Marketing has gotten a reputation as something that can be done easily and that doesn’t require a lot of forethought to execute. Boy, is that all wrong.
With trends and changes in digital marketing popping up almost daily, keeping up with what people should even know could be a 40+ hour a week job by itself – all without the other heavy lifting that goes into being a marketing professional and crafting compelling messages that create awareness, connection and tell your story.
Algorithms change, trends change, and digital marketing tactics change constantly – and it’s hard to keep up to speed with what is working, what innovation means in marketing, and the most important thing – what trends and ideas aren’t worth exploring for your business and industry.
But being able to ebb and flow, incorporate new ideas, and test out new mediums for talking to your audience is easier to deploy and test if you have a strong Marketing Strategy in place already.
Don’t wait too long to either create a solid Marketing Strategy, or audit and beef up an existing one. It’s the most important roadmap you can have to outline your goals, strategy, messaging, ideal client, and so much more. Marketing Strategies are truly the “training plan” you create to help you punch above your weight class and connect with your audience by telling your story.
What are the 3 reasons you need a Marketing Strategy?
#1: It gives you a guide that your entire team can use.
The biggest reason why we say it’s so important to have a Marketing Strategy is because you can provide your team a guide to help them do more with marketing and keep the reason why you are doing what you are doing at the top of their mind.
A marketing strategy is in place to outline the who, what, why, how, and where you’ll continuously talk to your customers. If you and your team don’t know who they are talking to, what the goal is, and where they’ll connect to them it’s so hard to keep everyone aligned and clear on what your team should and should not be doing.
Marketing Strategies provide clarity on vision and missions, outline ideal customers and their pain points, and can be a document that really enables and uncovers leadership in your team. They can see everything and take ownership of their projects and work to uncover new methods to connect with your ideal customers.
Standing up your marketing into a Marketing Strategy brings it all to life and makes it easier to visualize how you’ll deploy and sustain the marketing objectives. Generally, we suggest creating and/or auditing and adjusting your marketing plan every 12 – 18 months. This gives you enough time to see what works and not and provides clarity in where you need to pivot and what you can double down on.
#2: It provides clarity on who your intended audience is – and what they care about.
A comprehensive Marketing Strategy will help you become really clear about your ideal audience and how your message connects best with them. When you have a business, or scale it in any capacity, brute force often works to find and connect with new people… but what if there was a way to make growing your business and brand easier?
Spending time to understand and clarify your customer avatar, or buyer persona, can really provide clarity to you and your message. This then translates to a smoother and more agile marketing strategy.
Just think – if you know what your ideal customer likes to do, what their pain points are, where they spend their time, and how your business can help them you can really get clear on creating valuable content that connects them to your brand and establishes the relationship needed for them to buy a product or service from you.
For example, Nike has an ideal customer. Their products can be sold to anyone, but they really push images, content, ads, and video that connect with an active and higher fashion audience that considers physical activity a large part of their lifestyle. If you think about Gucci, you’ll see their ideal customer is high-end, high-income, that enjoy classic styles with a pop of unique and fresh perspectives.
From a B2B perspective, Calendly focuses on busy professionals who are looking to streamline their time and communication. While these are broad age segments, they focus on talking to companies that find their product or service and how customers interact with the brand is causing way more friction than necessary.
All of this to say, without getting clear on who these businesses are speaking to and solving problems for – there wouldn’t have been the ability to create and sustain their marketing initiatives. They would have been trying to talk to too many people at once, therefore watering down their message and spreading it way too thin. If you don’t get clear in who you are speaking to, you’ll spin your wheels and potentially lose traction in marketing and sales.
#3: It makes you focus on your message and position within your industry.
Your message and position in your industry and in your area is honestly more important than your customer avatar (but both are SO important.)
If you don’t know what and who you are in relation to your customers, their pain points, your competition, and the industry you are in, it will be extremely difficult to create and sustain any real lasting marketing and sales growth. It may seem harsh, but good businesses run into problems when they don’t focus on their message and their position in their industry.
Messaging and positioning make it easier to describe your value to your customers, new and old. It incorporates what makes your business and brand unique, how you are different from your competition, and what value you are adding to your customers in a clear and direct way. The bottom line is: positioning is how your brand is viewed by your customers and messaging is how you tell them about it.
Messaging and positioning will work as an overarching way to drive your marketing at a high-level and where you spend time and money, what you say to your customers on different levels and on different platforms, and is the way you’ll reach the correct audience at the best time and with the best message.
So what should you be including in your Marketing Strategy?
To compile your marketing plan in a clear and comprehensive way, make sure you have these key areas in your strategy:
- Introduction – high level outline of marketing strategy and goals
- Audience Analysis
- Goals and Objectives
- Competitor Analysis/Research
- Communication Plan
- Content Pillars
- Technology Plan
- Key Stakeholders/Assignments/Due Dates/Gantt Chart
This is a guide for our suggestions, so you may add even more sections into your marketing plan – or create a few smaller ones if you have a different sub or sister brand that connects with a different audience in a different way.
A marketing strategy with these parts above will be so helpful to your team and any key stakeholder that will be working with you. Taking the time to outline the marketing plan and then create a robust strategy to get the balls rolling so you can really connect to your audience and drive sales and interactions with your business.
We can help!
Need some help with how to start the process? Need someone to facilitate a meeting with your team? Small but mighty team, but no bandwidth to create a marketing strategy? We can help! Contact us today so we can learn more about you and your business, and how we can help you create smart and sustainable marketing strategies that help you reach your target audience.