Hopefully, you’d never dream of stampeding into business without one. And yet, surprisingly, many of us aren’t putting in nearly the same effort when it comes to building a strong marketing plan.
Here’s how to create your own killer marketing strategy.
Depending on the scale of your business, a marketing strategy refers to the comprehensive plan used to achieve the company’s marketing goals and objectives. It is the ‘game plan’ for reaching potential customers and letting them know why they should buy your product or service. A marketing strategy is not to be confused with a marketing plan, which is the document that contains all of the specific types of marketing activities and initiatives, along with their timelines. However, it’s essential to recognise the relationship between these two as they go hand-in-hand. A marketing strategy describes the goals of marketing activities while the marketing plan describes how to achieve those goals. The strategy answers the question of what, while the plan explains how.
In most instances, the marketing strategy has a much longer life than the individual marketing plans. The reason for this is because marketing strategies contain the core elements of the company’s brand, including its value proposition, key messaging themes, data on target audiences, and other high-level themes. Marketing plans may come and go, but the marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach to planning.
Because marketing strategies are high-level strategies, you must be very clear on your business objectives and goals. While marketing strategies often have a long shelf life, they may evolve slowly over time to address changes in your industry, your customers, consumer sentiment in general, technology, data availability, and advertising standards.
It should also be mentioned that while having a solid marketing strategy in place is ideal, it is only one step in ensuring your strategy is successful. Often, the success of the overall strategy relies heavily on the performance of the individual components of the marketing plan. In order to determine how effective these elements are, you must have a plan in place to measure the results, which allows you to identify weaknesses and strengths in your plan so that you can continually fine-tune and optimise your marketing plan details to ensure that you are successfully fulfilling your strategy.
With a marketing strategy that encompasses all of these elements, you can expect to reap the following benefits:
- Maintaining a competitive edge.
- Allocating existing resources optimally.
- Optimising product development for greater success.
- Ensuring price points are set to meet the market demand.
- Facilitating inter- and cross-departmental collaboration.
The simple term “strategy” might seem intimidating but building an effective strategy doesn’t need to be difficult. They simply offer a plan for getting where you want to be. It allows you to make calculated moves based on existing data, rather than merely guessing or by trial-and-error. And in today’s hyper-competitive markets, there is little room for error; a solid marketing strategy can help ensure that you achieve peak performance and remain successful.