WRITING MARKETING STRATEGY AND TACTICS THAT WIN BUSINESS
Here are the parts to a marketing strategy you’ll need to get a grip on your position in the market.
I’ve noticed people tend to think in very tactical terms when it comes to their marketing and advertising efforts. If you want to win in business, it’s not good enough to keep up with your competitors, you need a functional marketing strategy in place that will enable you to take firm steps moving forward to win, thrive and ideally dominate.
People search for the tactic they think will help their business grow the quickest. They’ll type “press release for my business”, or “help with social media”. When you’re always coming from a tactical place, you often lack substance in your execution. It’s the equivalent of making a chess move without taking a minute to map your position and think several steps ahead.
Below I’ve outlined the parts to a marketing strategy you’ll need to get a grip on your position in the market, what your clients really want and need and start making better decisions for your business moving forward! In this insta-world we are living in, it can be tempting to desire something and then want it NOW. We’ve walked away from tons of business because the client wanted it “now” and had zero regard for strategy, form or structure. The problem with this insta-approach is that long-term it’s a recipe for disaster.
One of the key branding pieces we excel at doing is preparing comprehensive Marketing Strategies that help our clients step forward into the market on solid footing. When you have a good marketing strategy in place, you eliminate words like “we tried this” and “we tried that” from your vocabulary. The investment that you make upfront pales in comparison to the thousands of dollars you’re more likely to waste in failed initiatives from not having a strategy in the first place. I’m talking logo redo’s, printing redo’s … it’s a nightmare and I’ve seen it.
What is a marketing strategy? A marketing strategy is a strategic marketing plan that takes a high-level view of your goals, your position in the market, your target audience and competitive landscape. It informs the creation and execution of all the specific marketing elements you’ll need to implement to reach your business goals.
Here’s how you do it:
An effective marketing strategy starts with introspection. You must revisit the vision for your company, take inventory of your business goals, and determine what it is specifically that you are trying to accomplish.
Then you must take a deep dive into your environment to profoundly understand your business in relation to your industry, your customers, and your competitors. Explore the opportunities and threats that might advance or hinder your success and face up to your own company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Interview Past Customers:
Conducting interviews of past clients is crucial to really help you see the whole picture. You must interview your satisfied clients, past disgruntled clients and those that were neutral (the ones that seemed happy but left and never came back). This is probably the most insightful part of this process. It’s difficult and awkward to make these interviews yourself, which is why it’s helpful to hire an outside partner, like us, to help do it for you.
As you go through this process, keep a running list of marketing keywords that relate to your industry (you’ll need this later when you go to execute your online and social media presence) as well as any random marketing ideas that pop-up as you’re diving deep in your research. We’ve sourced the best marketing ideas from interviews. If you give your customers a chance, they’ll tell you exactly what they need and want from you to earn their loyalty!
Build Your Annual Media Plan:
From all that research, every aspect of your marketing activities should come into sharp focus. It should be clear what sets you apart, who your target audience is, what their needs, wants and frustrations are and how your product or service addresses your client’s issues. You can now map the customer journey and use your target audience persona profiles to create a brand experiences across multiple touch-points that positively influences your target’s perception of your brand to create brand loyalty and a tribe of devoted followers.
At this stage, if you have a good understanding of all the different media communication vehicles available to you, then you’ll know what to expect and what not to expect from each. You should able to build a solid annual integrated media plan that will consistently deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time.
However, there’s one last big caveat, which is budget. Your budget determines how deep you can go with your initiatives. Again, this is where it’s more than worth it to hire a firm like ours to help you prioritize. There’s so many options out there and new technology is coming out daily. That’s why when you partner with an agency, you get to become aware of the latest, most efficient ways to accomplish your goals.
One last little detail … when we’ve completed marketing strategies for clients, we’ve often discovered opportunities our clients might have totally overlooked, and we’ve always found ways to improve internal processes and systems to deliver a better customer experience. We’ve often been told we should add “operations consulting” to our line of services. We love over-delivering and making lasting positive changes in our client’s business. I hope you’re into over-delivering to your clients on value too!
Speaking of over-delivering, we’re going to be hosting a free webinar this month on building your own marketing strategy where we’ll be able to go much deeper into detail than we could in this high-level article.
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