Effective marketing can bring many benefits to your business. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you need to know about how to create a marketing strategy. Whether you own a small business or are part of a larger marketing team, finding your products and/or services in front of customers can be an exciting challenge. It takes a variety of skills and knowledge to know how to apply in your target market and to understand how understanding how to create a marketing strategy can play a central role.
We take a closer look at exactly what a marketing strategy is, as well as why you need it. We also explore what you need to do to create an effective strategy and what steps you need to take to do so. To help you build your own, we’ve also included some links to useful and relevant courses.
What is a marketing strategy?
Let’s start with what we mean when we use the term marketing strategy. On the surface, it seems a bit straightforward – your advertising and sales are a way to outline your approach. Be that as it may, as a general rule, it is a more mind-boggling idea.
On closer inspection, there are some useful definitions floating there. One of the most useful from Investopedia, which defines a marketing strategy, is the overall game plan of a business to reach potential consumers and turn customers into the products or services that the business provides. ‘
So, about the strategic plan of how you are going to get your company in front of those who are going to buy from it. As we will see, there are many aspects to this process, including a lot of analysis, preparation, and research.
Why do I need one?
There are several reasons why your business needs a marketing strategy. Ultimately, by not taking the time to create a marketing strategy, you are reducing how effective your promotional and sales activities will be. There are several reasons for this, many of which are important for the growth of your business:
It helps you reach your target audience
One of the key factors in creating a marketing strategy is to help you connect with the right people. We have explored in our series how to start a business, understanding your target audience is vital for success. By creating a marketing strategy, you not only identify who your customers are and what they want from your company, but you also gain insights on how to reach them.
It helps you spend your money in the right place
You can choose different marketing channels when you are trying to connect with your customers. In addition to traditional methods such as print and TV advertising, there are digital marketing options such as social media, content, and email marketing. When you create a marketing strategy, you better understand where to invest your marketing expenses for maximum return.
It keeps your marketing consistent
While you’re attempting to assemble your image and arrive at new clients, consistency is vital. Your brand messaging and visuals across each channel should be consistent with your company’s overall identity. A marketing strategy helps to provide this alignment, ensuring that the message you provide is clear and consistent.
This gives you a measurable result
Creating a strategy for your marketing helps you set goals. Once these are in place, you can begin to measure how effective your efforts are. Whether it’s for metrics like ROI, engagement, or conversion rate, having this insight can help you refine and improve your marketing.
It serves as a guide
When you have a marketing strategy, you have a clear outline of how you can engage with customers. You can understand their buyer’s personalities and pain points, as well as how to reach them effectively. This is useful for every team or individual in your company who wants to market your products or services and guides them through the process.
Marketing plan vs. marketing strategy
When you are researching how to create a marketing strategy, you will probably see the term marketing plan as well. Often, these two terms are used interchangeably. However, despite being closely connected, they have different concepts that need to be treated separately. To make things easier, we highlight the main differences below:
A marketing strategy is basically an extension of your overall business strategy. This is the logical part that informs your future marketing decisions. In addition to highlighting what your marketing goals are, you need to know in detail how you can achieve them through your marketing efforts. In essence, it is the high-level structure that connects your brand to the overall company goals.
Your marketing strategy should be based on the current goals of your business and also take into account your brand identity, mission, and message. This kind of strategy should also account for your company’s unique selling point and how you are going to publish it.
A marketing strategy often includes categories such as:
- Executive summary
- Company vision/goals
- Market analysis
- Target audience details
- Competitor analysis
- Branding and messaging
- Relevant marketing channels