Do you know that a Marketing Strategy is an important part of your business?
A marketing strategy helps to nurture your customers, improve the bottom line of your business, and increase the ROI of your efforts.
Moreover, it is a game plan for your business for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of your products or services.
These should revolve around the value proposition of your company.
It is important to note that the final goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies.
With a clear marketing strategy, you can communicate to consumers what your company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business.
This will provide your marketing team templates that should inform their initiatives across all the products and services of the company.
Keep on reading.
A marketing strategy is a detailed, structured plan of the promotional efforts of your company across a wide range of platforms and channels.
Moreover, a marketing strategy often includes objectives, target audience profiles, content creation steps, key performance indicators, and other components.
It is important to note that a marketing strategy will:
- align your team to certain goals
- help you tie your efforts to business objectives
- allows you to identify and test what will resonate with your target audience
- empower you to capitalize on emerging trends
The last one is particularly important for this coming year.
Keeping up with the marketing trends is important for your strategy, however, it can be a full-time job.
Because in one year alone, you have seen a major shift to short-video content, the rise, and fall of new platforms, i.e. looking at you, Meta, and the continuing impact of the global pandemic.
In short, what worked for your marketing strategy in the past may not work for your today.
In order to succeed in this fast-paced marketing world, and maintain a sense of relevance with your audience, it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve.
Learn more about Video Marketing: Your Ultimate Guide here.
Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan
It is important to note that you outline a marketing strategy in the marketing plan.
A marketing plan is a document that details the specific types of marketing activities that your company will conduct.
Moreover, it contains timetables for rolling out a number of marketing initiatives.
Marketing strategies in ideal cases, tend to have longer life spans than individual marketing plans.
This is because they contain value propositions and other key elements of the brand of a company, which often hold constant over a long time.
In simple terms, a marketing strategy will cover big-picture messaging.
While marketing plans will delineate the logistical details of specific campaigns.
For instance, a marketing strategy may say that a company aims to increase authority in niche circles where their clients visit.
While the marketing plan puts that into action by commissioning leadership pieces on social media platforms like LinkedIn.
Benefits of Marketing Strategy
The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies.
It will do so by understanding the needs and wants of its consumers.
Whether it is a print ad design, mass customization, or a social media campaign, a marketing asset can be judged based on how effectively it communicates your business’s core value proposition.
Moreover, you can use market research.
It will help you chart the efficacy of a given campaign and can help identify the untapped audience to achieve bottom-line goals and increase sales.
Components of a Marketing Strategy
The components of a marketing strategy are:
- 4Ps of marketing, i.e. marketing mix
- marketing objectives
- marketing budget
- competitive analysis
- segmentation, targeting, and positioning
- content creation
- metrics and key performance indicators
Let’s discuss them as follows:
The marketing mix also known as 4Ps of the marketing is the preliminary document you will need to create to understand what you will be marketing, where you will be marketing, and how you will be marketing it.
The following are the P’s that make up this framework:
- Product: What you are selling?
- Price: What is the price?
- Place: Where you will be selling the product?
- Promotion: Where you will be promoting the product?
You can then use this information and turn this marketing plan for each promotional channel.
Moreover, it is important to lay out the information in broad strokes so that you are able to understand the overall direction of your marketing strategy.
You can set your marketing objectives along with your 4Ps or right after.
Either way, you will need to outline your marketing goals before building upon your strategy.
Because your goals will inform other components of the plant, including the budget and content creation process.
Moreover, with every objective, you should aim to be as specific as possible.
Try to create SMART marketing goals that are divided by channel or promotional tactic.
And do not forget you can always come back and revise your goals as your priorities change.
This one is an important element of your strategy.
Without allocating funds to hiring the right talent, using the right software, advertising on the right channels, and creating the right content, your marketing strategy will not have a powerful impact.
Moreover, to get a high return on investment, you must first invest.
It is important to remember that you can always start small.
Hyper-focusing on your budget with one or two efforts, and build upon them once you generate an ROI.
Understanding your competition is the key when creating a marketing strategy.
Otherwise, you risk ‘yelling into the void’ without measurable results.
Worse, you will not know whether you are differentiating yourself enough from the competition and effectively drawing the attention of your target audience.
Moreover, you may already have an idea of who your competitors are.
However, it is important to sit down and identify them.
You may end up uncovering a surprise competitor who is vying for your target buyer’s attention and engagement.
Learn more about SEO Competitor Analysis using SEMRush here.
Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
Segmentation, Targeting, and positioning, STP refers to the process of delivering ‘more relevant, personalized messages to the target audience’.
In simple words, rather than publishing posts and advertisements on a whim, you can go through a methodical process for creating content that resonates with your target buyer.
During the STP process, you will take three steps:
Identify your Target Audience: This process will not only entail interviewing your current customers but also carrying out market research and creating a buyer persona.
Target a segment of your Target Audience: It is best to speak to a narrow group of highly qualified buyers than to send a message to everyone.
Position your Brand Relative to other Brands: What do you intend to do better than your competitors?
It is important to map this information when creating a marketing strategy.
