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“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half,” John Wanamaker, department store titan, famously stated.

That statement was rather true for a long time, but as digital advertising and digital marketing  technology continues to develop, we can identify how a company’s marketing dollars are performing down to the penny. Our obvious main goal as a marketing company is to use our expertise to increase your bottom line. We practice the marketing discovery process to begin that journey – though you may be surprised how many companies want to skip that first step and get right to the “marketing.”

What we realized a long time ago, though, is that the discovery process lays the foundation for our success within a marketing program. Erasing that foundation likely also reduces achievements, which is bad for both parties involved. Here are three essential elements to ensure the marketing discovery process is a success:

1. Getting to Know You

The discovery process is an onboarding process with a client that allows the Savoir Faire team to get to know you and get to know your business. Our preferred way to connect with you and start to develop a relationship is ideally in person. It allows you, the client, to see our level of sophistication and our level of expertise. These are things we demonstrate during the first sit-down, so you will feel confident that we know what we’re talking about.

Of equal importance is getting to know you and your business during the discovery process. Every company has its own unique value proposition, has its own approach, has its own staff, has its own  history and has its own product line. Even if we know a particular industry in-depth, we need to spend time with a company to truly get indoctrinated into your business style from an internal perspective.

We generally begin by asking you questions, such as:

  • What are your business goals?
  • How have you achieved your goals in the past?
  • What were some of your biggest past challenges?
  • What are some of your greatest successes?

These answers — which may not all come during this first meeting — help us to get a snapshot of your company’s industry and where you fit into the marketplace. Not only is it essential for us to get an understanding of a your audience, but also to learn who your main competitors are.

When we begin developing your marketing campaign, we’ll dig into your prospects, leads, past customers, existing customers, vendors, influencers and decision makers. Any or all of them could be important to understand when we devise a campaign.

For example, one of our current clients is a manufacturing company, and we discovered we need to reach two distinct audiences: procurement specialists/buyers and engineers. Engineers are looking for very technical information, such as tolerances, whereas procurement specialists have a very different approach. Buyers are looking for an entirely different type of information. We continually market for both of those segments.

2. Auditing Your Audience

Auditing is a key piece of the discovery process, where we learn what sets you apart from the herd, and how we can utilize that to drive more prospects toward you. Discovering who actually buys your products or services is important, so we will look into details such as:

  • Is the buyer the owner of a company or the head of business development or someone else?
  • Is there a team of buyers? Are there influencers involved in the process?
  • What industry publications do they read?
  • What websites do they go for industry news?
  • Are there common industry resources everyone uses?

Answering those questions — and others — helps us to learn how to build a competent marketing program that will continually make progress toward your goals.

We’ve seen the flip side where companies want to go straight to the elements of a marketing campaign: We’re told, “Plant managers are the decision makers. Print 10,000 brochures and send them — and send them an email, too.” Then, we find out the plant managers have nothing to do with the final decision, and we’ve wasted a lot of time and money.

During this audit, we like to look at your existing digital infrastructure, including your website, email marketing, SEO and social media. We’re looking for what exists today, what measurements we can dig out and what we could do to improve things on the short-term.

Google Analytics may already be set up, but it might not be as thorough as it should be, for example. If you have been using email marketing software, we can dig in to look at reports, open rates, click throughs, etc. The same goes for your social media. We can go in and start pulling insight reports to see what posts are the most engaging.

All of this discovery legwork becomes the basis to:

3. Let’s Develop a Plan for You

There are two pieces to developing a marketing plan. First, we’re going to discover what kind of functionality your website will need to have, based on our research, by answering questions such as:

  • What does your site need to do?
  • Do you need an online calendar or other functionality?
  • Is a log-in for your clients necessary?
  • Are you transferring sensitive data?
  • Do you need a customer chat function?
  • Do you need a support ticket function?
  • Are your internal team members going to be updating the site? (If so, we will need to create user roles for them.)

The second part of marketing development will be the ongoing program we will create once your digital infrastructure is built. We will begin to look into elements such as:

  • Your existing sales process
  • Content creation
  • Lead generation
  • E-commerce
  • Paid digital advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Holidays or times of year that are a bigger focus for your company

This is not a comprehensive list.

At end of the discovery process, our team should be completely up to speed on your company and industry. We’ll have a clear idea of what we’re trying to accomplish, plus we will have a document that outlines the functionality of what your digital infrastructure currently is and will be.

We will have:

  • A mutually-agreeable digital infrastructure plan
  • A vision on what the ongoing marketing program will look like (There may be a Phase II of this, but Phase I will be solid at this point.)

This is not a comprehensive look at everything we do during discovery, but it should give you an idea of how we get started. We want to see your business grow and for you to achieve your goals, and the discovery process is critically important and effective for your success.

We’re happy to share specific examples of those achievements with you at that first sit-down meeting.

Profound changes in technology have changed how we market

Learn more about Inbound Marketing: the Savoir Faire Way

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