Just as online research leads to discovery of content (i.e. new streaming shows to binge), the marketing discovery process generally leads us to a content strategy for clients.
The Savoir Faire marketing discovery process generates deep knowledge about a company, including the company’s prior marketing efforts and results. It’s the opportunity to ascertain company goals and outline what a marketing program needs to do to attain those goals.
Marketing discovery questions
The marketing discovery process is all about uncovering low-hanging fruit and learning about big-picture goals. During marketing discovery, we ask lots of questions about business goals, customers, the sales process, competitors, past marketing activities and general business challenges.
These answers provide a snapshot of your company, the industry and where you fit into the marketplace. The answers also illuminate your audience and your main competitors. We’re looking for opportunities based on knowledge you don’t even know that you know (Trust us, that knowledge hides in your noggin, but we’ll suss it out).
Interviewing is a key piece of the discovery process, including learning what sets you apart from the herd, and how you’ve used that information in the past to drive more prospects toward you. Discovering who actually buys your products or services is also important:
- Is your buyer the owner of a company or the head of business development or someone else? Are there multiple “personas” who buy from you?
- 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?
Marketing discovery topics
The marketing discovery process illuminates the essential elements of an effective content strategy for your company. When Savoir Faire begins working with you, we dig into a variety of attributes of your company, including:
- Your history: Where you’ve been and what you’ve done informs us on aspects such as rate of growth and key milestones we may use for content.
- Your core competencies: Sharing what you do better than everyone else in your field offers us areas of focus for content.
- Your services and/or products: This may seem obvious, but the discovery phase is often when we find disconnect in existing messaging about your top services or products.
- Your competitive landscape: Discovering what your competition is doing and the outlets they use helps us untap potential customers you didn’t realize were out there.
- Your past marketing efforts: Analyzing what you did before we met is key, as there’s not always a need to remake the wheel; it just might need some new spokes and some air in the tire.
- Your current technical capabilities: This gives us an idea of what you have already set up for analytics, how you’re measuring marketing efforts, etc., so we know where the gaps exist and how we can fill them.
Most importantly, this is when we discover achievable goals, where you want to end up and what you want to accomplish. Your goals are the destination that inform the plan of action or strategy.
The marketing discovery process often unearths nuggets of gold that we include in the content strategy. Our team members use this discovery time to home in on how their tactical areas of expertise can be employed to achieve your goals. When we discuss that list above, we listen for:
- Language that guides us on the look and feel of a website and other digital assets
- Insight on how to organize and present information on a site from a macro level
- How to utilize keywords and search terms on a micro level
Discovery informing strategy
When Savoir Faire’s team first meets with a client, and the client immediately says, “We need a blog,” our first question is, “Why do you need a blog?”
A content strategist asks and discovers the answers to the “Why?”, “How?”, “Who?” and “When?” questions related to content.
A blog may very well be a solid part of your eventual content marketing program, but we’ll determine that together by going through the marketing discovery process and developing a content strategy.
The alternative to marketing discovery is jumping immediately into marketing execution – based on either anecdotal information or assumptions. This may look something like: “Plant managers are the decision makers. Print 10,000 brochures and mail them — and send them an email, too.”
But what happens when you learn that plant managers have nothing to do with the final decision? Or that they don’t respond to direct mail? Or that your brochures went straight into the trash? The time and expense invested in marketing discovery will result in more effective and efficient marketing efforts over a longer run.
Content strategy and content marketing
Some people use the phrases “content strategy” and “content marketing” interchangeably – but, while they inform each other, they are different.
A marketing content strategy is the game plan we create, follow and adjust for a company. It governs the actions we take in regard to content. We implement the strategy via ongoing content marketing.
Content strategy guides the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. This is a great definition of content strategy from the book, “Content Strategy for the Web,” by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach.
Further, content marketing is the creation and circulation of content that fills a need for potential customers. It provides solutions to pain points or deeper knowledge about your company’s area of expertise. Content marketing strengthens the trust of your brand. Analysis of ongoing content marketing also teaches us ways to improve the larger content strategy.
Discover your marketing plan
Content strategy generally comes at the close of discovery, before a marketing plan goes into play. Strategy doesn’t end there, though. It is a continuing part of a good marketing program.
At the end of your discovery process, Savoir Faire will have a much better understanding of your company and industry – and you might have learned about some low-hanging fruit you’ve previously left on the table. This allows us all a clear understanding of goals to accomplish, a mutually-agreeable digital infrastructure plan and a vision on what the ongoing marketing program will look like.
Discover more about the Savoir Faire approach to marketing discovery here.