After outlining your budget, competitive outlook, and STP information, it is time to take the most crucial step: creating your marketing content.
However, it is important to undertake this effort strategically.
First, you do not want to publish random content that does not solve for the customer.
Second, you will need to aim to capitalize on emerging trends so that your brand enjoys high visibility in the marketplace.
It is important to note that the competition is fierce across all formats.
Of these, it is important to note that a video has the highest ROI.
Moreover, it is even more important to invest in trends that have a high ROI like short-form videos, influencer marketing, and social media DMs.
However, this does not mean that you should not invest in blogging.
It is one of the most proven content marketing techniques and it is important to know where you allot the most resources.
Metrics, Key Performance Indicators, KPIs
Lastly, your marketing strategy must include metrics and key performance indicators.
These will help understand how well your strategies are working.
The KPIs you will choose tend to vary depending on your business type and preferred customer acquisition channels.
Examples of KPIs are:
Now let’s get into the details of the steps of marketing strategy:
7 Steps of a Marketing Strategy
These steps include:
- building a marketing plan
- creating a buyer persona
- identify goals
- selecting the appropriate tools
- reviewing your media
- auditing and planning media campaigns
- bringing it to fruition
Keep on reading:
Build a Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan tends to provide an overview of the reasons why your marketing team will need certain resources, take certain actions, and set certain goals over the year.
Moreover, your marketing plan is the specific action you will take to achieve that strategy.
With the right template, you can build a marketing plan that identifies your budget for the year, the initiatives your marketing organization will need to tackle, and the marketing channels you will use to implement those initiatives.
Furthermore, it will tie everything back to a business summary.
Therefore, keep it aligned with overarching company goals.
Create Buyer Personas
If you are unable to define who your target audience is in one sentence, now is your chance to do so.
A buyer persona is a snapshot of who your ideal customer is.
For instance, a store like Macy’s can define a buyer persona as budgeting Belinda, a stylish working-class woman in her 30s living in a suburb, looking to fill her closet with designers at low prices.
Moreover, buyers’ persona has critical demographic and psychographic information.
This includes age, job title, income, location, interests, and challenges.
You do not have to create your buyer persona with a pen and paper.
You can use platforms like Versium to help you identify, understand and reach your target audience through data and artificial intelligence.
Buyer personas should be at the core of building your strategy.
Identify your Goals
It is important to note that your marketing strategy should reflect your business goals.
For instance, if one of your business goals is to have 150 people attend your annual conference in three months, your goal as a marketer should be along the lines of boosting online registration by 10% at the end of the month.
Other marketing goals may help to increase brand awareness or generate high-quality leads.
You may also want to grow or maintain thought leadership in your industry or increase customer value.
Whatever your goals are, identify what they are and how your marketing organization can work to get them over the next year.
Select the Appropriate Tools
After you identify your goals, you will need to make sure that you have the right tools to measure the success of these goals.
Online software like social media schedulers gives you analytics to help your track what your audience likes and doesn’t.
On the other hand, you can consider using Google Analytics to measure blog and web page performance.
Moreover, make your goals SMART.
Some other tools that can help you track and measure the success of your marketing goals are:
- HubSpot marketing hub
- True North
- Crazy Egg
Review your Media
You will need to decide what you already have that can help you create a strategy.
To streamline this process, think of the assets in three categories:
Paid Media means any channels you will spend money on to attract your target audience.
This includes offline channels like television, direct mail, and billboard to online channels like social media, search engines, and websites.
Owned media refer to any media your marketing team will need to create like pictures, videos, podcasts, ebooks, infographics, etc.
Earned Media is another way to user-generated content.
Shares on social media, tweets about your business, and photos posted on Instagram mentioning your brand are all examples.
You will need to gather your materials in each media type and combine them in one location to have a clear vision of what you have.
And how you can integrate them to maximize your strategy.
Audit and Plan Media Campaigns
You will need to focus on your own media and marketing goals.
For instance, will updating your CTAs at the end of the blog posts help you increase RSVPs to your event?
Then look at your buyer personas.
Finally, you will need to create a content creation plan.
This should include topic clusters, goals, format, and channels for each piece of content.
Make sure to include which challenge it is solving for your buyer persona.
Bring it to Fruition
At this point, you will be able to visualize how you will execute your strategy and by which terms.
The final step is to bring that all together and assign actions to your plan.
Create a document that maps out the steps you will need to take to execute your campaign.
In simple words, define your strategy.
Think long-term when creating this document.
A standard strategy document is 12 months and this structured timeline should be the home base of your strategic marketing efforts.
Moreover, it is important to remember that your digital strategy is unique to your business so that document should be as well.
As long as the strategy includes the prominent details outlined in previous sections, you will be set.
To Sum Up
The final goal is to create a marketing strategy that is not something that will happen overnight.
It will take time, hard work, and dedication to make sure you are reaching your ideal audience, whenever and wherever they want to be reached.
Make sure to stick with it and use some of the resources and over time, research, and customer feedback will help you refine your strategy to make sure you are spending most of your time on the marketing channels your audience cares most about.