Groups, Facebook ads, etc. The key is to put down every single system you can think of, so nothing is left to chance.
Step Two: Identify the Steps
Marketing, without a clear end result is just marketplace noise. For each branch of your marketing, whether it’s Facebook group messages or leaflets, clearly delineate every step a potential lead would take along that particular part of your funnel.
By breaking the process down into every single conceivable step, you’ll get more clarity in areas where you can improve, and where marketing dollars are currently wasted.
Step Three: Document and Give Ownership
Once you know what needs to happen in the course of a particular part of your marketing, it’s time to give somebody ownership of that marketing phase — and clear documentation over how that phase should be executed.
In many cases — especially when first starting out — this “owner” will likely be you. But even if that’s the case, you’ll want do the following:
- Identify the owner: For each process, designate who makes final decisions. (Doubly important if working in a partnership.)
- Document best practices: How should the marketing be executed? What words, images, creative structures should be followed? (This will make it easier to eventually outsource much of the marketing busy work.)
- Formalise priorities: This may change later but do your best to establish where the biggest bang for your marketing system buck lies.
Step Four: Track results (and Improve)
You already know what end result you want for each of your marketing systems, now it’s time to set up systems that track whether you’re reaching the mark. A couple great ways to do this:
- Use analytics: Whether it’s as complex as a pixel or piece of code, or a simple word on a flyer, do your best to track every step along the marketing path.
- Change inputs & outputs: Maybe that Facebook post didn’t drive email sign-ups, but perhaps it will boost Twitter shares. Mix-and-match inputs and outputs of your marketing system to see what works best.
- Adjust goals and priorities: This is the best use of analytics; to use the data to adjust priorities and goals in your marketing. Maybe YouTube doesn’t do much for you, while LinkedIn might be a real needle-mover. Be flexible to changing your strategy, as long as it’s backed by real, tangible data.
Rinse and Repeat
The real benefit to learning how to systemise your business marketing is that it removes much of the emotion from your business. You’ll have a greater understanding of what worked (and what didn’t) and know exactly what you need to accomplish, every step of the way, to reach not just your marketing goals, but your larger wealth-building goals as well.
Perhaps best of all, it will give you the confidence that you need to see your business from awkward beginning to successful end.
As the expression goes: “By the yard, it’s hard; by the inch, it’s a cinch.” And there may be no better way to help you conquer the business vocation, and the world in general, inch-by-inch then the use of systems.