How to Create a Marketing Strategy
For your business to grow and prosper, you need a strong marketing strategy. In case you’re unsure, a marketing strategy is a game plan for attracting customers by explaining the benefits of the business and what sets it apart. Essentially, the strategy outlines what tactics you’re going to use to meet your business goals. To create a strong marketing strategy, you need to make sure you’ve covered the key areas. In this article, we explore how to create a marketing strategy and discuss exactly what areas to cover.
Run a SWOT Analysis
Before writing your strategy, run a SWOT analysis to note your brand’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. If you work with others, this can be made into a fun team exercise. A SWOT analysis is vital to your strategy as it will help you write the rest of your plan. To cover different perspectives and avoid bias, involve as many colleagues as possible, or even friends and family if they know your business well.
The analysis will give you a clear view of what you’re good at and what areas you need to improve. It will also help you to spot external factors that give your business motivation to exist and other factors that have the potential to harm your business. This will give you the information you need to create a strong, well-informed marketing strategy.
Figure Out Value Proposition
A strong marketing strategy is created from a brand’s value proposition, which outlines the strengths determined in the SWOT analysis. Identifying your value proposition is an important step in the strategy and an area that you should throw time and resources into. It’s an important conversion factor and something that could make the difference between making a sale or losing one.
To figure out your value proposition, think about what your products or services bring to your customers. You should then identify the key differentiators and decide what sets your business apart. A strong value proposition should be clear, to the point and aim to solve customers’ problems.
The next step is to determine your marketing strategy objectives. This is how brands define and communicate their goals. Essentially, an objective specifies a measurable outcome that can be achieved in a set time frame. They help the business to evaluate the effectiveness and success of a marketing strategy. They also help marketers to coordinate efforts, align plans and expectations and hold people accountable for achieving results. When writing your key objectives, make sure they’re measurable, specific and have a set time frame. Revaluate your objectives every 4-6 months to measure your success and make any necessary changes.
Understand Your Customers
To solve your customers’ problems, you firstly need to understand them. This will help you to embed your customers’ needs into the marketing strategy. In the marketing industry, customer-centricity is a popular topic right now. This is best described as aligning your products or services with the wants and needs of your customers. Essentially, your customers should be the centre of everything you do.
To fully understand customers, marketers are moving away from traditional market research techniques such as focus groups and surveys; instead, they’re paying attention to online platforms and tools that outline their customers’ online behaviours, demographics and conversations.
Define Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are key to a strong marketing strategy. Simply, these are fictional representations of your ideal customers. Buyer personas help marketers to understand their customers’ wants and needs and think of them as real humans.
To create a buyer persona, you’ll need to gather insight from different platforms such as social media channels, website analytics and customer reviews, as well as having real-life conversations with customers and prospects. When creating the persona, explore the customer’s background, demographic details and preferences to determine the best way to communicate with them. Look into what channels they prefer and the most appropriate tone of voice for conversing.
Analyse Your Market and Competitors
So, we know that a marketing strategy is a brands game plan. But to achieve that, you need to understand what’s happening in your industry and how your competitors are doing. To do this, analyse your market and competitors and note the struggles, weak links and what’s working for them.
For best results, use intelligent software to answer the above questions and learn about your competitors. Staying in the loop with what’s happening in your industry will help you to identify gaps in the market, common frustrations, needs that aren’t being met and current trends.
Establish Marketing Methods
The final step is to establish your marketing methods. Depending on your target market, you will need to pick the best methods to teach, explain and communicate your business messaging. Find out where your target audience spends time online; for instance, what social channels, sites, blogs and forums do they prefer? You can then use this information to help reach them.
It’s also important to decide which marketing areas you’ll focus on and how much time and money you want to spend on advertising, content marketing, SEO, PR, events and community management. The best option for you will depend on the nature of your business and what resonates most with your target audience.
So, there you have it – how to create a marketing strategy. To build a strong game plan, follow the tips above and write a clear, to-the-point outline. Revaluate your strategy every 6-12 months to measure your success and make any necessary changes.