Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy is the planning of objectives that the firm wants to gain. Lack of marketing strategy equals lack of qualified leads, hence, fewer sales.

Marketing Strategy - Defination and type of strategies

If you want your business to do well, you need to have a plan. Lack of marketing strategy equals lack of qualified leads, hence, fewer sales. You may ask what a marketing strategy is. It is a long-term plan consisting of the goals you want to achieve for your business and a clear roadmap for approaching the goal. Lack of marketing strategy can cost you a lot and may even lead to the collapse of your business in the worst-case scenario. Therefore, don't mistake a marketing strategy with a marketing plan.

Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing plan

The former answers the questions: what you will offer, how you will deliver it, and why. The latter answers the questions: what you will do, where and when you will do it, and how you will track the process. Creating a marketing plan is the second step; first, you should have a strategy.  

Marketing strategy includes target audience, competitive analysis, and offers. In addition, the marketing plan includes the target market, key performance indicators, and the campaign's timeline.  

Create a Marketing Strategy

This is a guide to building a marketing strategy that will help your business. First of all, have a brand voice, layout, etc. This will make your brand different from others, and people will recognize it easily.  

Define your target audience

This is the first step in your marketing strategy development. You should know who your audience is because if your products are for everyone, it is for no one. Don't confuse the target audience with the target market. Target market is a broader term, and your focus should be on the target audience and not the market, as it is cost-efficient.  

This step will help you decide upon a lot of other factors like understanding the media they use, the language and phrases that they use, and the content they may like.

Segmentation of your target audience

You should divide your target audience based on similar needs and wants. The way to segment your audience is based on:

  • Demography: Region, age, gender, marital status, and education, etc.
  • Behavior: Type of content they react to, websites, and apps they use.
  • Psychographic: interests, values, choices, etc. This data is collected through surveys.  Create a sales funnel to lead your audience to buy your product strategically.

Define your goals

You saw this coming, didn't you? This is an essential step. To have a clear idea of what your goals should be, try defining SMART goals. SMART here stands for Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-bound goals.  

  • Specific: what do you want to achieve by the end of the campaign?
  • Measurable: which parameters will indicate your success?
  • Achievable: Is your goal realistic, or are you pushing yourself hard and ultimately planning to get demotivated?
  • Relevant: Is your goal worth achieving? Don't run after numbers; your focus should be to have happy customers.
  • Time-bound: What is the deadline for your campaign? Without a time limit, you can neither know when to change strategies nor where you went wrong.

Some of the goals you may get started with are:

  1. Building trust with your audience: By creating useful and valuable content to doesn't sound sales-y.
  2. Attract new prospects: This can be done by creating content worth sharing and getting likes across all social media platforms.
  3. Illustrate benefits over features: Nobody is interested in whether or not your product can make them invisible. Show them how your product can help them overcome their problems and benefit them. Create "X ways to do Y" type of content.
  4. Overcome objections: Your audience may think that your product is costly. You can show how the same product can save other expenses of the audience in the long term.
  5. Develop new business ideas: From your current audience, you can experiment upon some new ideas and see if they react positively. If yes, then congratulations! You just now found a new product or service to launch.
  6. Go SEO friendly: You should be very easily found on the internet to attract more customers. If your audience sees you on the

Do the PESTEL and SWOT analysis of your business:  

These two analyses will help you understand where you stand in the market and what can be done to better your business. Let us have a closer look at each of them.

