According to Bob Hoffman, “Without strategy and planning, marketing is useless.” This is a belief shared by all marketers in which businesses cannot move forward in the right direction without careful preparation and tactical approach. Subsequently, this is where developing a marketing strategy is essential – a practical research methodology that can provide guidance in terms of focus and direction for marketers, marketing consultants, and businesses alike with informed decision-making comes into play.
A marketing strategy provides a roadmap to enhance reputation, engage with customers effectively and persuade potential customers on the unique value of a business through identified key messaging.
Here are five steps to develop your marketing strategy easily:
Initiate a situational analysis – An internal look into yourself
Before looking at practical advances and the manner of execution, research must be the priority in order to truly understand the foundation and situation of your business.
Primarily, characterizing your business altogether, the products or services you provide, the customers you pay attention to, also identifying the unique value proposition which positively differentiates yourself from your competition. This would be regarded as a “situation analysis”.
Effective situational analysis requires a SWOT analysis which is the summation of the business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Specifically, the strengths and weaknesses indicate the attributes that are currently present within your business, whereas the opportunities and threats belong to outside elements.
Outline the marketing objectives and sales you want to achieve
The marketing objectives and the number of sales are interconnected aspirations for a business to achieve. Marketing consultants along with businesses should document the range and the expectancy of these outlined objectives within a short to a long-term period of time.
Your marketing objectives should be concentrated internally or externally varying on your situation. These objectives should be written in the SMART format to safeguard responsibility. SMART comprises of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bounded. These marketing objectives should facilitate improvement in sales.
Recognize and understand your target audience
Target audience is the specialized segmentation of your ideal niche market with the intention to position your product or service competitively. Identifying your target audience is a wide-ranging process of asking the right questions where marketing consultants need to recognize the underlying desires, challenges, and expectations of an ideal customer to know them better.
As a business or a marketing consultant, you need to be conscious of your target audience’s daily lives and how those concerns can be answered all through your products or services. To meet these client assessments involves the utilization of buyer personas. Buyer personas are depictions of your ideal client centered on demographic information, online behavior also speculated motivations and apprehensions that make them who they are.
Nevertheless, to effectively distinguish your constructed target audience for in-depth insights, attempt to narrowly characterize the meaning of your ideal customer within your marketing strategy.
Evaluation and implementation of marketing tactics
In the preceding segments of the marketing strategy, you have pinpointed the customers you are targeting, and what you can provide as a business. As a result, you must feature the marketing tactics you will implement in order to connect with your customers and reach the marketing objectives you want to achieve. The listed marketing tactics should compromise with the allowance of your budget and how much you are willing to spend. Examples of these marketing activities may comprise of:
- Paid marketing: television, print and online publications, websites
- Publicity: press releases, testimonials, and referrals
- Sponsorships: community events, local charities, sport endorsements
- Promotions: direct mailings, coupons, sales, point of purchase displays
The marketing tactics you decide on should reach your ideal customer when they are highly interested in your message.
Assessing the implications of your marketing strategy approach
Determine which marketing tactics are useful and modify your marketing strategy development. The best way to achieve this is through moderated feedback. By asking existing customers about the impact of your business and pursuing which marketing activities were most effective and generated the most sales.