Marketing plays a vital role in the success of a business. A marketing strategy allows a business to determine what should and shouldn’t be done in order to promote products and services in the best way possible. When your business has a strong marketing strategy, it’ll be easier for you to come up with necessary techniques and approaches in reaching a specific marketing goal since the objectives, budget, and accountability are already laid out. However, creating a marketing strategy just for the sake of having one will not guarantee any positive results. For your business to thrive and grow over time, it should have a well-researched and coherent marketing strategy.
Aside from considering the trends in the market, demands of your target audience, and strategies used by the competition, it’s also important that you train someone to create a marketing strategy specifically for your business. When you’re a business owner, you need to have the longevity to guarantee the long-term benefits of your efforts.
By considering the points below, you’ll be able to produce a template that can help another individual create a marketing strategy:
1. Define your business goals
Having a marketing strategy without clearly-defined goals is like driving in the middle of nowhere – you don’t have any idea where you’re going or when you’ll actually stop. In the business context, situations like these can only lead to wastage of time, money and other resources. Defining your business goals should always be on top of your to-do list when creating a marketing strategy. Your business goals and marketing strategies should be in line with each other. Once you have your goals and objectives in place, it’ll be easier for you to assess what needs to be done with your marketing strategy and how these strategies can be implemented and measured.
If you’re creating a marketing strategy for the first time, your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound).
Some examples of SMART goals are as follows:
- Triple revenue by acquiring new distribution channels in three years
- Increase the number of sales by at least 35% by the end of the year
- Increase customer base by at least 50% by utilizing social media marketing
2. Conduct a marketing SWOT and set your goals and budget
Your marketing strategy shouldn’t only consider your business’s internal processes, employees and available resources. It should also look into several other external factors as these can affect the effectivity of your marketing strategy. You want your marketing strategy to provide a consistent flow of leads for your business while satisfying your current customers even if you have a limited budget.
You can achieve all of these things by generating a marketing strategy that is aligned with your business goals.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Conduct a SWOT analysis of your business’s current marketing strategies. Assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of these marketing strategies while paying attention to your target audience, market position, marketing mediums used, and the maturity of your products and services. This information can help you determine which areas of your existing marketing strategy should be improved and which ones should be retained.
- Determine five SMART goals for the next twelve months. Anything more than five can be too overwhelming and can compromise the quality of your marketing efforts.
- Since your marketing strategy will entail financial resources from your business, determine where these resources will come from and how much your budget is. A general rule you can follow is to allocate 4%–12% of your gross revenue for your marketing efforts.
3. Define your target audience
Although it can be tempting to promote your products and services to all of the people in the world, it’s not efficient and doesn’t guarantee any positive results. Keep in mind that one marketing strategy doesn’t fit everyone. So if you’re reaching out to different target audiences with the hopes of enticing all of them to become your customers by using the same marketing strategy, you’ll never achieve the goals you’ve set. You’ll just exert your efforts into something that will not benefit your business.
Defining your business’s target audience can save you from situations like these. When you know who your target audience is, you’ll know what they want and how you can satisfy these wants. For example, if you’re selling perfumes for young professionals, you’d know that the best marketing medium to use for them is social media. Since young adults often spend their time on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you’ll have better chances of gaining new customers when you utilize this platform for your marketing. You can also make use of other resources such as Journal Review – course to know what kind of marketing strategy best fits a particular target audience.
4. Create your execution plan
Now that you already know what to do and how much you are going to spend on your business’s marketing strategy, you should come up with an execution plan. The most effective way to do this is by implementing a campaign structure. You can think of these campaigns as buckets of activities that are centered on one common goal or theme. These campaigns can be considered as your short-term goals or milestones for your marketing strategy.
Since you only have limited time and budget, these campaigns allow you to see the bigger picture of your marketing strategy. You’ll determine which tasks should be prioritized and which ones can be secondary. This will ensure that you’ll be able to effectively manage all the tasks on your plate without sacrificing the quality and other aspects of the business.
5. Organize and Measure
The last step in creating a marketing strategy is by determining the timeframe of when you would want to see results, defining a person’s marketing role, and documenting the expected ROI from your marketing strategy. The business’s pace, environment, and structure can affect these factors; that’s why you should regularly check these at least every quarter. If you think you need to stretch your timeframe because of the trends evolving in the market, go ahead and make adjustments. Doing this allows optimal use of resources to gain higher profitability.
When it comes to measurement, opt to use a marketing dashboard feature that contains different metrics applicable to your business’ marketing strategy. Most often than not, these metrics will include leads and your campaign KPIs. This dashboard can help you determine the progress you’re making in achieving your business’ marketing success.
Preparation Is Key
A marketing plan can impact the amount of success a business can attain in the future. If you want your business to thrive and succeed in the long run, make sure that you’re teaching your assigned staff on how to create and implement a marketing strategy. This guarantees that your business will continually stand out in the market, regardless of the internal and external changes that may take place.