Effective marketing can bring total benefits to your business. And with that in mind, we take a look at what you need to know about how to create a marketing strategy.
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Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a large marketing team, getting your products and or services in front of customers can be a daunting challenge. Knowing how to attract your target market requires a variety of skills and knowledge, and understanding how to create a marketing strategy can play a central role.
We take a closer look at what a marketing strategy is, as well as why a marketing strategy is needed. We also explore what you should do to develop an effective strategy and the steps you need to take to do it.
What is a marketing strategy?
Marketing Strategy Marketing strategy refers to the overall game plan of a business to reach potential customers and convert them into customers of their products or services. A marketing strategy includes a company’s value proposition, key brand messaging, target customer demographic data, and other high-level elements.
Put another way, marketing strategy is ‘the overall game plan of a business to reach potential customers and convert them into customers of the products or services provided by the business.’
Why do I need one?
There are many reasons why our business needs a marketing strategy. Without taking the time to create a marketing strategy, you are reducing how effective your promotional and sales activity will be. There are many reasons for this, many of which are crucial to growing your business:
It helps you reach your target audience
One of the main reasons for creating a marketing strategy is that a marketing strategy helps you connect with the right people, and as we’ve explored in our series on how to start a business, understanding your target audience is critical to success. With a marketing strategy, you can not only identify who your customers are and what they want from your company, but also understand how you can reach them.
Helps you spend your money in the right place
Digital marketing there are various marketing channels you can choose from when trying to connect with your customers. And along with traditional methods like print and TV advertising, there are also digital marketing options like social media, content and email marketing. As you create a marketing strategy, you can better understand where to invest your marketing spend for maximum return.
Keeps your marketing consistent
Whenever you’re trying to build your brand and reach new customers, consistency is key. Because your brand messaging and visuals on each channel should be consistent with your company’s overall identity marketing strategy helps provide this alignment, ensuring that the message you convey is clear and consistent.
Gives you a measurable outcome
A strategy for marketing also helps in setting your goals. Once at this point, you can begin to measure how effective your efforts are. For metrics like ROI, engagement or conversion rate, having these insights can help you refine and improve your marketing.
Serves as a guide
When you have a marketing strategy, you have a clear outline for how you will engage with customers. You understand their buyer personas and pain points and how to reach them effectively. And useful for every team or individual in the company who wants to market your product or services, guiding them through the process
Marketing plan vs marketing strategy
How to Create a Marketing Strategy When researching marketing strategy, you will likely come across the term marketing plan often, these two terms are used interchangeably. However, although closely related, they are different concepts that need to be treated separately.
Essentially a marketing strategy is an extension of your overall business strategy. A marketing strategy is the piece of logic that informs your future marketing decisions. And in addition to stating what your marketing goals are, you need to detail how you will achieve them through your marketing efforts. In essence, it’s a high-level framework that connects your brand to overall company objectives.
A marketing strategy often includes the following sections
- Executive summary
- Company vision/goals
- Market analysis
- Target audience details
- Competitor analysis
- Branding and messaging
- Relevant marketing channels
A marketing campaign plan is the means by which you will implement your marketing strategy through a marketing campaign. It is a plan of action that details how you are going to implement your promotional activity. This includes accounting for things like how you’re going to promote, analyze, and measure your marketing campaigns.
You can plan how you will reach your customers. This includes a timeline for delivering your marketing activity, as well as specifics on which channels you will target. In such a document, you will often include sections such as:
- Campaign goals
- Content plan
- Timeline for delivery
- Marketing activities
Steps to create a marketing plan
Your marketing plan will have a more specific outline of how you will implement your strategy. Here are the steps you need to take while creating one:
Outline how you’ll reach customers
There are many forms of marketing that you can choose from. In your strategy document, you will outline who your target customers are as well as some customer personas. You need to decide how to reach the customers. Will you go completely with digital marketing or stick to a more traditional cuisine? How can you use direct or event marketing to reach individuals? Consider all these factors.
Define how you’ll create marketing materials
You will need to assign who is responsible for creating what content. Whether its videos, blog posts, print media, and TV advertising or other promotional materials, there needs to be a clear plan. You will also need to ensure that there are clear guidelines on branding and tone of voice and that processes are in place to manage the various workflows.
Plan how you’ll share those materials
You then need to think about the different marketing channels available and how you are going to use them. And do you have an email campaign? How will you use social media to support your messaging? Will you rely on organic search and SEO or will you use pay-per-click advertising? All these questions, and more, require specific answers and a plan. This is where you will need to define your timeline and delivery dates.