Strategy, it’s the art of planning to achieve. And behind every effective marketing campaign, there’s a well thought out marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy helps you identify your goals and set the overall direction of your marketing endeavors. Think of it as a broad overview. Unlike a marketing plan, marketing strategies don’t necessarily include specific actions. Rather, it is developed as an overarching driver that can play out over time.
But if it is not specific and doesn’t contain actionable items, what does it include?
Marketing strategies describe your business, products and services, and their position within the marketplace. The strategy identifies your customer profiles and marketing tactics you will use and how you will measure their effectiveness.
A strong marketing strategy helps define your mission, vision and goals, and outlines on how to achieve those goals.
Here’s how to develop an efficient marketing strategy.
Marketing Strategy Development Involves Planning
Planning is a key to success for all aspects of business, and marketing strategy is no exception. Only 78% of small business survive the first year and only reach year five due to a number of factors, but one of the largest is lack of planning.
It starts by identifying both business and marketing goals.
Identifying business goals will make it easier to identify your marketing goals. Examples of potential business goals might be to:
- Increase awareness about products and services
- Work with X supplier and sell Y number of products by Z
- Target a new customer segment
If your company’s goal is to increase awareness of your products and services, then you marketing goals and eventually, your marketing plan should align with such outcome. Quality goals are always SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
After determining your business goals, you can then move onto your marketing goals.
Your marketing goals should be based on your business goals. Examples of marketing goals could be:
- Selling new products to your existing market
- Selling your existing product to a new market
Marketing goals may take some time to achieve, but similar to your business goals, they must be SMART. Before you move forward, it is critical that you also identify your most important key performance indicators (KPIs), as they are a valuable metric in measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Marketing Strategy Development Involves Research
Marketing and research go hand in hand. And in this digital age, you have access to a myriad of data which allows you to dig deep and gather information on your existing customers, target market, and your competitors.
With the amount of data out there, you should be well informed and up-to-date on trends, demographics, and growth. However, it is important to keep your information fresh, especially because marketing strategies might take place over a few years’ time, and a lot changes from year to year.
Marketing Strategy Development Involves Targeting a Specific Customer Persona
After conducting research, you should next create a customer profile based on your findings. If you have a niche business, don’t sweat it, but too often new businesses try to make something for everyone. They think that the larger market they have, the more successful they will be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Focus on consumers that already like you, because the reality is, you can’t please everyone. Attempting to please everyone leaves businesses spread too thin, and eventually you lose the essence of your business. And when the essence is gone, so is your business.
Bottom line, stay true to yourself.
Instead of worrying about pleasing the naysayers and the uninformed, focus on the quality of your product and services. Happy customers will eventually sing your praises and bring new customers your way.
When you are creating your marketing strategy, there are two things you should focus on: customers and products.
Marketing Strategy Development Involves Testing Your Ideas
How do you know if your proposed ideas will work? Put them in action, of course.
Ideally, you will have favorable results because your actions are backed up by studies, based on the research you conducted prior. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go as smoothly as you hope. This goes back to your goal setting. You want to set your goals high, but also be realistic.
Start by testing a small segment of your target market to see if your hypothesis works, and if it does, you can move full speed ahead. Bottom line, put your plans in action so they don’t remain plans forever. You won’t see results without action.
Marketing Strategy Development Involves Evaluation and Review
Marketing involves review, evaluation, and reflection. By constantly reviewing and assessing, you can continuously improve. The market always changes, thus, so should you.
Sit down once a year (at minimum!) to review which goals you have accomplished, which are still on the table, and which goals need to change. Then, work to alter your goals based on the market’s condition and trends. As Peter Daisyme, co-founder of Hostt once said, “We live in a dynamic environment and cannot afford to have static marketing plans.”
An effective marketing strategy isn’t hard to reach, but it also isn’t developed overnight. Just as the phrase implies, you need to be strategic. Marketing is a dynamic industry, and your marketing strategy should mirror the altering field.
Having a hard time developing a realistic marketing strategy for your company? You’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with the team at Mabbly for help bringing your dreams to reality.