A Marketing Strategy is crucial to business success. Without one, your marketing activity will lack direction, and you may waste valuable time and money by pursuing the wrong marketing choices.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A Marketing Strategy is a working document that influences all your marketing decisions. It is the foundation to all marketing activity and is the place where you set goals and state how you’ll achieve them.
A Marketing Strategy keeps you focused on your target customer and informs the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure your success.
Reviewed regularly, it is the plan that maintains direction and keeps your marketing team accountable.
What Should a Marketing Strategy Contain?
A Marketing Strategy should be specific and targeted to guide your everyday marketing activities. Start with the top-level information and add the detail – the more the better. Your strategy should outline plans for a whole year, but should be reviewed every three months as you discover the successes and learn what works for your brand.
Despite being crucial to business success, creating a Marketing Strategy can seem a little daunting, and some businesses may try to put it off.
Seize the moment and follow my step-by-step guide to create a Marketing Strategy for growth and success.
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step-by-Step Guide
1. Define your Business Goals
First, you need to know your aims. How do you want your business to grow? Maybe you want to raise brand awareness, increase sales or improve lead generation?
When you know your aim, define the change you want to see. For example, “Grow my Instagram followers by 50%,” “Increase sales to £xx,” or “Generate 10 times more leads per month.”
2. Plan your Business Logistics
Who will implement the strategy? If you’re a solopreneur, that means you. For larger businesses it could be a team member. Defining who will implement the strategy is crucial: without knowing this, your plans won’t happen.
If finding the right resource in-house proves difficult, outsourcing the implementation to a specialist Digital Marketing Agency like Coleman Hammond will take the stress out of digital marketing, allowing you to get on with what you do best.
3. Define your Audience
Ensure your target audience has a clear identity. Start by creating three avatars for your brand; your ‘dream customers’. Give each an identity, then define their demographics, interests and, most importantly, pain points. What problems are they facing that your business can solve for them right now?
For example, if your company offers stone flooring, your potential customers could be,
- the homeowner purchasing flooring solutions,
- the interior designer creating bespoke living spaces, or
- the property developer seeking a luxury finish for new builds.
Each avatar will be targeted differently, and your marketing strategy should be tailored to reflect this.
Remember, this approach works for both B2B and B2C, because businesses are run by people. Ensure you know who you’re targeting within a business: this will be the person responsible for making decisions. Perhaps this is the Finance Director, or someone else in the organisation
4. Create a Content Strategy
Work out which marketing channels best match your target audience. Does your target like social media, or prefer email? Do they use search engines? Do they read blogs?
Pick two channels that your ideal personas most use and brainstorm content ideas. Create a content calendar to give a clear schedule of what you will publish, when, and to which avatar it is targeted. Most content can be repurposed for other channels, bringing extra value to your efforts.
Social media is likely to form part of your strategy. Work out the best place to focus activity by taking a look at my post How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform for your Business [link to blog post]
5. Put your Plans into Action
Implement your Marketing Strategy through the marketing channels you have chosen. This could be email marketing, website and social media – whatever your strategy dictates.
6. Measure Success
You need to know whether your activity is working. Is your content engaging your target audience? Are your Calls to Action (CTAs) getting results?
Define your KPIs and monitor accordingly. This could be impressions, reach, click-through, bounce rate, follower numbers, depending on what fits with your aims. Check and document your results regularly, weekly or monthly, and create a report to understand performance and inform your future strategy.
Every three months review your successes against your overall goals and KPIs to direct your marketing strategy for the next period. A review phase is an opportunity to include new products and services as your business grows and evolves.
The Secret to the Best Marketing Strategy
The key to a successful Marketing Strategy is to keep your target customer in mind with every piece of content. Ask yourself: which target customer does this appeal to? If no one, then change it.
Creating a successful Marketing Strategy can be a matter of trial and error. Save yourself time, money and stress by gaining from the years of industry experience held by Coleman Hammond. We keep up with the rapidly changing world for you.
Find out how our expertise will grow your business, get in touch today [link to contact] to let us take care of your Marketing Strategy.