A lot of businesses fail to understand the importance of having a sound marketing strategy. While some quickly prepare a shoddy strategy others don’t have one at all! These companies haven’t realized the value of having a marketing strategy to lead them forward. They rely on a combination of hard work and dedication (without marketing strategies) to reach their goals. This combination works fine if you don’t have fierce competition in your domain. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Most companies struggle to stay afloat in the business world. This is because they are not well-established like other competitors. Or because they don’t have enough financial resources to showcase their offerings. This is where a marketing strategy comes in handy.
What exactly is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy primarily comprises a document that has been prepared after a thorough analysis of the market you are venturing into. A strategy will focus on providing a roadmap that takes your company through all kinds of challenges, providing you with the ideal opportunity for growth and long-term success.
A marketing strategy document is referred to as a Bible of sorts by the sales team, helping them reach out to a widespread target audience.
The goal of this article is to provide you with valuable tips on creating a marketing strategy that will give your brand the best of worlds:
1. Understand your company’s strengths and weaknesses
Almost every strategy talks about a company’s strengths in providing quality solutions. Do you know your company’s strengths? How can you use them to your benefit? Your marketing strategy should delve on how your strengths can be used to attract more customers and gain new leads.
At the same time, the strategy should also focus on highlighting your company’s weaknesses. Devote time and resources on corrective measures that eliminate weaknesses.
2. Get a clear picture of your target audience
What kind of customers are you dealing with? What are their likes and dislikes? A detailed analysis of your target audience will help your team fare better by preparing world-class communication material. It doesn’t matter whether you are running a B2C or B2B business – just make sure you capture their interests in the best way possible.
3. Prepare a list of marketing goals
The tips provided above will help you in a big way to prepare your company’s goals. A better understanding of your company and its target audience will help you prepare a list of marketing goals. Sit with your team and make sure you give yourself a couple of days or even a month to list out goals. Study your competitors and make sure you keep them in mind while preparing the goals.
Make the goals realistic and achievable. This ensures there are no surprises when the results of the marketing strategy are analyzed later.
4. Prepare a core marketing message
What do you wish to convey to your target audience? It could be about your offerings and the benefits the target audience can expect from them. Make sure you have a core marketing message ready for your business. This message can be tweaked and used in all marketing communications so that uniformity is achieved.
5. Highlight the communication strategies recommended for your team
What kind of communication strategies should your team pursue? It is important that you list them in advance so that the sales team clearly knows how to go about their jobs. You could opt for inexpensive communication channels such as email marketing, promotional products or even door-to-door campaigns. Or you could opt for more expensive television or print ads.
6. Allocate a generous marketing budget for your needs
The communication channels chosen by you solely depend on the marketing budget at your disposal. You may need to request a bigger marketing budget if you are finding the current one too low to achieve sales targets.
7. Prepare a list of financial resources (in case your company doesn’t have financial might)
How do you plan to fund your marketing campaign (if your company doesn’t have enough financial resources)? It’s important to have multiple financial resources so that your company runs smoothly. This will ensure that marketing expenses don’t seem like an after-thought or burden to your company.
8. Position your company as an expert
Write, write and write! Launch a blog and ensure you fill it with quality articles focused on your target audience. The quality of articles you feature in the blog will help your company gain a reputation among your target audience, winning their goodwill and trust in quick time.
Create social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Engage with followers and provide them with quality insights on your products and other happenings in the industry.
9. Identify suitable partners and vendors
A company may need a suitable partner(s) to fulfill its goals. This partner could provide content, SEO or manufacturing capabilities. Prepare a list of partners you would like to work with. Arrive at mutually agreeable deals that give your brand a boost.
10. Seek journalists who can give your company added visibility
There are a lot of journalists willing to give your company publicity in their writings. All you have to do is find the right journalists who have authority over your domain. Approach and work with them to give your company a positive marketing push. These journalists will feature your company in their articles, giving your brand valuable visibility.
These journalists will probably need to be given some kind of payment to ensure they feature you. There will be a couple of rounds of emails before a decent deal can be pulled off.
11. Launch a referral campaign
It’s hard to survive without referrals, especially when you are just starting out. Launch an attractive referral campaign that ensures existing customers bring in new ones. And then the new ones will bring in more customers. A well-executed referral campaign will do wonders for your business, especially if your services are good.
12. Adopt a mechanism that helps you evaluate marketing results
The tips provided in steps 1 to 11 will take time to implement. Make sure you are ready to monitor them so that the effectiveness of your marketing strategy can be verified regularly. This will ensure your company takes remedial steps if there are any shortcomings.
Did you find the tips featured here interesting? Do you have any experience creating marketing strategies? Share your feedback in the comment box below.