How Do You Eat a Whole Cake?

Slice by slice of course.

So let’s think of marketing and communications strategy as a cake.

There are a hundred thousand different ways that you could cut a cake, just as there are an overwhelming number of marketing and communications tactics to try on your business.

But what works and achieves the outcome you are after effectively and efficiently, will be completely dependent on your understanding of how you slice your marketing and communications techniques and tactics, so that they align to your audience, at a particular point in time.

Timing is an extremely important, but often over looked factor, I’ll touch on briefly:

Obviously seasonal buying cycles will impact the success of your marketing activities, but more importantly, the state and stage of your business and your customer maturity in terms of needing your product or service, will influence what is successful and what isn’t.

Bringing this all back to the cake analogy, if you are looking to feed a group of 10 adults with your cake, the slices you choose and the speed at which you work will be a lot different than if you were feeding a group of 20 sugar fueled impatient three year-olds.

Your audience is right there, breathing down your neck, trying to get their hands on your goods. You know their names and needs.

Start by collating everything you know about your customer. Once you’ve got as much of this as possible, hone in on what you are trying to achieve, and keep this realistic and in line with your budget, resource and capabilities.

For example, you could attack the whole cake with an extended integrated campaign or you could focus on moving one slice at a time. If you had to eat a whole cake by yourself, which piece would you eat first? Why?

Slice your marketing efforts up like the below:

  1. Marketing and communications to grow revenue – Two big slices (you will probably want to cut them up further);
    1. To nurture, develop and leverage existing customers, and;
    2. To attract, engage, educate and convert new customers.
  2. Marketing and communications to increase profitability – Two big slices;
    1. Build quality, two-way communications channels with existing customers, helping shape service and product offerings to enhance customer experience, and;
    2. Grow the existing service and product offerings, by identifying opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell existing customers
  3. Marketing and communications to help the business scale – Two big slices:
    1. Build a brand that is future proof and flexible, and;
    2. Help the business invest in the right systems at the right time by leveraging your quality customer communication channels.

The beauty of this cake analogy, is that if you’re not sure you want to eat the whole piece of cake, you can cut it into a smaller piece to test first.

And being able to articulate a logical, targeted, well-thought out plan of attack that takes into account your time/budget/resource constraints will help you satisfy those breathing down your neck. Which is a whole other topic of discussion.