Before you begin writing blog posts, contacting influencers or even posting on your official brand accounts, it’s vital to have a strategy in place.
Instead of a vague list of things that you’d like to accomplish, a marketing strategy is a clear and purposeful outline that has a very specific goal you are working to achieve. Within its considerations are where your business currently is compared to competitors, and what it is missing in order to put you at an advantage, and to ultimately reach the top spot.
The types of marketing strategies vary; email marketing strategy, online marketing strategy, influencer marketing strategy, video marketing strategy, etc, but the construction of each one of these are the same. Having a solid marketing strategy is fundamental to steer customers to choose your brand in a way that feels organic.
You begin by understanding why your existing audience is loyal to your services, assets or company, and knowing where your brand is positioned in the current market. The basics of forming a marketing strategy begin from there.
A strategy should never be based on guesswork or instinct. Look at the facts around you and use that to form the basis of the goal you are striving to achieve for your brand either by the end of the month, quarter or year.
Research can be skewed to look either internally and externally. For example, you can look at how your current audience interacts with your brand based on types of content created, and how that fluctuated over a period of time. You could even choose to look at a similar brand to your own and track their growth. What they did that you might be able to take inspiration from and apply to your own brand to cause similar growth patterns.
Whatever type of research you do, make sure it is in-depth and pulled from reliable sources so that whatever strategy you have chosen to implement will have a slightly more predictable and all-round more realistic outcome.
Every brand has both, so be as honest in what your company may lack as you are with overinflating what it does well.
Admitting, embracing and having an honest conversation about your brand’s weaknesses will open up the conversation on how to improve and transform it into a strength. If you are lacking in diversity within your audience pool, think about how you can change that within the latest plan of action.
Equally as important is what your company excels in. Break it down to understand what works about it so you can both maintain that strength, and build similar blocks in the areas lacking so they too can thrive.
In the midst of creating a marketing strategy is not the time to have a complete brand overhaul. Choosing to rebrand is a different goal entirely.
As you look through your research and transform your negatives into positives, be careful not to change who your brand is. Remember that you have an existing audience who are loyal to you and you don’t want to isolate. If you change too much you risk losing that audience, which is not what you want. You are aiming to grow your audience, not replace them.
They like what you do and are invested in seeing you do more of it, and if they do then there are others that will too - that’s why you have created the strategy - to locate them.
One of the main purposes of a marketing strategy is to build on the foundation of what you have, tear it all down, dig it up and start all over again.
Launching your marketing campaign, and that planning process involves its key steps. The way you whittle down from a list of ideas and decide on what type of campaign you choose to move forward with comes down to the steps mentioned above.
In a way, the execution of your marketing campaign is the least important part of your strategy. You’ve made the soil ready in the best way you viewed possible, you’ve planted the seed, and now whether or not it bears fruit that is ripe is simply a waiting game.
Your entire strategy is pointless if you don’t have a way to track its performance.
There are a multitude of tools available to help you measure the effectiveness of your strategy, which will be determined by your marketing campaign. As your campaign is running you should have in place a way to gather information that will aid in answering a range of outcome-based questions. This could be anything from what was the most successful age demographics reached? to how many click-throughs did we get, and what percentage of those made purchased?.
Questions could be sided towards your primary goal in creating your marketing strategy, and once you have this data collated, then begins the analysis process.
The bigger picture is important - did your marketing strategy work in allowing you to meet your goal, or did it fail - but the devil is of course in the detail. Take a magnifying glass and pore over the final result to ascertain what worked well and what did not, and why.
The results form the foundation of the research process for your next marketing strategy. This time you have a primary source to refer back to, you’ll know its peaks and its troughs, how to transform the latter into a tool that is more effective and restructure your model into one that you hope will allow you to meet your goals.
Having a marketing strategy isn’t a one and done deal, it’s a continuous process not just for brands starting out, but throughout the growth and success of your brand as it is key to staying up to date with trends and a constantly changing audience.