Updated: Jan 21
Marketing always starts with a robust marketing strategy. If yours starts with tactical campaigns using social media or email you should stop and go back to first base. Because you could be wasting valuable time and money without defining your marketing purpose before hand.
Starting with a strategy will take the guess work out of your marketing process and stop wasting valuable time, resource and money. I believe a Marketing Strategy is essential to ensure sales opportunities are maximised. An effective Marketing Strategy should be aligned to the business objectives and clear measurable outcomes should be agreed with all key stakeholders.
Getting Your Strategy Started
The starting point to create a marketing strategy are these three questions:
1. Who am I?
Identify what makes you different from competitors, what problems are you solving for your customers and why they should do business with you.
2. Who am I talking too?
Identify who your customer is, reasons why they should like you and where you would find them. Then segment them into types, so you are saying the right thing to the right person at the right time.
3. What do I want to achieve?
All strategy plans should have clear goals and tracking progress is important, so defining what good looks like should be done early on. Measurement is important so agreed targets and goals will keep things on track.
Refining Your Strategy
As you move forward, strategy is about testing, reviewing and refining what works and what doesn’t work, so an agile marketing process in your business and your ability to respond quickly to changes that are needed is vital to the success of the strategy. By staying agile you will ensure you don't waste a further marketing budget chasing dead ends.
Easy to Say, Harder to Do?
The process of creating a robust Marketing Strategy is not as complicated as you might think. However, it does take time to get it right. My three key questions all require due attention with one leading to the other. And research takes a degree of diligence and an attention to detail.
When you understand what makes you different to your competitors and why potential customers should spend money with you can start to understand what you need to say to win their business.
The scatter gun approach to marketing to see what sticks is basically a waste of time and resource. Marketing teams crave direction and their purpose can be more readily realised when they understand what is driving the activity they are doing every day.
This approach is more likely to yield better results because the content, campaigns and messaging you design is more relevant to the customer you want. And that's because you've taken the time to find out how to engage them in the first place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Stephen Moore FCIM, a Strategic Marketing Consultant and part-time Marketing Director living in beautiful Suffolk. I support businesses large and small in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and London. I have been writing about marketing developments for 20 years with articles in The Metro, City AM, Fresh Business Thinking, AllWork, The Marketer and Marketing Week.