“Putting the cart before the horse.”

“Sprinting before
you can walk.”

If you were to take these metaphors literally, you certainly wouldn’t get anywhere good.


In marketing, it’s the same thing. If you do things out of order, your business will suffer.


So, why is it so common for business owners – and people in general – to follow the wrong order? Why do we feel the need to jump ahead?

Well, the quick answer is, it’s human nature.

Doing things in the correct order can often test our patience and discipline as business people.


You put a great deal of thought into an idea and approach, but like with any business idea, it will take time and proper decision making to grow. A long, drawn-out process to withstand.

You have an idea you’re ready to bring to life – a super exciting prospect for any entrepreneur). But there’s no skipping ahead. It just doesn’t work.


The reason for cliches such as carts coming before horses, or sprints coming before walks, is because they’re universal truths. Flowery ways to blunt the harshness of tough realities.

As much as you want your big picture to be painted on a canvas large enough to fit your incredible vision, everything starts from a humbler, smaller place.
So let’s get to it.

Don’t Get Discouraged. Knowing What You Have to Do is a Good Thing.

The previous notions aren’t a cry of doom or gloom. Awareness is never bad!


On the contrary, it’s a cause for celebration. Once you’ve accepted the fact that you can’t jump the line with your branding and marketing is when you’re ready to start making moves.


In our guide, you’ll learn to craft your entire brand, and develop a profitable marketing strategy – all in a logical order which drives success.

Want to learn more handy ways to level up your marketing?

Winging it With Marketing Just Won’t Cut It Over the Long Haul.

There are some enormous advantages to running a small business. Namely, there’s the personal touch. You can market yourself as unique, and take advantage of word-of-mouth and personal networking.


In and of itself, that’s a marketing strategy – but it’s not as conscious or exacting as it could be. What about social media? Email marketing campaigns?

The point we’re getting at here is: just because you can get away with not having a marketing strategy and plan, why handcuff yourself – and your business – in such a manner? Lacking a defined approach to branding and client outreach limits your growth greatly. A well-defined, insightfully crafted marketing strategy enhances your profit-making potential. It will allow you to understand your market, plaster your brand in all the right places, and scale your operation smoothly.

So, here we go: it’s time to hammer out a detailed, specific, accurately sequenced marketing strategy.

Follow the steps below:

There are many elements to the “defining” process, but it starts with your value proposition.

Your value proposition spells out the unique value customers will get from your product/service. This concept will drive all your marketing efforts.
Through your value proposition, you’re making a declaration of intent. You’re stating to customers, under no uncertain terms, what your brand stands for, how it functions, and why they should spend money on your products/services. You’re also giving your team great marketing fodder to begin with.

Your value proposition should be forward-facing, summarizing what makes your brand appealing. It’s your chance to tell customers the specific, one-of-a-kind opportunity they have by aligning with your company.

Given the essential nature of your value proposition, you need to prioritize its development. Keep these factors in mind:

  • A good value proposition can be read in five seconds.
  • Over half of companies apply different value propositions to specific services/products.
  • Your value proposition isn’t a slogan. It should contain the following:
    • The problems your products/services solve. or situations they improve.
    • Benefits customers can anticipate.
    • Why your company is the superior choice to your competitors.
  • Don’t clutter your value proposition by calling yourself “#1”

Still unsure about what goes into a value proposition? Check out these examples.

Another part of your the defining process is figuring out the core insight you offer to customers – that magical detail about your product/services that makes people go “ah-ha!”

Then comes your company’s tagline. McDonald’s has “I’m Lovin’ It.” Nike has “Just do it.”

What statement will you make with your tagline? Ensure that it’s short, memorable, and connects to your value proposition. and core insight.

From there is your call to action (“CTA”), a direct instruction you tell your customers to make. It’s a huge marketing tactic that you see on all the best websites and socials. A CTA might be as simple as “Click here to buy yours today” or “Click the link to visit our site.”

Big picture CTAs exist, too. By tying your big-picture CTA into the rest of your company’s core tenets, you’ll directly drive sales. Example: “Don’t wait. Go vegan” plastered all over a vegan foods website.

Make sure your CTAs speak personally to your target audience because – personalized CTAs convert 42% more than generic ones.

With the above elements hammered out, you’re ready to define your brand colors, fonts, logo signature, and any other important design details for your business. These are all elements of your brand’s style guide – a one-sheet that will help your team to be strategic and specific when it comes to branding photos, testimonials, and brand videos.


Why is your brand identity so integral to building your marketing and branding strategy? The components of your brand identity don’t only convey who you are – they define the types of products and services you’re providing. They also help you establish positioning (e.g., where your products/services stand in the marketplace).

In the absence of the knowledge highlighted above, it’ll be impossible to develop an insightful, appropriate, and value-oriented pricing structure – our first step in the building stage.

Finding the best pricing structure is a delicate balancing act. It necessitates a profound understanding of your industry and your customer base. Having this knowledge will allow you to turn a profit while remaining competitive.

Here are some examples of pricing structures:

  • Tiered Pricing: With tiered pricing systems, you’re offering scaled levels of service. The more a customer pays, the more intensive and bespoke the product/services become. Most often, this system starts with the “basic” package, moving all the way up to “Premium” or “Enterprise.”
  • Software As a Service (SaaS) Pricing: SaaS pricing is used when a company hosts a product/app for its customers to access over the internet. Typically, this involves a periodic payment system. for periods of usage.
  • Freemium Pricing: Here’s where companies offer some of their products/services for free as a marketing tactic to draw people into paid services.

