5 reasons to create a marketing strategy
Every business should have a marketing strategy, no exceptions
Marketing results don’t just happen by chance. And creating a strategy ensures you’re targeting the right people, with relevant content that appeals to them. The more time you spend creating a clear strategy, the more opportunities you create to sell.
So, what does an effective marketing strategy look like?
It’s a structured document outlining your business’s purpose, aims and what makes it different from the rest. It should set out who your customers are and why they engage with your products and services. Your strategy provides a clear framework for reaching this target audience, including details on planned activity and the relevant methods of communication.
A strategy might include:
- Company vision and objectives
- Target audience and personas
- Positioning within the marketplace
- Multi-channel activity plan (website, social media, PPC etc.)
- Timeline for implementation
Please, stop leaving lead generation to chance!
If your company doesn’t have a defined marketing strategy, you may still see some results. However, these are likely to be sporadic and could dry up if the industry changes or a new competitor comes to market. Instead, you should be proactively bringing new leads into the business through regular marketing activity. It’s the only way to build your brand and protect it from external factors.
Equally, if you have a strategy but it is very old, or your business or market has undergone significant change since its creation, it’s most likely redundant. It’s important to revisit your marketing strategy every couple of years to make sure you’re still headed in the right direction.
Now, if you’re still not convinced now’s the time to get your marketing strategy done and dusted, we’re here to tell you why it is. Read on and discover 5 compelling reasons to create a marketing strategy.
Reason #1: Speak directly to your target audience
Every business knows how to talk about their products and services, and bang on about how great they are! Unfortunately, that’s not what your audience wants to hear. They want to know what problems you can solve for them and how your products will make their life easier.
To tell them this, you have to first understand what’s going on in their world. And this information is contained within your marketing strategy. Accurate buyer personas are one of the most important features of a strategy, and within marketing more generally. Pinning down your audience and learning how to communicate with them directly will increase the likelihood of selling to them.
Reason #2: Stop spending money in the wrong places
When you don’t have a clear plan in place, it’s tempting to just spend a little here and there on one-off campaigns. It’s the ‘let’s give it a go and see what happens’ approach to marketing. And more often than not, it’s a complete waste of time and money.
Successful marketing is about building up a recognisable, trusted brand. It’s about consistent, regular communications that get your messages heard. Throwing money at a magazine advertisement one month and an email campaign the next is not going to get these results.
Having a defined marketing strategy prevents wasted efforts. It makes sure your budget is planned and allocated effectively. Each campaign is aligned with your overall objectives and designed to get results in both the short and long term.
Reason #3: Keep your activity consistent and relevant
From your strapline, to the hashtags you use on twitter, every piece of information you publish should be immediately recognisable as belonging alongside your brand. It should also be relevant and interesting to your customers and prospects.
With a marketing strategy, this is achievable. Because you’ve outlined your audience and what concerns them, you know exactly how to engage with them and on which platforms.
Let’s say you create a piece of content such as an email or blog post, aimed at a particular buyer persona. Your strategy will tell you which pain-points and benefits to touch upon, making sure the message is relevant. And this, in turn, keeps all your content consistent.
Reason #4: Set objectives and measure ROI
When there’s no clear direction, we end up floundering. And this is a typical outcome of non-strategic marketing activity. You might see some result here and there, but if you haven’t set any clear goals, how can you measure your return on investment?
Focus activity on a set of defined objectives. For instance, you might decide you want to grow a following on Twitter or Instagram. Perhaps you want to use e-marketing to cross-sell to current customers. Or maybe you want to reach the first page of the search results for your key terms. Whatever your goals, writing them into your strategy is the first step towards achieving them.
Reason #5: It’s a reference point
With multiple channels to consider (web, social, paid, search etc.) and various target personas to reach, there’s plenty to factor into your marketing plan. And no-one should be expected to keep this information in their head! That’s where your strategy comes in.
For new employees or the people tasked with producing your marketing outputs, the strategy document forms the basis of their knowledge. It’s a point of reference; an in-depth guide; and it provides the initial building blocks of all your activity.
Equally, if the sales department or another team approach you with an idea for a campaign, you can reference your strategy to check whether it’s relevant. If it doesn’t line up, then you have the means to explain why the idea isn’t worthwhile.
We hope you’ve found this useful and understand some of the benefits of having an up-to-date digital marketing strategy. If you’d like to discuss creating one for your business, you can talk to us on 0113 394 4559 or email@example.com.
We're friendly - let's have a chat!
More of Ed's blogs…
| Company news, Digital
In the wake of the GDPR panic, here's how it will actually affect small business owners' data processing and marketing.
Find out about the marketing processes SMEs must have in place to get the best marketing results in our latest blog.