Everyone knows how crucial it is to have a solid business plan. You would never dream of operating a new business without having an effective strategy in place. Yet surprisingly, many entrepreneurs do not put the same effort when it comes to creating a strong marketing strategy.
But what’s the point of investing huge money and time in building a new business only to have zero customers? After all, this is not some dream or a fiction movie where you will set up a business and customers will come pouring in automatically?
In today’s cut-throat competitive environment, if you want to attract customers, you have to work hard to get out, find them, and make them aware that you exist. The only way to achieve that is by creating an effective marketing strategy. Yes; we acknowledge that a significant amount of success depends on marketing an outstanding product. But some of it also has to do with generating a marketing strategy that connects the product with the right audience.
Read this blog to understand what a marketing strategy is, why it is important for your business, and how to build a successful plan that works.
What is a marketing strategy?
“Marketing strategy is the guide that helps marketers choose, prioritize, plan, and execute projects to influence profitable customer action.”
According to Marketing Guru Paul Keetch, “A marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. A marketing strategy should be centered around the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal.”
Philip Kotler, an eminent marketing author, and the consultant said, “Marketing Strategy is the marketing logic by which the business unit expects to achieve its marketing objectives.”
Similarly, Dibb and Simkin stated, “Marketing strategy indicates the specific markets towards which activities are to be targeted and the types of competitive advantage to be exploited.”
To sum up, marketing strategy is a process that defines how an organization can leverage its available resources to capitalize on the best opportunities, and target specific markets with the right plans to increase sales, achieve a competitive edge, boost revenue, and ensure customer satisfaction. It also involves the tactics to build strong brand awareness, and engage the target audience in a manner that is aligned with core marketing objectives.
Why having a marketing strategy is important
Every business has some marketing goals but are these well-documented? Do you have a roadmap that clearly indicates what the objectives are, how to achieve them, and ways to measure your performance against the defined goals? Is your marketing team aware of their roles and responsibilities?
Well, as smart business, you may have all these…but in the air! Unless you have documented your marketing strategy, it does not fulfill its purpose. With a clearly defined strategy in place, every team member will know what are the marketing objectives, how you plan to achieve the same, what is the timeline to attain each goal, how to measure performance and marketing analytics. There will not be any misrepresentations, dilemma, or lack of understanding.
Talking about digital marketing strategy, Smart Insights stated, “We believe that a digital marketing strategy is essential to take advantage of the growing opportunities from digital marketing, yet even in 2019, many companies don’t have a digital marketing strategy.” According to their recent study, almost 45% of companies do not have a planned digital marketing strategy yet, while 17% of the companies practice digital marketing but do not have a defined strategy. Refer to the image below:
When you do not have an effective marketing strategy, you are likely to become directionless, wasting money on mediums that are not generating results, and your business is losing out on potential leads to the competitors.
Delightfully, it is not that complex to create your own marketing strategy that works. Discussed here are the ways to build a marketing strategy that can help skyrocket your business.
Steps to build a marketing strategy that works
1. Set SMART marketing goals
To achieve success in marketing, you first have to understand how to get there. For this to happen, it is vital to set clear goals that give your team a direction and a better understanding of what you want to achieve.
- Breakdown your overall marketing objective into smaller goals that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART).
- Set KPIs that direct towards business growth
- Determine how to measure your progress
In this regard, you can use an advanced analytics software suite that helps track every visitor moving your sales funnel and website so that you can optimize their sales experience and boost conversions. We help you get real-time, easy-to-understand, and meaningful marketing analytics that help reduce bottlenecks, increase sales, capitalize on potential opportunities. Book a demo for the new Axis today.
2. Perform SWOT analysis
Understanding the company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities (SWOT) plays an integral role in formulating a solid marketing strategy. What is your Unique Selling Proposition (strength)? Do you lack a well-defined target market (weakness)? Are you losing out on potential customers to your competitors (threat)? How can you leverage digital marketing to build awareness and increase sales (opportunity)?
Understanding the current situation of your business, brand or product can help you build an effective marketing strategy.
3. Build a buyer persona
Personas are crucial to define and understand who your target audience is. When you have a clear knowledge of who it is you are marketing to, it helps create a focused roadmap for effective audience targeting. When you create buyer personas, you can be sure that you are targeting the customers who are genuinely interested in your brand or product. Otherwise, it would be like yelling at random people on the road, with most of them not listening to you.
Some of the key factors to consider when creating buyer persons are:
- Demographic location
- Education level
- Relationship status
- Languages knew
- Job title and income level
- Types of websites or social media platforms they frequently visit
- Motivation factors when buying your product
- Concerns they face when buying your product
Based on buyer personas, you can develop targeted strategies, reduce bottlenecks, and optimize your marketing efforts to offer a delightful buying experience to your customers.
Here is a perfect example of a buyer persona:
To create buyer personas, use Axis Surveys, our advanced survey software that helps identify what your customers truly want. The tool provides valuable insights on your customers that you can use for effective segmentation and targeting. Book a demo today.
4. Choose your marketing channels
There are numerous marketing channels for businesses to explore. With such overwhelming ways to reach your target audience, how can you pick the right ones for your business? Either you stick to traditional advertising methods such as billboards and newspapers or try fast-evolving and more effective tactics like content marketing and SEO.
While it may be irresistible to try every option available, but it would only mean wasting your money and time on channels that do not guarantee to be effective. As experts suggest, the best approach is to break down your marketing channels into three sections: owned, earned, and paid media. Follow a ratio of 2:1:1 when beginning with your marketing strategy:
- Two owned channels
- One earned media channel
- One paid channel
Refer to the image below to have a better understanding:
5. Break sown the sales funnel
Another key step to create an effective marketing strategy is breaking down your sales funnel. It will help you build a detailed marketing plan with a focus on the right marketing channels and tactics to use.
A basic sales funnel follows the AIDA format – Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. As a smart marketer, break down each channel in your marketing strategy and figure out the customer’s journey through the sales funnel. To know how to do this, refer to the image below:
When you break down a customer’s journey in the sales funnel, you can identify the weak points, and what more you can do to ensure you have enough quality leads that will flow through the action stage. This can help figure out the right marketing tactics and where to implement them – an integral step in building a marketing strategy.
6. Set marketing campaign timeline
Once you have determined the marketing channels and tactics, it is vital to map out the timeline for each campaign. Having a timeline or calendar for each marketing project will keep your team up-to-date on the campaigns that are coming up and by when a specific goal needs to be achieved. Set the deadlines well in advance to know the start and end date of a project.
7. Measure your results
A marketing strategy should also be specific about how to measure your marketing results and what should be the approach. It should clearly state:
- What marketing ROI means
- How to measure your marketing performance against the set goals
- How to calculate ROI
- Using advanced analytics software such as Google Analytics or Axis to measure ROI
Get started with creating your marketing strategy now. Leverage the potential of software tools, marketing solutions and expertise we have to help you grow your business. Schedule a call with us.