According to a study conducted by Shopify, two-thirds of people starting online stores have no defined plan for attracting customers. Think about that. You can’t buy groceries if you don’t know how to get to the store. And you can’t bring in customers if you don’t have a carefully crafted marketing plan.
That goes double for challenger brands, who have the deck stacked against them in many ways. You lack the name value and budget of your established competitors, so you’ll need a well-oiled strategy before you even get started.
How do you create a marketing plan as a challenger brand? Follow these steps to get the ball rolling.
Create A Mission Statement.
Who are you? And more importantly, who do you want to be? What niches do you strive to fill that are currently being neglected by the market leaders? The answers to these questions will drive your mission, helping you to find your identity. Remember, this is not a time to follow the leaders. Being a challenger brand gives you license to be different – to be yourself.
Identify Your Ideal Customers.
Modern marketing is centered around creating detailed buyer personas for your ideal customers and finding the best ways to service those customers. The more you know about your desired audience, the better equipped you’ll be to exceed their expectations. Get to know them, understand every nuance of their behavior – and above all else, start to figure out ways in which you can truly serve these groups of people.
Choose Your Marketing Mediums.
There’s no rule that says you have to be on every social media platform. You also don’t have to use marketing mediums that don’t work for your business and your target audience. As a challenger brand, take this opportunity to think outside the box. If your message translates to video, and if your audience likes video content, commit to using video as your primary ad platform. If your buyer persona prefers email, make that your starting point. As long as your choices are data-driven and reflect the desires of your customer base, you can’t go wrong.
Create Content that Moves the Needle.
While it’s impossible to tell exactly what content will go viral, the one thing that’s certain is that content that’s relevant to your audience has a much greater chance of success than something that holds no value. Modern B2B content marketers, for instance, center their marketing around the idea of giving back to their audience, usually in the form of blogs and white papers. But if you’re selling consumer goods, your only goal is to show how your products can solve the pain points of your customers. Your content should be centered entirely around this concept.
Set Goals and Track Your Progress.
You may be a challenger brand, but you shouldn’t aim to directly compete with the big businesses in your industry. Instead, set more reasonable goals for your marketing, such as email click-throughs or social media shares. These are metrics that show deep interest in your business and should be prioritized. After all, the goal of marketing is to create customers and increase revenue, not to accrue social media likes that don’t lead to purchases. Along the way, track your numbers and be honest in your self-assessments. If you don’t like where you’re headed, it’s never too late to change your course. But never forget to look back at your mission statement as you consider changes to your marketing. Losing sight of who you are is the biggest mistake a challenger brand can make.