When building a marketing strategy, most entrepreneurs just look at their revenue from the last year and dedicate a percentage of that to go into the marketing budget. Too often, it’s just sprayed over multiple channels to see what sticks. The better option is to build a first principles marketing strategy.
What is a First Principles Marketing Strategy?
For the uninitiated, first principles thinking is simply a way to approach complicated problems. Specifically, you break them down into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up.
With that being said, a first principles marketing strategy would set aside the Facebook versus Google ads debate and first answer, ‘What is the goal of marketing?’
If you ask us, the goal should be to generate leads that have a high chance of turning into clients or customers. This (naturally) begs the question – who has a high chance of becoming a client of yours?
The answer depends on the problem you help people solve.
The Truth Behind Your Brand
Whether you’re selling legal services or coffeemakers, you are helping people solve a problem.
- Divorce attorneys help people move on to the next chapter of their life.
- Coffeemaker manufacturers help people get their day started on the right foot.
Before you can determine how to find people that have a high chance of becoming a client, you have to define what problem they need help solving.
This is the defining factor that should be at the core of your marketing strategy. Defining the problem answers why people come to you in the first place.
The reasons vary significantly, but a few examples:
For B2B businesses:
You help them save time
You help them increase their revenue
You help them reduce risk
Oftentimes, you can market your business to show how it does all three – whether you’re selling IT, bookkeeping, marketing services, sales consulting, legal advice, et cetera – you should be helping them save time, increase their revenue and reduce their risk.
For B2C businesses:
You solve an emergency (plumbers, roofers)
You make them happy (luxury brands)
You provide an experience (restaurants, hotels)
Once you single out all the problems you help your prospects with, the next step is to figure out their mindset when they are ready to buy.
Getting Discovered at the Right Time
If someone has a plumbing emergency, they’re going to Google ‘plumber near me’ and call each one until they find one that can come fix it. If they call you and you do a good job, they’ll remember and call you next time right away (and tell their friends and family about you). Being discoverable when they need you is key.
Similarly, if you are something a little more esoteric (say a sex therapist or a divorce attorney), people are more likely to be researching their problems for a while before they call. Having a more robust website with an extensive blog that answers the questions your clients ask you when they’re Googling to find answers to their problems in the middle of the night is likely a better approach than plastering social media with ads (where their spouse could see them interacting with a divorce attorney).
Once you determine the problem you help prospects with and why they want you to help them, your marketing strategy will be built on a powerful foundation.
Want to hash it out? Drop us a line.