A marketing strategy is important because it helps sell products and services. It also is designed to support both short and long-term growth. Without a strategy, your business might not grow very much. Or worse, your business might not be able to bring prospects into the pipeline and convert them into paying customers at all. You need a concrete, carefully considered plan to reach success.
Organization is at the Root of Strategy Building
Getting organized is the first part of building your marketing strategy. Organizational skills breed efficiency, and what starts as a plan to launch your business can, over time, become a marketing strategy. As you begin to implement your plan, think about how it can grow into a stronger version of itself. This process will help create a strategy map for you.
Think of a marketing strategy as a type of road map to success. Laying it all down will help develop ideas, bridge gaps in information channels, and make sure everyone is moving forward on the same page. While this may sound simple, marketing strategy is often anything but, though done correctly, it is effective. Furthermore, it is essential. Without one, businesses are prone to:
- Lose market share to competition
- Lose customers in the pipeline
- Miss opportunities for lead development
- Lackluster financial performance
How Marketing Strategy is Developed
It’s important to involve everyone. Coordinating with all of the members of your team to move in the same direction is necessary for making your plan work. Be mindful of how your ideas translate into the real world and break things down into realistic, practical steps. Work out your plan step-by-step to map it out in a way that aligns with and helps you to achieve your goals.
Planning Process for Marketing Strategy
Get S.M.A.R.T. when planning out the steps of your marketing strategy. One of marketing’s most tried and true methods for developing your abstract goals and ideas into an actionable plan is to divide them into steps that are:
These elements are the starting point for developing a solid marketing strategy. Think about how you can use them to turn your current ideas into a path to your future performance goals. Once you know where you are, it will become clearer where you are headed and allow you to steer your business in a direction where it can grow.
Divide Up Roles
Everyone should have a stake in making your ship float. If you give everyone a part to play and ensure your team members feel their voices are heard, they will be more willing to participate in the process and feel responsible for its outcome. With a good marketing strategy, you can divide work into small, manageable tasks for each person or team. This strategy increases your effectiveness and results in greater future dividends.
Learning the Customer’s Path
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer for a moment. What would they want to know about your business? How will they see the unique value your products or services offer? Analytical tools are a great first step to understanding this piece of the puzzle, because they give you measurable information about how customers interact with your business. Google analytics and similar tools help deliver information about what customers want from your business. Every customer is looking for something different. Analytics can help you develop your strategy and determine which potential leads are most likely to produce the best results.
How to Build Marketing Strategy
When building your strategy, you need to know your target demographic. The most effective marketing strategies target specific audiences, and are based on an understanding of how you can serve their particular needs. Identify your target audience’s interests and what they need from you. A few things to consider that can help you determine these things:
- Seniors are less likely to engage with social media. Base your strategy around personal connection via email (newsletters), phone calls, and door-to-door connection to more effectively reach older demographics.
- Young people don’t stick to one platform. You have to work to stay on top of what channels they’re using. Be open to stretching and trying new things to capture younger customers.
- Look on social media to see who is talking, blogging, vlogging, and what they are talking about. Google Analytics will capture some things, but not all. Doing some manual research will help keep you informed on how your target audience thinks and changes.
Online communication is about knowing your audience. Consider whether you’re speaking to existing customers or looking to find new customers to build your business. If you don’t know who you’re marketing to, you will miss your best potential customers. Poor planning will lead you to underestimate online demands for your products and services, and you will miss opportunities to capture customers.
A finely tuned business plan begets a finely tuned marketing strategy that will take your business to the next level. Your business will achieve more if you have direct, achievable goals in mind and know how to direct your resources to make them happen. A marketing strategy is an essential tool for protecting you and your business. Put together your plan today and lead your team in following through, and your business will prosper!