Creating an effective marketing strategy isn’t an easy task. There are so many different aspects to consider like customers, products, budgets, and goals.
However, an effective marketing strategy doesn’t have to be as difficult. In this article, we’ve outlined the considerations needed for a marketing strategy as well as the action steps to get started.
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is an overall plan for reaching out to customers. However, this simple definition doesn’t serve the marketing strategy justice.
A marketing strategy can be a straightforward plan, but there is a lot to be considered when putting one into place.
Why do I need a marketing strategy?
Every business needs to have a marketing strategy. Setting up marketing ideas and putting them into place can be a quick way to lose money and have a failed plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to plan, you are planning to fail”.
Here are a few reasons to plan your marketing strategy.
Know your customers
Creating an effective marketing strategy will give you a deep understanding of your customers. The more information you know about your target audience the better marketing ideas you can come up with.
Marketing to a specific group of people you’ll be able to better position your product for the ideal customer.
Maintain a budget
Marketing strategies can be expensive. Spending money and hoping for the best isn’t a good way to run your marketing budget and strategy.
By gaining more information about the marketing channels you want to run on and all the costs associated with the campaign you can have an ideal budget you’ll spend.
Keep the focus on goals
Without a marketing strategy, it means you’re thinking of the next steps on the go, however, this can lead to a non-successful campaign.
Team members can lose track of tasks and go off-topic or the campaign can lead somewhere else. Having a marketing strategy in place gives all team members or even if it’s just one person a clear pathway to success so they know the marketing efforts needed.
How to create an effective marketing strategy?
To get started with your very own marketing strategy we’ve put together some steps you can take.
Each marketing team may look at these steps differently, but they can be used as a guideline for creating your own.
Step 1: Goals
Goals need to be a part of your strategy. Without a goal, you don’t know what is success. Your goal will depend on the product offered to the customers.
Coming up with a goal will create the foundation for building your marketing strategy to success.
Step 2: Marketing Analysis
Marketing analysis will help you determine how the market is operating. It’s also a chance for you to look internally and compare your product to competitors.
Marketing analysis will give you a real insight into how your product will perform in the market.
A type of marketing analysis is SWOT. It stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Creating your own SWOT analysis it can stand as an overall tool for developing your strategy.
Step 3: Customers
Every successful marketing strategy stems from knowing your customer. The better you know your customer the easier it is to sell to them.
By knowing their needs and wants, you can highlight your product in the best way possible.
Knowing your customers is also going to help you with your marketing budget. By targeting your ideal customers you’ll be only speaking to one group of people.
However, by marketing to everyone you will most likely not have a strong enough ad to speak to your ideal customer or sway new ones.
Step 4. Product
Knowing your product is next on the list. Your product is your lifeline with a marketing strategy. At the end of the day, you need to have a good product.
However, you most likely have a product you are proud of and are ready to take to market.
The challenge now is figuring out where the product stands in the market. This will help you understand the product, price, promotion and place. Otherwise, known as the 4 Ps of marketing.
Diving deep into the 4 Ps will help you position your product in the best way possible to understand your product in the market.
Step 5: Techniques
Now, once you have all the research done like the SWOT analysis, customer information, and product market information, you can start looking at strategies.
Everything you’ve done up until this point will make things more clear for techniques. Each technique will depend on your product, customer, and the current market.
There are plenty of techniques out there such as social media marketing, content marketing, paid ads, influencer marketing, and the list goes on. The most effective marketing technique is the one that’s in line with your research.
For further planning outside of marketing check out our article “Guide to sales and operations planning“.
Step 6: Budget
Budgeting is going to be an essential step for a strategy and overall marketing effectiveness.
Marketing expenditure can be quite expensive so knowing your limits can help you stay on track. It can also help you understand your ROI for each technique you want to implement.
Actions steps for a successful strategy
As we mentioned above how to create an effective marketing strategy, the next part is being able to put into actionable steps, otherwise known as your marketing plan.
Here are the steps you need to take action on.
Determine how you reach customers
After the strategy has been completed, you’ll know exactly the customers you’re trying to reach. The next step here is to decide how you’ll reach those customers.
Is it worth digital marketing? Like paid ads on Google or social media or is it through blog posts? On the other hand, are you going with print media? These are things you need to consider next.
Create marketing materials
After you know whom you’re reaching out to you’ll need to figure out all the marketing materials you need for content.
This could be videos, blogs, posters and anything else you need depending on your medium for marketing. It’s important here to always stick with your brand guidelines and tones as you want to always match your brand.
Set up metrics and goals
After you have taken the steps to determine the content needed to reach customers the next step is creating metrics in line with your goals.
You need to understand what we’ll make your strategy successful. Is it 200 sign-ups? More increased website traffic? This comes down to what you want to achiev
After everything has been thought out and planned it’s time to launch your strategy. Although this could be nerve-wracking, it’s an exciting time.
We’ll also mention each strategy you create is a chance to learn and improve on the next one. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done this 20 times or never before, you’ll learn each time you do this.
Get started with your marketing strategy today.