Don’t leave success to chance! Why your business NEEDS a Marketing Strategy.
2022 has started with a BANG and it feels like, after years of uncertainty for businesses, economic growth *might* just be on the road to recovery.
With the renewed enthusiasm a new year brings, it’s tempting to leap straight into marketing tactics, creative and execution, but this is one of the most common, albeit well-intended, mistakes you can make when it comes to marketing your business.
Refreshing your logo, updating collateral, enhancing your website, posting more frequently on social media, investing in an advertising campaign, or sending more emails are all important marketing activities. And they may deliver some results. But if these well-intentioned activities are not connected to a clear, overarching strategy, results are likely to be patchy, inconsistent and result in wasted time and money.
Maybe you do have a Marketing Strategy lying in your bottom drawer? Unfortunately, after the volatility and uncertainty for the past two years, it’s likely your business – and indeed, the market has undergone significant change, rendering your strategy outdated or even redundant.
Whether you need to sense check that you’re still headed in the right direction or need to start from scratch, the start of a new year (and February really is the new January) is the ideal time to dust off or create a killer Marketing Strategy that will transform your business.
So, what exactly is a Marketing Strategy?
Let’s start with the basics. Your Marketing Strategy should be a structured document outlining how marketing will help achieve your business goals.
It should set out what you’re offering, who your customers are, why they engage with your products or services, and importantly, what makes your business unique.
Ideally, a Marketing Strategy should:
- Describe your company vision and goals
- Profile your target audience and your competition
- Explain your positioning within the marketplace
- Outline the channels that are available to you, fit your budget and will deliver the best result for your business (website, social media, SEO, advertising, PR, etc.)
- Document a timeline for implementation
What are the benefits of having a documented Marketing Strategy?
Your strategy is essentially ‘the why’ behind your marketing efforts, whereas the Marketing Plan is the roadmap for executing the tactics and campaigns that will bring your strategy to life.
Both are important, but your strategy should come first to anchor your plan back to your business’s core goals and allow you to measure ROI on marketing spend. Because let’s face it if your marketing activities aren’t delivering a net-positive result, why are you doing them?
Still not convinced you need to invest the time and effort documenting a strategy? Here are three compelling reasons you can’t afford to leave your marketing to luck alone!
Reason #1 Stop spending money on the wrong things
Without a clear strategy in place, it’s tempting to spend money here and there on one-off campaigns. Marketers are rarely short of bright, creative ideas and there’s always a new platform that promises to deliver results!
More often than not, this scattergun approach will disappoint, resulting in wasted time and money and inconsistent branding in the market, confusing potential customers.
Having a defined Marketing Strategy prevents this kind of wasted effort by ensuring every campaign is aligned to your overall business objectives and brand, and there is a clear set of metrics against which to measure success.
Reason #2: Better customer connection = increased sales
Building a trusted brand is the pinnacle of successful marketing and requires consistent, regular and compelling messaging that connects with potential customers, ultimately driving sales for your business.
From your brand’s strapline to your Instagram hashtags, every marketing tactic deployed should be relevant and interesting to your target audience – but how do you know what will resonate?
By developing a detailed marketing strategy, you will flesh out a detailed picture of your target audience or audiences; who they are, what they do, what excites them, which pain points and benefits will be most compelling. These customer insights will help guide your creative messaging and will be the first step to understanding where to find customers and engage them.
Reason #3: Set objectives and measure ROI
Without clear direction, winning marketing results can be sporadic and unpredictable. You might see some positive results, but without clear goals, it’s impossible to measure your ROI. For example, if you may invest in a Facebook campaign and see high click-through rates but without connecting these results to a business goal (i.e., conversion through the sales pipeline), these may be costly vanity metrics.
By focusing your marketing activities on pre-defined objectives, you can consistently refer back to those measures in order to track and refine your activities. For example, if your goal is to increase your basket spend, then you’ll want to know which of your marketing activities are driving customers to add more items to their shopping carts versus those initiatives that are resulting in cart abandonment or single-item purchases only.
Great marketing results don’t happen by chance.
A Marketing Strategy helps to ensure that you are targeting the right people with appealing content. After all, it’s better to know you’re right rather than hope you’re not wrong!
Need some help developing a Marketing Strategy for your business? Reach out.