Part 1: Your Marketing Plan: What is your Brand/USP, Products and Services, Digital Presence, and Strategy?
As the CBD marketplace tries to navigate from the fallout of the pandemic, business owners are doing one of two things: Some businesses are waiting for things to get back to normal. Others are shifting gears and responding to the new normal that COVID has presented to us.
I hope that you are in group two.
Investing Your Time, Energy, and Money into Marketing
A good marketing strategist will always begin by asking a business owner, “why?”
Why did you decide to enter into the CBD Marketplace?
Why did you decide to sell/grow/extract CBD?
The most persuasive “whys” in business are not related to trends or profits but crafted alongside a very personal story. People love a good story, a good founding story that is, and they want to know it. Knowing who you are and why you do what you do is the first part of trusting your brand.
The marketing people can help you write that story because sometimes we cannot see for ourselves who we really are. Marketing people know not only how to get that story but they understand how to turn that story into what makes you different. Being different in a crowded marketplace is the only way to thrive.
CBD oils are everywhere today. Every state in the country is growing its hemp plants. Thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs are harvesting that plant, extracting it, bottling it, and bringing it into the market as a “unique and special” wellness solution. But just how unique is your brand?
Take a moment to consider Amazon. As a business, Amazon is many things, some good and some bad, but one of the most important things they did was build a company on four core principles.
- Customer Obsession
- Eagerness To Invent
- Long-Term Thinking
- Operational Excellence
These four values became the foundation of their entire marketing plan. Of course, Amazon wanted to make money and get ahead of the internet trends but taking the time to think about the values and commitments that Amazon built its business on, ensured a path to success that still dominates today. If Jeff Bezos could write it all out, perhaps you should too.
In this time of business “pivots,” take a moment and dive deep into who you want your customers to be. Enter into a conversation with them. What are they asking Google for that they cannot find? Looking deeply into your customer’s hearts and minds so that you can gain critical insight into one of the most elusive parts of a marketing plan: your unique selling proposition.
How do you know what makes you different and unique without understanding what your customers are looking for in the first place?
CBD products can help all people but figuring out which people you really feel passionate about helping will take you through some very rough waters ahead. When Amazon began there were far more people who didn’t know they existed, and of those who did know them, wanted very little to do with them. That focus and deep understanding of their customers outlined a roadmap that defeated many a strong competitor. Build your strategy on that same knowledge and insight.
Products and Services
Your brand products alone are not what will separate you from a trending, accelerating marketplace filled with thousands of competitors. The story behind your products, the details, and the core principles and values that you have placed into them through your own unique business will separate you from a flooded market.
Every detail from ingredients to product packaging and delivery is part of the strategy we are talking about here. Get into the minds of your customers. What do they need to read on your label? What information do they need to know before deciding to buy and use your product?
What problems are you solving for them?
Your digital presence seems like an obvious and easy part of your marketing plan but do not be fooled by the promise of social media. The best advice you will ever get about where your brand should be on the internet is: Be where your customers are, not where you are comfortable.
The truth is, not every CBD business needs to be on Twitter or Instagram. Sure, a presence there is going to be important at some point, but do you know where your particular customers spend their time now? Do you understand the language of each social platform? Are you willing to take time out of your day, every day, to craft posts with your brand voice so that you will attract the audience you want?
Digital is very easy to navigate. It is also time-consuming and frustrating if you don’t know what you are supposed to post to get your audience to engage with your brand. Every business must look at the digital marketplace with their rose-colored glasses off. Back in the days of the Yellow Pages, most businesses trusted a professional to craft and design their critical place in the big book, digital media is no different.
Strategy Takes Time
Look back at those four principles of Amazon. They are quite general, but when placed next to a marketing strategy, it dictates a precise plan of action that must be done by every person in every department, every day. Your marketing strategy is a lot more than just your pricing and the colors of your packaging. Without a well-thought-out plan, you cannot correctly craft your message, and that is something we will explore in part 2.
For now, dive deep into your market and your customers. Walk-in their shoes and spend time understanding what they need and ask for and then create a strategy for how your CBD is the obvious choice for them to consider.
Part 1 is built on all the touchy feeling stuff that most business owners don’t have time for on a day to day basis. You want sales, funnels, and leads. But no business can operate successfully without an intimate understanding of who you are among your competitors. This honest and painful look might knock you down for a moment or two, but the process and resulting strategy will protect you from down markets and a slew of new competitors. It is your shield.
If you want to go through this process of creating your one-page marketing plan, check out these courses, and learn how you can get the one-page marketing plan for free.
Next: Part 2: Your Marketing Plan. What is your Target Market, Your Message and voice, Your Media, and Platforms?