Your marketing will only ever be as good as the strategy that directs it. Find out what a marketing strategy is, why you need one… and what you really shouldn’t do.
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy defines how you plan to market your products and services to consumers. Your marketing strategy lays out what your objectives are (click here to find out how to identify your marketing objectives) and how you plan to implement them.
What is the purpose of a marketing strategy?
Marketing strategies have many purposes and are a crucial element to any business. Whatever your industry, having a strategy in place enables you to take your marketing to the next level.
For example, your marketing strategy could be designed to achieve:
- Increased sales
- New customers
- The introduction of a new product or service
- Increased market share
- An established brand
- Improved customer loyalty
Why you need a marketing strategy:
1. To sell your products or services
When it comes to selling your existing line of products and services, or newly developed products and services, your marketing is more than just simple price promotion; it’s about understanding the wants and needs of your customers. A marketing strategy can help you create and refine products and services according to your target markets’ demographic and psychographic profile. Using information from market research, will enable you to give your customers what they want depending on how much they are willing to pay. And, almost more importantly; how to promote your product or service in the most appealing way for your audience’s needs, thereby clearly differentiating your business from your competitors.
2. To make your distribution more efficient
Your marketing strategy should also help you define where you need to sell your products and services. Researching and gathering insight into who your target audience is will determine the most effective way for you to distribute your products. For example, if the majority of your customers are young, busy professionals, you may decide that promoting and selling your products online is the most effective distribution plan.
3. To improve your brand awareness
Marketing strategies can also help you develop a plan to expand and improve your brand awareness. Depending on where you are now, and where your marketing and business objectives require you to go will help form your choice of channel, or mix of channels as well as creative approach. Platform choice, as well as activity, can define whether you appear fun and creative or transactional and formal, and can be key in ensuring you are front of mind for your audience in the right place at the right time.
Marketing strategies to avoid:
1. A one size fits all approach
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when creating a marketing strategy is to follow what every other business is doing without looking at their own market dynamics. Failure to adapt marketing strategies to your own market means your marketing won’t be effective.
2. Not tracking results
Marketing is all about the results, without them, you have no way to measure your success. Failing to track your campaign results means you won’t be able to spot what your strengths are, or what you must improve upon. No matter how well planned, marketing will always feature an element of trial and error, so it’s important to review your results to ensure you’re not wasting time and money on campaigns that don’t perform.
3. Only focusing on one thing
Spending your entire budget on just one marketing channel, such as email marketing or print ads, can affect the success of your campaigns, unless you have data to justify your decision. By incorporating multiple marketing channels, your campaign is more likely to reach a wider audience and achieve greater results.
Whilst it is tempting to jump straight in with your marketing, developing a strategic marketing plan helps to guide your marketing activities for long-term sustainable growth. There are so many benefits of incorporating your marketing strategies into the overall business planning process.
If you would like more helpful tips on planning your business, call the Focus7 team for a no obligation chat on 01462 262020, or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.