It may be 2019 and we’re constantly experiencing new and developed marketing, but can you believe there are many businesses out there that don’t have a clue how a strong marketing strategy (or a strategy at all) can really aid a business.
Are you one of them? Don’t worry, you don’t need to stand up and explain your reasoning, but you do, most definitely, need to read this blog. Take it as the start of your marketing journey, and take it from us, the journey is worthwhile.
In this blog, I’m going to be exploring what needs to be considered in a marketing strategy to ensure that it has any legs to stand on and compete with other businesses.
What Will a Marketing Strategy Do for You?
Basically, your marketing strategy is going to showcase the route you’re going to take in order to achieve your specific objectives and goals.
Bear with me, I’m going to state the obvious: it’s not always easy to ask the hard questions which are going to be there when creating a marketing strategy.
However, this is actually the main reason why so many businesses don’t see the importance of a marketing strategy, at all.
Through having a marketing strategy you’ll be able to identify your best customers, understand their needs and adhere to the most effective marketing methods for your business.
So, what steps should you take?
Make Sure It’s Unique to Your Business
The absolute bottom line of your marketing strategy should definitely be your ‘unique selling proposition’, more commonly known as your USP.
In other words, what is the one thing which separates you from everyone else in your market? By creating your USP first, and then begin to build upon it by relating it to each of the four Ps: price, product, promotion and place.
The most common thread through each part of your marketing strategy should be how your business solves a problem or meets the needs and wants better than anyone else.
Know Your Customers or Clients
The information which you have in your marketing strategy should include all of the research you conducted in your marketing analysis.
You’ll need to ensure you’ve got a concrete idea of who your ideal customers or clients are, what they like, what they need and what they expect.
This will ensure your marketing strategy is more specific, accurate and applicable to your target audience.
There are a variety of different strategies you can use to get to know your customers and clients from referrals to speaking strategy.
There is also the networking strategy which suggests that 95% of today’s consumers consider face-to-face meetings as being essential for long-term business relationships. At Strawberry Forge strongly believe in meeting our clients face-to-face, as we know you just don’t get the same from a phonecall.
We know, showing up where our clients are based is a great way to make strong connections and to show personal interest while networking.
It’s Good to Be Flexible
I think it’s fair to say that even though the 4 Ps of marketing work well for physical products, they often need a little work for services.
For example, for the place of the section, you might consider adding your website rather than a physical location.
Your website should be a part of the social media that I’m sure you’re doing (if not, why?)
Being flexible isn’t just about doing more projects, it’s also about doing high-quality, and high-priority projects, as this keeps the workload manageable and focused on work with the most impact.
If you’re able to move away from your long-term marketing strategy, to simply shorter time frames, it gives the opportunity to measure, adjust and modify if you’re still going in the right direction if new things have cropped up.
There’s Never Too Much Research
When you’re at the point when you’re deciding on your pricing, you’re going to need enough data to be able to justify your decision.
Think about including industry reports, competitor ads, and plenty of comparisons that show the research you conducted and how to conclude that you’re charging your product or service efficiently and fairly.
In anything business-related, as I’m sure you know, you can’t ever be overloaded with too much data and knowledge about your competitors, in order to learn what’s fair.
So, what are you waiting for?
It’s Always Good to Be Visual
In 2019, it’s pretty clear to see that visual search is a quickly growing trend that is only going to continue to grow in the coming years. Consumers are now expecting to be able to find all the information that they see in the real world, online (and with very limited effort).
So, just as you should in all sections of your business plan, using charts, images and even graphs to showcase your facts can make it much easier to understand.
If your pricing at the right ‘median’ for your industry? Using visuals to get your point across could really work to your advantage.
Remember the Budget!
You’ll outline the financial analysis of your company in other sections of your business plan, but you’ve got to keep those figures in the forefront of your mind when you begin to write your marketing strategy.
Your marketing process might look sharp by itself, but unless you’re directly linking it to your financial status, you’ll have a tricky time meeting your goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
Many businesses source a percentage of actual gross revenues to marketing, usually between three and five per cent for small businesses. But the correct allocation depends on many factors which include your industry sector, your business capacity, the amount of growth you can reasonably handle, and how fast you want or need to make an impact.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Have a Strategy?
Think about it, around half of companies fail after just five years from starting out…But, remember that figure of speech: “failing to plan is planning to fail?”
So, if you do fail to see the importance of a marketing strategy, but don’t fully incorporate digital marketing strategy, then you’re likely to have a couple, if not all, of the following consequences…
- Being able to retain customers
- Missing out on opportunities for better targeting and optimisation
- You’re likely to lose out to your competitors
- If your strategy is a little bit pants, this is likely to lead to ‘suboptimal execution’, which means that competitors will be more of a threat than usual.
- You’ll lose out to competitors in general
- Lose market share to existing and new companies which are competitors.
At the end of the day, knowledge is power, and once you’ve finished reading this blog, your business will have a ‘one-up’ over the competition.
You’ll also be familiar with the common hurdles which are common when trying to come up with a marketing strategy.