Marketing with intent: goals, strategies and tactics

Q: How does one differentiate between goal, strategy and tactic in a targeted marketing campaign? Can you share some examples of artists with a successful plan that includes these?

A targeted marketing plan is an essential tool to drive your business where you want it, but most artists run their entire business lives without one. Maybe because it’s not clear exactly what a marketing plan is.

Let’s begin by defining terms:

Goal

That’s what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s what you want. You do the marketing to achieve the goals. Without goals, you’re floating, taking what comes along – and if nothing comes, you’re in trouble.

Goals must be concrete and quantifiable, not abstract and vague. You must be able to measure them to know whether you’ve achieved your goals. Here is a simple example of a quantifiable goal: In the next month, I will sign three new healthcare technology clients at $2,500 each.

New York-based food photographer Evi Abeler and Albane Sappey, a pastry chef, are collaborating on their marketing strategy as Whip and Click goals include:

  1. 1 new client per month
  2. 2 new magazine clients in 6 months
  3. A cookbook project within 12 months
  4. 2 new connections with ideal prospects each week

Strategy

That’s how you’re going to achieve your goals. For example, many artists are using an “online marketing strategy” these days, which includes marketing tools such as a website, blog and social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and more.

You can already see the problem with an “online marketing strategy” – potential overwhelm. There are too many tools to choose from and you don’t know which ones are most effective for you and your target market. The solution is to start with just a few tools and add from there.

Evi’s marketing strategy is targeted to the food and artisan worlds, with ideal clients as restaurants, food producers, chefs, editors, publishers and other artisan types. “I always hated the idea of being a pushy salesperson and decided that a softer ‘push marketing’ campaign would work better for me,” she says. “So we provide interesting information, beautiful photographs and fun videos through social media and offline media as well, with the goal of becoming a valuable resource and attracting the right clients.”

Tactics

That’s essentially your to-do list – exactly how and when you will use the marketing tools to implement your strategy and therefore achieve your goals.

We set up our editorial calendar and are covering all outlets: website/blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vimeo and YouTube,” Evi writes. “We also send out monthly postcards and e-newsletters to our mailing lists of clients, friends, magazines and book publishers.”

Once I have identified a prospect, I introduce myself via email or in person and send a link to my blog. I have found that I can easily contact a prospect and ask them if I can feature them on the blog and they love it,” she adds. “This way I made the connection and introduced them to my work in a very soft and friendly way.”

A very important piece is of course our mailing list,” Evi continues. “We spend time researching to identify the right contacts and where we need to be doing real-life networking. Now that we have a few months of content on the blog, our next step is to expand our list and contact bloggers, magazine editors, publishers (and other) online portals directly via email, introduce ourselves and hopefully get featured, mentioned and shared.”

The Results After Four Months

Page views are going up and traffic is flowing to Evi’s photography site as well. Plus, a magazine editor from Germany made contact; several previous clients have hired Evi for photo shoots and always mention how much they like the cards and the blog; she’s gotten requests for estimates from new clients and is photographing a group of restaurants for the Food Network; and one of the food bloggers she had connected with previously liked the blog so much that she forwarded Evi’s name to her publisher.

Our blog and e-news are a wonderful way to stay in touch and introduce work to new people without feeling like I am selling me,” Evi notes. “Now I am pushing desserts!

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