Pro-tip: Whether you’re running a B2B or B2C business will also play a role in your pricing structure.

Once you solidify your pricing structure, you unlock the next step in your marketing strategy: developing your customer’s journey.

Your customer’s journey begins when they first discover your brand, continues toward their first purchase, and ought to last through many more purchases over their lifetime.

To craft the customer journey, you should focus on how your clients feel when they engage with your brand – not so much on the transactions themselves. Your goal is to create lifelong customers, making experience just as important as the brass tacks nuts and bolts of your business.

Fleshing out your customer journey will provide guidance when it comes to developing your:

  • Domain name
  • Website
  • Sales funnel
  • Social media channels
  • Marketing campaign tactics

More to the point, all the above elements will adhere to your business model, maintaining cohesion and consistency. We can’t stress enough the importance of connecting all the dots in your marketing. A unified brand is an effective one.

After developing your pricing structure and customer journey, you can build your print media. This step includes brochures, business cards, postcards, handouts, and plenty of other physical, tactile branding materials.

Writing print materials is much easier when you precisely know who you are as a brand and what kind of experience you’re providing to customers. Those details give you a strong, confident voice because they shed light on critical details like word choice and narrative.


We’re huge proponents of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software at Bear Wade – but we get a cold sweat at the thought of a business using a CRM without having completed the marketing stages we’ve discussed so far.


Far too often, small business owners get attracted to the lure of a CRM without considering the finer details.


A CRM is only as valuable and profitable as your own knowledge and understanding of your business. A CRM can only positively impact your company when a framework and system have been put in place after defining and building your marketing strategy.


Otherwise, investing in a CRM is like buying a high-performance car and never filling it with fuel.


When you do all the necessary legwork, get a CRM up and running. You’ll reap the benefits and then some – CRM software generates up to $8.71 per dollar spent in ROI, according to Nucleus Research.


Your CRM platform will provide a streamlined process for nurturing clients and deploying email campaigns – which can boost sales by nearly 30 percent, drive sales productivity upward by 34 percent, and increase sales forecast accuracy by over 40 percent.


Why does a CRM lead to increased sales productivity?

  1. It’s a universal dashboard unified source for your entire staff to track customers accurately.
  2. It’s a powerful data source providing a variety of key insights into trends and areas for improvement. All the data and information provided by a CRM can help define specific elements of your growth plan.


In a nutshell, CRMs are the best, most value-filled way you reach your target audience and cultivate your client base in the long term.


Next in Stage 3 is building your first campaign.


The key is to keep things simple. Offer a clear solution to a problem your target customer currently faces, through a sequence of emails and social media posts.


We’re at the point where you’ve done a great deal of the prep work. Your rocketship is built, and now it’s ready for liftoff, where your marketing strategies function together in perfect harmony.


At this point in time – and at no point before – you’re ready to create engaging, helpful, and consistent content across all marketing channels.


Execution is king when it comes to your content. Failing to strike the right chord with your audience will turn your branding efforts into a profitless, time-wasting venture. Fortunately, though, all your preparation means you have a clear idea of what’s needed to execute successfully.


There are a few skill-sets needed when creating campaigns:

  • Creators
  • Editors
  • Publishers

Delegation is key in your content production. Take faith in your creators, editors, and publishers to deliver concise, powerful messaging through captivating visuals and text.


You’ll need a content calendar to ensure your content isn’t released sporadically or randomly. Inconsistent content creation leaves customers confused, and algorithms tend to frown upon it, dwindling away at your marketing reach.


A content calendar will help your team lay out the post topics, production schedules, and file assets. It streamlines and consolidates your content creation.


You’ll be creating proactive, ahead-of-the-curve content, potentially months in advance, that you can plug into the pipeline. It’s a massive time and money-saver compared to developing content ad hoc or by the seat of your pants.


We’re now moving on to your sustained, long-term growth.


Through the previous four stages, you’ve set your business up with a safety net and a structure so you can start seeing what truly works and what doesn’t.


You have the systems established to analyze your results and take strategic, effective actions based on the numbers. Better yet, because you’ve laid the meticulous groundwork, nothing has to be overly time-consuming or complicated. Simply lean into what’s proving successful and veer away from what’s fallen flat…if you can’t figure out how to tweak and improve it.


Now it’s time to properly establish your project management system, allowing you to track and fulfill orders.


The last part of the scaling stage is to create standard operating procedures, or SOPs. For every important task your team does regularly, create a concise but careful guide to how you do it. These help you stay on top of your team’s progress, so you can continue to make improvements and flourish as a company.

SOPs should be easily repeatable systems that allow your team members to train new hires. These standards also ensure that owners and executives can focus more on the high-value tasks.

Still Unsure About Keeping Your Marketing in Order?

Well, You Don’t Need to Go it Alone.

Developing your branding strategy out of sequence will cause financial strain and limit your business’s growth potential.

And while the stages we’ve discussed give you a helpful framework, it’s only scratching the surface. There’s much more to discover if you want what’s best for your business’s marketing and branding.


Read Unify Your Marketing, written by award-winning director Bear Wade, to learn these steps in greater depth. Wade will take you through Defining, Building, Growing, Ongoing, and Scaling with actionable advice, real life examples from his full-service marketing agency, and a heap of free worksheets and team-building resources.

The Unify Brand steps are proven to work for B2B or B2C owners, solopreneurs, and multi-million dollar company owners. So they’re bound to work for you.