A marketing strategy is like a cake.
You need every single part of it for it to be delicious.
So, if you forget to put the sugar in the cake, it might look great but it is just not going to taste good, is it? Well, that is exactly how you should think of your marketing strategy when it comes to your biz, every element is necessary and brings value to the final product.
Let's talk about the definition of a marketing strategy first.
"A marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services." investopida.com
The game plan of your marketing strategy will define the success of your product, or your service. It is the complete recipe for understanding who are you selling to, what they want, why you are selling to them, where they will buy from you and what you can do for them.
What makes up a marketing strategy?
1. BRAND OVERVIEW
The initial stage of a marketing strategy is to look at who you are as a brand, what you are currently doing, what you want to be doing and where it's working/not working. It's looking at understanding where you are currently and then aligning yourself with your ideal situation.
It is recommended to do a SWOT analysis at this point - A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis. Looking into this will give you a clear picture of where your business thrives, where there is room for improvement, your potential opportunities, and the challenges that you need to overcome.
What are your brand goals? What is working and what needs to change? What value does your product or service offer?
A key thing to remember here is to ensure that your goals and objectives are S.M.A.R.T.:
The overall aim of setting goals and objectives in your marketing strategy is to achieve business targets as seamlessly as possible.
2. TARGET AUDIENCE
Your target audience is the customer who identifies with your brand and uses your products or services. It is vital to establish a clear picture of who your audience is so that you can aim your marketing toward them.
To define who your target audience is, you need to action segmentation, and this falls into four main categories:
Demographic (age, gender, income, marital status, etc.)
Geographic (location, urbanicity, climate, culture, language)
Psychographic (values, likes, dislikes, lifestyles, opinions, etc.)
Behavioural (actions made within a website, in-app, in-store)
You can collect demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural information by looking at online data, creating surveys, comparing analytics, exploring social media followings, and analyzing the current actions of your business.
Once you have successfully segmented your customers' data, it is easy to create an 'ideal customer'. This is one individual person, a buyer persona, that fictionally represents who you are marketing your products to. You identify their age, income, goals, buying patterns, pain points and desires.
Understanding your target audience and identifying an ideal customer will allow you to niche down on your product development, marketing resources, content creation and business direction. It will ensure that your biz attracts those who will find it the most valuable and bring value in return.
3. COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
By taking time to research your competitors, you have the opportunity to understand their behaviours, techniques, and processes. You can analyze where they are succeeding and where they are falling short. In doing so, you can get a clear idea of where you sit in the market compared to others and create a benchmark against which you can measure your business's growth and success.
Understanding who your brand competitors are makes it easier throughout the future of your biz to follow their changes, their failures, and their brand direction, and apply this to make your business stand out against theirs. It's important to use this knowledge to showcase the values that differentiate your brand from theirs, and why your customer should choose you as a preference.
4. MARKETING PLAN
Once you have collated all of your data and understand where you will fit in the market, it's time to put everything into a plan.
Choose your marketing tactics. This is where you establish where you'll be marketing your biz, how you'll be using that platform, how often, and what sort of content. Is it blog articles? Physical ads in newspapers? Sponsored videos?
You will then want to put all of this into a content creation plan. Organising all of your content, media, and copy into one place, and making a plan of how you are going to use it.
It is then important to look at what tools and software you will be using to implement your marketing. You might need something such as Google Analytics to measure web page performance and customer behaviours. Or if your marketing plan includes a lot of social media, it could be beneficial to use a tool like a social media scheduler that can provide analytics to help you keep track of what your audience reacts to.
5. MEASURING & ANALYZING RESULTS
A marketing strategy doesn't stop when you start to implement it. It is an ever-changing, fluid strategy that should be evolved and tweaked in relation to results.
It is crucial to analyze all of the data that your marketing efforts produce. What is your most successful marketing tool and why? Who is seeing your marketing and what are they doing from seeing it? It's the nitty gritty evaluation of all of your analytics, and then applying these to your marketing in the future.
Measuring the impact of your marketing activities gives you the ability to track your success and analyze what you’re doing well and where you need to improve. This ensures you maintain consistent growth and competitive advantage. It also helps to streamline your objectives, keeping them in line with your business goals.
Just remember, the goal of any business is to gain custom. The more effectively you nail your marketing strategy, and therefore market your business, the more your biz will succeed over time!
If you have any questions about marketing or need some help with marketing in your business, I'm here to help!