Whether you are starting a new business or looking to improve an existing one, a marketing strategy is essential to further increase sales and brand awareness. Principally, the development of brand awareness will result in the generation of leads. Educating your leads and strengthening your prospects will result in new clients… alas the magic of marketing! This principle of marketing success is easier said than done. Allow us to help you in creating a successful marketing strategy for your business.
A successful marketing campaign must be well-rounded, realistic, ongoing and constantly managed. The progression and recordings of your strategy will allow you to make educated decisions if/when you need to make changes. It’s your tool kit, complete with the information you’ll need to determine what you’re selling, who will buy it and how you’re going to be profitable. It also serves as your emergency first-aid kit, equipped with different tactics that can be used in the event you need to recover from a hot mess. Your marketing strategy will require time, patience and dedicated financial resources based on your needs. It is important to consider those factors so that you’re able to roll out your strategy without negatively impacting your business.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to do to create a marketing strategy that will drive results.
Step 1: Identify/clarify business objectives and goals. It’s easy to add bells and whistles to a strategy to make it look impressive but at the end of the day your success will be measured by how effectively your strategy meets worthy goals. With that said, ‘success’ is not a one-size-fits-all metric. You will determine what metrics are most important, whether they are advocacy, brand awareness, increase in overall revenue, etc.
Step 2: Conduct a realistic situational analysis. A situational analysis is a real-time overview of your company’s situation. With it, you will define your company, its product and services as well as what sets you apart from your competition. It encourages you to gain a deeper understanding of your market and your competitors, which will be essential in proving how your company provides value to the consumer. Furthermore, it allows you to recognize your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to better prepare you for future challenges and position yourself against your competitors.
Step 3: Get to know your target audience. It is important to have a detailed breakdown of your demographic in order to effectively communicate with them. Ideally, you want to know their age, gender, location, income and buying habits. You can hire industry trend analysts but you can also get a good idea for free by checking out your competitors on a service like SimilarWeb. Knowing as much about your consumers as possible will enable you to advertise to them much more efficiently, resulting in a higher ROI for your marketing dollars.
Step 4: Create a marketing plan. Now that you have all this information, it’s time to do something with it! Given your competitor analysis, market trend observations, obstacles, forecasted expenses and demographic insights, you have to decide how you want to grow your business. Identify and create your marketing goals and how they fit into the big picture.
Step 5: Create distribution strategies. An internal distribution strategy will allow you to utilize your team and resources to act on emerging opportunities and manage the moving parts of the overall marketing plan. An external distribution strategy will determine how you will reach your prospects (i.e.: social media, paid ads, etc.) and have your marketing message heard.
Step 6: Determine a marketing budget. Based on your desired strategies and their respective costs, you will have a better idea of how to allocate your marketing budget or what will need to be scaled back. Keep track of the return of each channel and adjust accordingly.
It’s important to assess your strategy once a year to review what you’ve accomplished, your progress, setbacks and any adjustments that need to be made. Expect hiccups along the way and embrace change.