A marketing strategy is an indispensable tool for marketers. It provides a roadmap for us to follow and prevents us from getting lost or stuck during our marketing efforts. Done right it will act as a compass directing as to who to target, how to reach them, what to say, and when to say it. A detailed, well-thought out marketing strategy provides the groundwork for marketers to promote their businesses much more efficiently and effectively.
Without a marketing strategy you will most likely end up lost; either end up publishing content with no purpose or not putting out the information your audience needs. Either situation will result in marketing failure.
Six Steps to Develop Your Marketing Strategy
The below steps will start you on the path to developing a successful marketing strategy.:
- List your goals and resources – Think of implementing a marketing strategy like you would planning a vacation. The first thing you decide upon is a destination, right? Otherwise how would you plan on your mode of transportation, what to pack, or how much money you need to save up. When you develop a marketing strategy listing your marketing is like selecting a vacation destination. Your goals are where you want to be. They act as a waypoint on the map with your strategy guiding you to how to reach it. Your resources help you understand HOW you will make the trip.
- State your why – Your why is two-fold. First this is your reason for being in business. Let people inside and outside your organization know why you are in business. Allow them to see and feel your passion for the industry you are in. Second, why should someone do business with you? Let people know why you stand out amongst your competition. What about you and your business is unique that people should ignore other options and choose you?
- Define your target audience – This one should be easy. Your target audience is who you should focus on attracting. These are the people whose pain points you can most directly solve. Know who they are and where they get their information. This will help you determine how to reach them and what sorts of content will get their attention.
- Research the competition -For marketing purposes, you want to be more focused than you would when research your competition for a business plan. Sure you want to know what others in your industry are offering and what they are charging, but that should be done some place else. For marketing you want to understand what marketing channels they are using, who are they targeting and what sorts of content are they publishing. Is there an opportunity to take advantage of a customer segment not being targeted or is there something you would like to emulate? How about avoid? Taking a peek at what your competition is doing with their marketing efforts will give you valuable insight on what you can do with yours.
- Determine which marketing platforms to use – This will largely be informed by who your target audience is and where they get their information. From email, TV, social media? If from social media, which is their preferred platform. The marketing channel will also inform the types of content you develop and publish.
- Outline when to post your messaging – This is your marketing calendar, something we have posted about before. A marketing calendar is probably the most useful tool a marketer has to help them implement and manage their marketing strategy. A calendar outlines your marketing activities by detailing what content you are publishing to which platforms and when. This helps you manage developing and publishing content. It can also serve to help you keep track of your marketing performance.
Developing a marketing strategy can be difficult and time consuming. But it is a necessary part of a successful marketing campaign. Beacon Marketing has developed a marketing kit which will walk you through developing a customized marketing strategy designed to meet the unique needs of your business. Click here to learn more about The Definitive Marketing Strategy Guide!