You are starting a business and you feel both nervous and excited. You are looking forward to create your own vision, be in control of your ideas, launching your product. Now, before starting investing your energies, time, resources and money, you should make sure that you have a clear idea of what your business stands for and how your ideal customer can benefit from it. These are a series of questions you might ask yourself to better define your business vision and mission, what the benefits your customers will get by choosing your brand and how to create goals and objectives for your digital campaign (you need one!).

1. Define your identity, what does your brand stand for? In this case you should have clearly in mind what your brand vision and mission are. Let’s consider Coca-cola, according to the company website, their vision is to provide a place where people are happy to work, provide quality drinks to customers, be an organization that moves at a fast pace.  Their mission is to refresh the world, make a difference and inspire happy memories. Now, think about your brand. Can you summarize in few key points what the mission of your brand is? For help on creating your vision check this post.

2. Define who your ideal customer, what is the message you want to deliver? Let’s reconsider Coca-cola, as we previously stated the brand is not just about a soft drink but mostly about sharing happy life moments with people we love. Coca-cola addresses group of friends and families who should be sharing fun time together and create happy memories. Think about your brand now. Can you come up with an ideal customer persona? Can you define their age, gender, nationality, education, values? Here a post to help you define your ideal customer.

3. What are you providing to your customer? You might have a great business idea followed by the best SEO-friendly website and the most supportive company team. However, if your customers cannot understand how your company is going to benefit them, they won’t engage with you for long. Everyone visiting your company website should be able to understand who you are (brand identity), what you are selling (product/service), when and where (online/store) and most importantly the customer perceived value (CPV).

4. Customer perceived value (CPV) The CPV relates to a marketing and branding concept that bases the success of a product on whether customers believe it can satisfy their needs and therefore the success of a marketing campaign ultimately depend on how they interpret and react to the brand messages. This is the reason why companies spend more and more resources researching how customers think and feel to create a campaign in line with their needs. Your marketing campaigns should therefore focus on what the customers think they want and try to influence their decision with tailored messages.

5. Where do I find customers? Finding your very first customers is quite a daunting task. If people talk about buying from trusted brands with high reputation, how can you get customers willing to buy from a brand with no reputation at all? One trick is to offer something free first, a little gift to a selected number of customers (you remember your ideal customer?), spread the word in your community (local press, newsletters) and finally relay on your very first customers to spread the love for the brand (friends and family can do that to begin with).

6. Define your goals, what is it that you want to achieve through a social media campaign? When you start your digital marketing campaign (it could be something as simple as creating a Facebook fan page), you should have some ideas of what you expect to achieve from your campaign; it could be increasing sales, brand exposure/reputation, attract business partners or like-minded clients. Whatever you are, either a start-up looking for brand exposure, a small-medium size business looking to attract more customers or a big corporation who aims to be the leader in their sector even on social media, make sure to have outlined your goals and how you expect to achieve them. Every quarterly re-assess them and modify your campaign accordingly.

7. Does your company website is a clear representation of your brand? A functional and attractive website, easy to navigate is key to the success of your brand online. However, it is also important to deliver to your visitors a visual message of what your brand stands for. It would be very difficult to deliver a message of cutting-edge website making firm if your company website is performing poorly or if it looks more like a website designed for teenagers! I must admit that I find big corporations websites which are not online retailers (like Amazon for instance), have quite often a very poor online presence. Don’t do that! There are plenty of free tools to make a website that looks 2016 worth.

8. Where is your business today and where you want to see it in the future? Analyze your business and write down everything you have achieved so far. You might discover you have achieved more than you thought. Write down what your business plan is and re-assess it quarterly. For more ideas on how to write a business plan, check out this post.

 

 

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