You’ve proven your product or service in the marketplace and you have a steady customer base. So, what’s next? Are you ready to take the next step and scale up your business? It’s a daunting but exciting prospect for any business leader. There are many changes that you’ll need to manage as you transition from a start-up to a scale-up business, and marketing is just one of them. What got you to where you are now won’t always get you to where you want to go next.
Know What You’re Aiming For
Are the business objectives you previously defined still the right ones? As you scale up, are they still ambitious enough? Get together the key players in your business for an objective-setting session. You may find it useful to use the OGSM model framework to give your session focus and structure. Start with your objective – this should be your overall vision for the business. It should be exciting not just to you, but to your team, and it should scare you a little bit! For example:
‘To be the number one veterinary centre in Oxford by 2027’
Your goals should then be the stepping stones to help you achieve that objective, broken down over the relevant time period.
Know Your Ideal Customers
Before you can agree on the strategies and measures that will help you achieve your objective and goals, you need to be really clear on who you’re targeting. If you’re targeting the wrong people then you will fail to increase sales and leads. Who you’re targeting may have changed as you move from a start-up to a scale-up so it’s crucial you spend time as a team defining your ideal customer profiles. Once you know who your ideal customers are and what’s important to them, then you can build customer understanding and clear marketing plans to reach them.
To identify who your ideal customers are, consider the following questions:
- What problems do you solve for your customers?
- What needs do your customers have?
If you know what your ideal customers’ emotional triggers are, you can shape how you communicate with them to strengthen your business’ sales and leads. Your value proposition and key messaging will become much clearer if you know who you’re talking to.
Define Your Brand
As you move from a start-up to a scale-up, and into a more competitive marketplace, a well-defined brand that distinguishes your business from your competitors and connects with your ideal customers is essential. Brand isn’t just about your logo and colour palette; it’s how your business is perceived across all platforms and mediums, from visuals to messaging.
When defining your brand, you’ll need to consider:
- Your ideal customer profiles
- Your business values and vision
- Your value proposition
- Your key messages
You may wish to work with a partner to help you develop a visual identity that reflects who you are. You should expect a branding partner to help you to develop a visual identity that can be implemented across all platforms and collateral, plus a comprehensive style guide and detailed brand book so that everyone in your business knows exactly how your brand should be represented visually and communicated through tone of voice, unique vocabulary, values, and key messages. As you scale up, consistent brand implementation is more crucial than ever to demonstrate professionalism. Discover more about the different elements of branding. Alternatively, get inspired by The Voiceover Gallery’s rebrand.
You’re clear on who your customers are and what you should be saying to them, but how do you reach them and most importantly, how do you increase sales and leads so your business can continue to grow? The strategies and measures sections on your OGSM should detail the methods to achieve your objective and goals, and how you’ll measure success.
Let’s work through an example.
- Objective: To be the number one veterinary centre in Oxford by 2027
- Goal 1: To achieve revenue of £1m by 2022/23
In order to achieve this goal, generating leads and sales is clearly crucial. Consider the marketing tactics that will have the biggest impact on leads and sales in both the short-term and the long-term. For example, a PPC campaign may bring some quicker results, while you’re more likely to reap the benefits of a complementary SEO strategy in the future. Other tactics you may consider include:
- Social media
- Case studies and testimonials
- Content marketing, such as blogs and videos
- Email marketing campaigns
For each tactic, ask ‘How will my audience respond to this?’ and ‘How will I measure its success in line with my overall objective?’ Other than the obvious success measures of sales and leads, metrics may include:
- Brand mentions through coverage in agreed publications
- Backlinks generated
- Customer referrals
- SEO position on key phrases
- Website traffic
- Search volume
- Search engine ranking
- Social media engagement and following
- Open and click rate of emails
- Customer retention
Now is also the time to consider whether you have the skills to successfully deploy these tactics already within the business or if you’ll need to partner with an expert to help you achieve success. Visit our Digital Marketing Services page to learn more about the different activities you need to consider.
Don’t be afraid to get it wrong. You may find some assumptions you made about your ideal customers are wrong and more research is needed. Test and measure on a small scale initially to avoid losing time and money. Ensure you have clear metrics in place for each tactic and a good reporting system so you know what you’re doing well and where improvement is needed.
Want to learn more about how Digital Glue can help you scale up your marketing? Get in touch with the team to discuss your next breakthrough.