Marketing Strategy – What Is It?
I find that the easiest way to understand marketing strategy is to think of it like a map. You can explore various options and decide where you would like to go, then mark your destination on it and plot the route you would like to take to get there. It is completely up to you what time you decide to leave or aim to arrive, whether you take a scenic or the shortest route, which method of transport you choose or even who you take with you. The map, just like a marketing strategy is purely there to help you identify where you would like to go and enable you to plot your journey.
Why Don't People Do It?
- They are much too concerned with getting on and doing things.
- They don't have enough time or never seem to get around to it.
- They don't understand what it is.
- They don't know the benefits.
- They think it's not for them.
- They think they can't change the plan once they've made it.
- They think it isn't worth the time it takes!
Why Is It Important?
I think there are 6 key benefits to spending time creating a marketing strategy:
- Structure – It provides you with some structure to your marketing activities. Rather than flitting from one thing to the next you can put a plan in place of where you want to go, what you are going to do and when, and how each of the activities fit together or benefit one another. Please remember that once you have created a marketing strategy it is not fixed in stone and neither does your plan need to be highly detailed e.g. day by day or hour by hour. Find what works best for you.
- Prioritise – It forces you to prioritise your marketing ideas upfront. It enables you to work out which order to do things in or even whether it is worth doing them at all.
- Reminder – Your marketing strategy acts as a reminder about where you are trying to get to and how you thought you would achieve this. It helps to prevent your marketing activities from falling to the bottom of your to do list.
- Budget – Having a clear direction as well as a plan or at least spending the time to put together a plan means that you can work out what you actually have the time and money to do. It can help you to make decisions about activities and forces you to be creative if time and / or money are limited.
- Confidence – If you know who you are trying to target, why and how and you have an action plan it is a lot easier to feel confident about putting your best foot forward. It can also be more efficient because it removes the time you would usually spend wondering what to do next!
- Measure – Once you have a strategy you can create a plan of marketing activities along with their objectives. You can then track your progress to see what was achievable and what wasn't. Enabling you to do more of what is working and less of what isn't. Maximise your time, energy and budget!
How do I create a Marketing Strategy?
- Make sure you understand and can articulate the purpose of your business and what success looks like for you.
- Identify who your ideal customer(s) is and why they would benefit from your product or service (it is important to spend time really thinking about what is actually in it for them).
- Work out how and where to find the ideal customer(s) you have identified.
- Explore what powerful message you can create that will inspire them to buy from you (and on an ongoing basis).
- Test the above by creating a plan of marketing activities with SMART objectives to help you measure your progress.
- Adjust your approach based on your findings!
Have you created your own Marketing Strategy? Did you find it helpful? Did you encounter any obstacles? As always if you would like to find out how I can help you with this feel free to contact me.