So, you need to write a marketing strategy and don’t know where to start? Often there is real confusion around the difference between developing a strategy and plan.
Note – These are two very different things with very different purposes; strategy MUST come first…
Marketing Audit / Market Research: Before you begin developing your marketing strategy you really should consider carrying out a marketing audit. This benchmarking exercise will inform your reasoning’s and provide you with guidance on how to get the best possible results. The marketing audit should consider:
- Brand, market, key messages, channels, tactics, creative approaches, offers/promotions, data, website, social, SEO
- Once you have this information you will be better equipped to prepare a smarter well informed marketing strategy that delivers a high return on your investment
- Market dynamics, patterns including seasonality
- Customers: demographics, market segmentation, target markets, needs, buying decisions
- Competitor: who, what, where, when and how
- Product: What are you offering? What’s your USP? What else is out there? Current sales in the industry
- Benchmarks in the industry
- Suppliers: vendors that you will need to rely on
Marketing Strategy: Once you have your market audit ironed out, you will then be ready to begin developing your strategy. Your marketing strategy should include:
- Mission Statement
- Clear marketing objectives , aligned to your business objectives (what you need to achieve and by when)
- Key messages
- Branding / Positioning aspirations (measureable)
- Channels / strategies of communication (direct mail, public relations, social, digital, advertising, events, networking, advertising, content, website etc.)
- SEO & digital content strategy / targets – You will need to carry out a benchmarking process (part of the audit) and need to consider: rankings, keywords, tagging, PPC, banner adverts, backlinks, content etc.
- Social engagement strategy – benchmark, measure, grow and target (what do you want to achieve? Banding / perception / engagement / website conversions etc.) and how are you going to achieve it
- Return on Investment (ROI): What will you need to measure moving forward?
- BUDGET! I can’t tell you how important it is to set a working budget. Planning success is painful and unachievable without a set budget to work to.
Tip: Keep things simple. No need to overcomplicate your goals. Keep focused, to the point and more importantly stick to your objectives (they will underpin the measurement of your success).
How to develop a flexible and workable marketing plan and measuring success coming soon…