One of the best ways to save time and money on marketing is to set a marketing theme.
Great idea! But how do you actually go about the process of setting a theme and putting it to work. Your Google search will give you plenty of “things to do” but very little direction on how to actually implement something like this for yourself.
This is your lucky day — I’m going to show you a process for coming up with a marketing theme or themes that you can use to promote your business.
Marketing Theme vs Marketing Campaign
Marketing campaigns get complicated and expensive. Marketing campaigns are a coordinated effort to promote a product, service or message across multiple channels. While a marketing theme is just one element of a campaign.
Using a marketing theme is a low-cost way to create a coordinated effort without the complexities of a full-blown, high-budget campaign.
Why Choosing a Marketing Theme is the Best Hack Ever
A good marketing theme will create an emotional connection with your customer. That’s the best reason. Another reason is that when you have a theme, you can use it over and over again.
Big brands call the “Campaigns” and you’re already familiar with many famous ones:
- “Just Do it”
- “Where’s the meat”
- “The Most Interesting Man in the World”
Yet, most small businesses don’t think they can do a “Campaign” because it’s expensive. Well, that’s just wrong.
For example, say your marketing theme is “love.” You can use that as the overarching message in all of your communications:
Your website could be filled with images and stories of people who have found love because of your product or service.
Your social media posts could be about love — how to find it, how to keep it, etc.
Your email newsletter could be filled with tips on how to keep the love alive in your relationship.
You get the idea.
When you have a marketing theme, you have a through-line that ties all of your communications together.
Here’s How to Create Your Own Marketing Theme
Maybe this was enough information for you, and you can take it from here. On the off-chance that you are a more linear thinker or you want to be more strategic with your marketing theme, here’s the process from start to finish.
Step 1: What Can Your Customers Count on You For?
Excuse the clumsy headline, but this is a critical question for you to answer. Make a list of at least 17 items. The first ten or so will be relatively easy, but then, you’ll hit a wall — keep pushing until you get to at least 17.
This can be challenging — I know it can. Why? Because I struggle with it, you will struggle with it and anyone who has ever come up with an amazing marketing campaign has struggled through it. So give yourself some grace and space and take the time to do this. You’ll be glad you did.
Step 2: Identify Emotional and Visual Elements
You’ve got your list of “What your customers can count on you for” now you’re ready to start brainstorming the visual and emotional elements that communicate these things.
Here’s an example of one that I did before I launched my “Superpower Quiz”
Step 3: Brainstorm themes around your visuals
You’re almost at the end. You can see where I’m going here. Using the above example, you can already see a theme here — the ideal of being a marketing superhero.
What are all the things that superheroes do?
- They help people who are struggling
- They might have x-ray vision to see beyond what’s there or to see through things
- They have superpower strength – they can lift a car all by themselves — this can speak to automation.
Step 4: Brainstorm Some Marketing Theme Ideas
Here comes the fun part. Put your advertising creative hat on and start coming up with fun ideas you can do with this theme.
- Make a list of superpowers and how our product or service gives our customers that superpower. I can match each superpower with an icon or a color and use those types of graphics in social posts and emails.
- Create a superhero character so that customers feel like they will get superhero powers with this product or service.
- Create a quiz so that you can help your customers figure out what superpower strength they need.
- Build a community around superpowers.
Keep listing out as many ideas as you can, consider direct mail, email, videos, presentations, trade show exhibits, etc.
There’s no right way or wrong way — just whatever works for you.
Step 5: When and How to Launch Your Marketing Theme
Usually, I start with a milestone moment or event — it could be a webinar, product launch, trade show, conference — some event you can use to introduce your theme.
I usually select a date in the future; maybe 30 days into the future so that you can plan and create a multi-media campaign focused on that event.
Your goal is to end up with a “funnel” plan that includes the following:
Top of the funnel (How people get into the funnel)
Your goal here should be to inspire interest and curiosity. You’ll need a storyline through which to take your prospects. Your marketing messages should have a hero (the customer) who is dealing with challenges and obstacles.
The call to action here is to build awareness and curiosity — to show the hero (your customer) dealing with a challenge and to promise a solution.
Here are a few ideas that you can use here:
Top of the funnel: Introduce the Theme
Get your audience excited and engaged around the theme. Show them how the theme applies to them.
Make sure that the look and feel of this theme is incorporated and consistent throughout.
- Push email to customers
- Referral emails from promotion partners
Middle of the funnel
Carry the theme forward. Make sure that these elements also have the same look and feel all the way through.
Bottom of the funnel
The focus of this is part of the funnel is to instill urgency and a fear of missing out because the offer will be retracted once the deadline has passed.
While every single one of these elements in your funnel should have a call to action, this is going to be your final push and encouragement for the person to take you up on your amazing offer.
Developing a marketing theme is one of the most important things you can do for your business. It helps to focus your marketing efforts and makes it easier to create compelling content that inspires customers to take action. The five steps we’ve outlined will help you create a marketing theme that’s right for your business and inspires customers to become loyal advocates.