Many businesses struggle with marketing because they don’t know where to start.You probably won’t be surprised, but at Beacon Marketing, we believe the best place to start is by developing a strategy.
For us, marketing your business is similar to going on a journey. You are taking your business from where you are at now to a more successful destination in the future.
A marketing strategy serves as the roadmap you take on your journey to success. And just like it’s easy to get lost on a trip without a map or directions, without a strategy, it’s also really easy to get lost. In marketing terms, this means getting little to no return on the investment of time, effort, and money that you’ve put into your business.
By developing a marketing strategy, you are detailing how you are going to market yourself and your business. This will ensure that you are getting the most from what you put into your marketing efforts.
Let’s examine the six hallmarks of an effective marketing strategy.
1. Set Goals and Milestones
To reach your destination of success, you must first define what success looks like to you. These come in the form of goals and milestones. They help you better evaluate your marketing efforts by allowing you to measure your activities against where and how you want your business to grow.
2. Defined Target Audience
No business can exist without customers. To get the customers you need to grow your business, you must define who that ideal customer is. A successful marketing strategy clearly defines your business’s target audience.
With a clearly defined target audience, you’re in a much better position to speak to their pain points and make a true connection. And from there, you’ll be able to communicate how you and your business are the best solution to address their needs.
3. Marketing Channels and Content
Defining which marketing channels you’re going to use and the type of content you’re going to create will help you figure out how you’re going to communicate with your target audience. You can break this down into two parts.
First, once you’ve figured out who your ideal customer is, you outline which marketing channels they are most likely to use.
The second part is detailing the types of marketing content you’ll need to help communicate your message. Different platforms use different types of content in different ways, so your target audience might prefer one or two marketing channels over the others.
As you determine which marketing channels are best suited to reach your audience, you’ll also detail the types of marketing content you’ll need to publish that will grab the attention of and help you connect with your audience.
When you do this, you’re better able to determine the work will go into marketing your business.
4. Proper Allocation of Resources
To help get all that work completed, a good marketing strategy will include an outline of how you will use your resources in your marketing efforts. Here are some examples of resources and how they might be used:
- Money – to hire outside help or to purchase subscriptions for services that assist in marketing your business
- Employees – hiring new employees or using current employees to help create marketing content, manage a marketing channel, or to complete other marketing-related tasks
- Physical Assets – how you might use cameras, phones, or laptops to develop and publish marketing content
This is not an exhaustive list, but you can see how detailing how you plan to use the resources you have at your disposal will allow you to better manage your marketing efforts making you a better and more efficient marketer.
5. Division of Roles
Consider this a sub-element of number 4. There is no way that one person can do it all when it comes to marketing a business. So, whether you use someone on your team or hire outside help, take time to define the roles and responsibilities of everyone who is helping you promote your business. This goes for yourself as well.
The best marketing strategies are the ones where everyone knows what they are supposed to do and they feel empowered to handle the tasks assigned to them. Properly defining everyone’s role will give your team (or just you!) the confidence they need to get the job done.
Communication is the key to success in just about any endeavor, and marketing is no exception. A good marketing strategy outlines how your team will communicate with each other to complete all marketing-related tasks. This can be determining where online files are to be stored to selecting a Slack channel for everyone to communicate on.
When you do this, everyone is on the same page and it allows work to get done in a smoother and more efficient way.
BONUS: A Plan To Review Progress
Developing a marketing strategy is a great first step, but it’s only a starting point. To ensure your strategy is working, schedule time to analyze your marketing efforts so you can understand what is and is not working. This will allow you the opportunity to make necessary adjustments while also learning valuable organizational lessons.
Marketing is a necessary part of any successful business. To make the most of your marketing efforts, you have to define what the journey to success for your business looks like. Putting the above elements into play will help you create the backbone of an effective marketing strategy that will become a roadmap for your marketing efforts.