Tim Fitzpatrick, CEO of Rialto Marketing, and a leader in the marketing industry, has a wealth of knowledge about growing a business. However, you might be surprised to hear, his best advice goes back to the fundamentals instead of advocating obscure tactics.
According to Tim Fitzpatrick, who has 20 years of experience in the business, three main focus areas are essential to reaping success from your marketing efforts.
Identify your ideal customer. Don’t make the mistake of taking on anyone who gives your business a nod. Instead, ask yourself these questions to locate your perfect customer.
- Who do you enjoy working with?
- Who are your most profitable clients?
- Who do you do your best work for?
Now, you need to make sure this ideal customer is your target audience. It may seem limiting at first, but you will have more success with this specific group than with a scope that is too broad.
Tim Fitzpatrick is careful to add that these components must stay in this order. All businesses must identify their target audience before all else. After you complete this crucial step, you can begin your messaging. Messaging is the way a business gets its voice out there. What do they do? What can they promise? A marketing company has to find a way to tell this story for the client. And that’s precisely what it is — storytelling.
Fitzpatrick uses a framework for each client’s ‘story’ and takes a detailed look at what the customer wants from each portion. The framework has some essential elements of an actual story, such as a hero and a problem to overcome. Then there is a guide with knowledge that helps develop a plan, a call to action, and a way to track success for future use.
By using this story-like framework, the marketer can develop a playbook with a consistent message. Companies without a consistent message confuse customers and drive away potential business. But having a playbook to pull from at each stage of the marketing process keeps the company focused and brings legitimacy to their brand.
Finally, businesses need to have a plan. It’s best to keep it simple at first with a short time period and a reasonable goal. You will always be able to charge your direction later, but it is crucial to get off to a good start and get things rolling. Tim Fitzpatrick recommends six primary steps for all marketing plans:
- Know your target audience.
- Make a specific and measurable marketing goal.
- Know your resources.
- Know your budget.
- Know where you are in the process. Make sure you target your audience and develop your message first. Then you can move on to other parts of your plan, which should include creating your website, developing content, paying attention to SEO, branching out into social media, exploring paid ads, experimenting with email marketing, and even considering off-line marketing.
- Ask yourself which of the above areas are most important to your audience and message, and then develop a 90-day plan for these marketing outlets.
Fitzpatrick says it’s important to note that successful marketing plans rarely begin by utilizing all of the channels listed above. He recommends setting up your website first because anything else you do in marketing directs people to that site. Making sure it is up and running is essential for any marketing plan.
Well, there you have it — some stellar marketing advice from an industry leader. In summary, Fitzpatrick says one of the biggest mistakes people make with their marketing efforts is jumping right into the channels without giving sufficient attention to the fundamental foundation of their marketing direction. According to Fitzpatrick, taking the time to know your ideal customer, developing your messaging, and laying out your plan is always time well-spent in the marketing arena.