One thing we see time and time again when it comes to marketing is businesses treating it as an ad-hoc strategy and losing money because their marketing does not have a strategy and is not well thought out. If you don’t have a good marketing strategy, there is a high chance that your campaign will not only be unsuccessful but it will also waste your money while you are at it. Throughout this blog we will be discussing on what is needed in a good marketing strategy, as well as what you need to do to create one.
Developing your marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy should be engrained into your overall business strategy. Marketing is a key component in achieving your business goals and ambitions but too often it is treated as an after-thought. For your marketing to be effective it is important that you start with a well-informed marketing strategy. It also sets the overall outcome for your business and will have a massive impact of how successful your business will become over time. Your marketing strategy also:
- Describes your business and its products and services
- Explains the position and role of your products and services in the market
- Profiles your customers and your competition
- Identifies the marketing tactics you will use
- Allows you to build a marketing plan (the tactics to deliver) and measure its effectiveness.
Now that we have briefly discussed how to develop a good marketing strategy, we can now start to examine the different factors needed in order to do this.
Identify your business goals
When creating a good marketing strategy, it is important that you remember to identify your business goals. For example, some of your marketing goals may be:
- Increasing awareness of your products and services
- Selling more products from a certain supplier
- Reaching a new customer segment
While you are setting your goals, it is key to remember to remain as targeted as you possibly can. This is so you can measure the outcome you want to achieve as effectively as you can. When you are goal setting, one technique to keep in mind is the SMART method:
- Specific: clearly state what you want to achieve
- Measurable: set tangible measures so you can measure your results
- Achievable: set objectives that are within your capacity and budget
- Relevant: set objectives that will help you improve certain aspects of your business
- Time: set objectives you can achieve within the time you need them.
Using the SMART method allows you to keep a close eye on your strategy and to make any necessary adjustments if your strategy is either not working or falls off course. However, when making your SMART objectives it is important that you put together short-term and long-term goals.
Short-term goals keep everyone focus and are easier to measure against but they sometimes prohibit long-term growth by not looking at the bigger picture. Long-terms goals allow you to see the bigger picture but sometimes stop you getting there by not looking at the smaller step by step requirements to get there.
Research your market
Research is an essential factor of your marketing strategy. It is important that you gather the key information about your market, including:
- Social trends
When researching for your marketing strategy, you may need to make a few amendments to your strategy if your external market changes due to new technology, or if you have a change in product(s).
As a practical example of why research is so important. We have a customer who sells high end furniture. They have a lot of success selling online and in store. In fact, in store their conversion rate is well over 60%. How have they achieved this? Through market research and segmentation. Their organic social media and their paid advertising target people of certain affluence with certain interests. They then create a community around the brand. By the time people come in to store they are well on to their way to purchasing the furniture before they get there. This entire process starts with research.
The 7 p’s of marketing
So, you may have heard about the 4 p’s of marketing but, have you heard of the 7 p’s of marketing? If not, don’t worry, we will be discussing this more in this section. The 7 p’s of marketing are:
If you use these correctly when drafting out your marketing strategy, you are more likely to have a positive outcome once your marketing strategy is complete and your customers will start to increase because you have a well-informed marketing strategy. The 7 p’s can go a long way for the development of your company.
Test your ideas
When it comes to drafting out your tactics, make sure to test your ideas to see if they are going to be effective or not. It may not work first time, it may not work second time, but eventually you will find a tactic that works best for you. You are going to make mistakes despite your occupation.
The key thing to note however is that one tactic is rarely enough. In the example of the customer mentioned about they use PPC, paid social, organic social. For many businesses we need to keep in constant contact with our clients and one message on one channel isn’t enough to do this. It means that we need to focus on our branding, our look and messaging across all channels need to be consistent and integrated. This way when the customer/ prospect is contacted by your business across the various channels they will recognise your message and your brand.
To conclude, the effectiveness of your marketing strategy will be highly dependent on how organised you are and how well your business performs as a team. A clear marketing plan will help customers connect with your brand in new and exciting ways with the help of technology.
If you can visit our website if you want to learn more about our marketing management and strategy services or alternatively give us a call on 01706 548 220