So you’ve decided that your company needs a better marketing strategy. Anyone can develop a strategy, but in order to produce a document that actually helps your business meet its marketing goals, you need to craft your strategy with certain steps and tactics in mind. Missing out on these specific tactics can lead your business to create a marketing plan that is lacking, one that will waste time and money over the long haul. In order to avoid that problem, we’ve listed the steps necessary to establish an optimal marketing strategy that will produce results for your business.
Start With a SWOT Analysis Of Your Business
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis will accurately describe each of those in a document that will help your business better understand where it stands in regards to its competition in your particular industry. Analyzing your strengths will help to describe what you do better than your competition, what sets you apart from your customer base. Your weaknesses are what your competitors do better than you, or perhaps having a team member who isn’t quite experienced or skilled enough. Opportunities are looking at new chances your brand has to expand in the near future. Perhaps you have a new technology that you can capitalize on, or maybe there is an opening overseas. Threats are the inverse of opportunities—maybe a competitor has an opportunity that you don’t or is looking to capture some of your customer base.
Find Your Target Audience
This one is fairly simply—you want to figure out who your target audience is. What demographic is using your products most? What age are they? Which gender? Are they concentrated in a specific geographic area? What are their preferences and tendencies when it comes to shopping? These characteristics will help you with your marketing efforts.
Describe Your Specific Marketing Goals
Each business has its own specific marketing goals. Do you want to become a thought leader in your industry? Are you trying to improve the customer experience? Or do you just want to increase sales? Outlining your goals will help you to reach them quicker.
What Kinds Of Communications Will You Use?
How are you going to communicate with your prospects? Will you use Facebook and Google Ads? Will you run a social media campaign? Are you using a newsletter? Will you have a sales team following up on leads, or will they make cold calls? Do you have a loyalty program? Are you sending out direct mail? Figuring out which kinds of communications your target audience responds to best helps a lot here.
What Is Your Budget?
Lastly, you’ll need to figure out what your budget is going to be for marketing. If you are a new business, you might have to borrow money for this. If you are an established business, you might have to move funds from other departments. Either way, you’ll have to devise a marketing budget that fits your needs while not diverting funds from critical other processes, like product development.
Each one of these steps is critical to your company’s marketing success. For example, if you produce a strong SWOT analysis and find the right target audience, but use the wrong communications, your marketing efforts will go to waste and your audience won’t see your product. If you have great communications but don’t have the right budget, your product still probably won’t get to the right place online to be seen. You can’t skip any steps in the marketing strategy process if you want to reach success. The process isn’t overly complex, but you have to stick with it over time to reach your goals.