  • PESTEL analysis- each alphabet stands for a different parameter/factor.
  1. Political factor: This varies from country to country because each country has a different policy. The idea here is to understand which government law or regulation may work for and against you. This analysis makes a list of all the tax policies, consumer protection laws, ad regulations, etc., to make sure you don't find yourself in a legal suit.
  2. Economic factor: At this stage, you list the inflation rate, interest rate, and all other economic parameters that you want to work for you.
  3. Social factor: people will not buy your products if you try to sell something unethical or culturally unacceptable. Social issues should be kept in mind. It would be best if you solved the needs of the society, and this can be understood by understanding the trends in the society—for example, the age distribution, health consciousness, population growth, etc.
  4. Technological factor: be aware of the technology that your competitors make use of. Always try to stay up-to-date. You would not want to lag due to technological handicaps. Better technology equals better customer experience.
  5. Environmental factor: we need to work toward saving our environment now more than ever in history. Making your audience aware of your waste management system, recycling process, etc., would encourage your audience to buy more from you. Some of the brands have already started using this strategy to benefit their company and the environment.
  6. Legal factor: you should be aware of whether you follow the employment rules while hiring people. Trade regulations and restrictions are the other things to check at this stage of the strategy.
  • SWOT analysis- developed by Albert Humphrey of Stanford Research Institute, this method is still used by all the big brands out there. The key here is to understand your business and your competitor's moves very closely. Then, like the previous one, this analysis is used to understand where you stand, your strengths, etc.
  1. Strengths: note down things that your company is already doing well and is ahead of your competitors. It may be your social media followers, your content, engagement with the audience, etc. These are the qualities of your business, and you may experiment with these to go even more ahead of your competitors.
  2. Weaknesses: note down the areas where you lag behind your competitors. This is an analysis, so be sure to notice your weaknesses, and only then there would be a scope of rectifying the issue. For example, if people stopped reacting to your posts on your social media handles, find out the reason: is it because of the content or the format, or anything else?
  3. Opportunities: as the name suggests, here, you would enlist the factors that may work for your business. This is more or less looking outwards. The new employment regulations or tax regulations may be an opportunity, or the failure of your competitor may be an opportunity. Please keep your eyes open to grab them as and when you see them coming.
  4. Threats: like opportunities, threats are also external or out of your control. At the same time, some factors may work both as an opportunity or threat, like new technology. But Some factors may become a potential threat to you, be it the new trends in the market or your competitor's innovative ideas.
  5. Do a competitor analysis: the last two analyses you did in the SWOT are a part of this. Identify your direct and indirect competitors by answering various questions like their target market etc. This step is important because this will make you stand out in the market. As Eric Allison said, "World trade means competition from anywhere; advancing technology encourages cross-industry competition. Consequently, strategic planning must consider who our future competitors will be, not only who is here today." Use the RACE approach to do this analysis. RACE is short for Reach Act, Convert Engage.
  6. Reach: How does your competitor increase its reach like social media following, accessibility of their store, etc.
  7. Act: How does your competitor entice the audience to act? Is it because of the layout and pop-ups on their website or something else?
  8. Convert: How can you make use of the barriers in your competitor's customer journey? By integrating other social media for easy sign-in?
  9. Engage: How do your competitors engage with their audience?

Here is a list of tools to carry out the competitor analysis for your business.

  • Budgeting: From advertisement to labor, you have to plan a budget so that you get a clear and fair idea about the expenses that may occur. Some of the factors to consider are your company's size, competition, advertisement mode (only digital, only physical, or both), etc.
  • Analyzing your performance: Your strategy is ready to launch, and it is time to have a close look at how your strategy is performing. It is very easy to track the source where you are getting the leads from. If you decide to run advertisements on Google or Facebook, you can access their inbuilt analytics data. You can use this data to its full potential and make changes to your existing strategy. Some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you may measure are:
  1. Social Media Reach (likes, shares, comments, etc.)
  2. Cost Per Conversion
  3. Sales Revenue

Types of Marketing Strategies

There are different aspects of your business, and each one has a different strategy. Your content marketing strategy may not work for your social media or email newsletter and vice-versa. This leads to different marketing strategies for different aspects. Here is the list of them:

Social Media Marketing Strategy:  

This includes how you will grow your reach on social media. You should be aware of what your audience wants. A recent study by ADWEEK showed that 72% of the customers want offers! Plan, publish and measure your success.

Email Marketing Strategy:  

People spend so many hours daily reading the emails in their inboxes. This is a good place to reach if you want more leads. You can educate people on various platforms and ask them to sign-up for your newsletter in exchange for a lead magnet.

Content Marketing Strategy:  

People spend time reading your blogs or seeing your posts; shouldn't you make it worthwhile by adding value in their life and generating leads for your business? Create a content calendar, brainstorm ideas, and schedule them. Elements of a good content marketing strategy are Positioning, value proposition, business case, and your strategic plan.

Digital Marketing Strategy:  

Digital marketing is a very broad term, so are its benefits. You have to plan many things in this strategy, like, SEO, content, inbound lead nurturing, email, PPC, etc.

Public Relations Strategy:  

Developing good relations with your customers, the public, and stakeholders is also important. You would not want the media or government officials to backlash you.

SEO Strategy:  

The only way to show up on the first page of Google Search is to have a good understanding of SEO. This will make you rank higher, but when you show up on the first few pages of Google Search, people know that you are an authentic company and trust you.  

Conclusion

This is a wholesome guide that will help you create your Marketing Strategy from scratch. From defining your goals and target audience to analyzing your business and measuring the campaign's success, we have covered everything for you. With advertising and marketing on such heights as never before, you should develop creative plans that may help in the long term.  

Try creating a reusable framework of strategy; also, it is very important to document your strategy. Hiring a professional to help you create a full-proof Marketing Strategy may save you tons of money because they will create an efficient plan while not charging a lot. The decision is completely yours whether or not to take professional help according to your business and budget.

About the author

has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.

Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.

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