What’s Essential To Your Marketing Strategy?

Everything you do in business should have a purpose. Your marketing strategy is no different. Otherwise you’re just posting haphazardly and are more likely to market less often because you don’t have a reason to get stuck in. 

The topic of having a purpose came up in a recent Book Club call in the Being Boss Clubhouse. We were discussing the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The book covers focusing only on what is essential and forgetting the rest. Providing different ways to decipher what is essential. Mckeown suggests instead to center your time around the pursuit of less. On our call we were discussing the concept of having one sole purpose. 

This immediately had me thinking about how this relates to marketing. Whenever someone is trying to focus on too many analytics, or purposes, the work gets watered down. It’s even worse when there’s no purpose at all, just shiny object syndrome and a feeling of “having to” do marketing. Instead, having a North Star gives a business owner or marketing manager a reason to create content, to tell people about their business, and a way to measure their success. 

Without a clear purpose, your marketing can feel pointless and overwhelming. So let’s find the right one for you.

What is a North Star?

In navigation, everything you do is based on the North Star. It is the point from which you identify where you are going, and when you are veering off track. 

In marketing, this North Star is something that your entire process and all actions are based on.

You might choose to have one North Star for every platform you share content to, or to have one or two across all of your marketing channels. 

Your North Star might be to have a positive connection with more business owners. Everything you choose to do in your marketing must then help you get closer to that goal. 

Marketing Analytics

To identify whether you are on track or veering off course, you’ll need to be able to evaluate your North Star with a specific, quantitative analytic. It’s best to identify a clear analytic for your North Star, something you can measure, because otherwise how will you know when you’re meeting or exceeding your goals? 

Choose an analytic one (or a few) steps back from a sale. An analytic that represents connection, engagement, or that people are enjoying or learning something. This engagement is simply how people act when they’re interested in something. So we can use these digital actions to better understand their frame of mind to decipher whether your marketing is working. 

Remember you can only pick one. It’s best to choose the ultimate goal, the final step before the sale, and not just the first simple step someone could take, such as liking a post. Allow yourself to pick the analytic that isn’t performing well right now, and stray away from the vanity metrics, like a follower count. Growing this chosen analytic should get you to your ultimate goal because it is the closest measurable item. 

Let’s use an example of YouTube views.

You can set bigger goals for the quantity over time, slowly increasing the volume of views you’d like to receive. In the meantime you might:

  1. iterate and improve to create the most eye-catching thumbnail
  2. choose the most clickable title
  3. tailor the length and pace of your videos to gain the best retention rate
  4. reply to every comment you receive
  5. create interesting and consistent content to motivate people to subscribe
  6. release content regularly to gain trust
  7. post often enough to get regular views from the same people
  8. collaborate with other creators to get views from a new audience

If your chosen analytic were to have a high comment ratio from your video’s views, these tactics and practices could be very different. 

Other examples of digital marketing North Stars are:

  • Website traffic increase
  • Instagram comments
  • Blog post views
  • Sales call bookings
  • Email newsletter sign-ups
  • Webinar RSVPs
  • Downloads of your pricing packages document

Strategy Alignment

When you go to do the work, or review an opportunity, you should also review it against your values and business goals. 

An example could be that you have a value of “Uniqueness”. If something you could undertake doesn’t feel new or exciting for the world, if it could be the same content put out by 10 other businesses in your niche, it’s not unique and therefore, isn’t in complete alignment with your business. This potential initiative would require a shift before you got started.  

You may like to have a list of non-negotiables for any opportunity. This might be that a marketing initiative that will take up your time, even if there was no monetary expense, shouldn’t take more than 5 hours. If there’s not a way to make that initiative happen within 5 hours, it doesn’t align with your overall goals and shouldn’t be prioritized.

Something might help you grow your views on YouTube, but at what cost to the world, or your reputation? 

This alignment review should be done at the outset, before you take a step in a direction that you don’t want to go in. This saves time and confusion. Allowing for better consistency, but it also means you don’t feel attached to the results, the potential of results, or the “sunk cost” of that idea before you make this alignment assessment. 

Adjustments to Your Marketing Strategy

As you get closer to a goal along the line of this North Star, you might decide to adjust your course. This could be making changes to your methods to achieve your goals, or changing the purpose itself.

You can start by launching with a minimum viable product, the simplest version of something, then iterating once you get real world feedback. 

Nothing is permanent, so you can always change your North Star, your purpose, if it is no longer fulfilling, or you find that something else may serve your business better. 

Find Marketing Strategy Clarity

What could you achieve in your business if you charted all marketing work based on one simple North Star?

This North Star brings everything into focus, encompassing your business’ purpose, your goals, and your vision. This new purpose reduces the overwhelm of marketing your business, allowing you to center your decisions on one core (and measurable) goal.

Looking for more resources for marketing your business? Check out our Marketing + Sales episodes and articles!

Emma Peacock is a digital marketing strategist and podcast host. With her business, Honey Pot Digital, she helps small businesses across the world grow with sustainable marketing strategies across their websites, email, search, social, ads or online communities. You can find Emma at honeypotdigital.com