Is Having A Marketing Strategy Really That Important?
A marketing strategy is a game plan to get to a marketing or a business goal. It usually aims to acquire new customers, launch a brand/product/service, or increase the company’s sales.
The strategy is (or should be) created before any tasks or action items are assigned to the team. This is because the strategy will dictate the direction of the action items, resources, and pretty much everything in the marketing department.
Without a strategy, we could be making plans without a clear goal. Sure, we want to make more sales, that’s why we create and launch campaigns throughout the year. However, the strategy holds the campaigns together and provides coherence and direction to the entire team, including the C-level.
How does a marketing strategy help in business?
When it comes to how important it is to have a marketing strategy, well, trust me on this, it is. It’s the guide to all marketing efforts helping the business follow a direction and track what is working and what’s not. If something is not working as expected, the strategy should change paths based on what didn’t work before. Try a new approach!
How does a marketing strategy work?
The strategy is created from the business goals. This means that its success depends on what the directive board has decided to mark as KPIs and the growth of the company.
It is created by the marketing director — often with the help of managers — and it takes into account every marketing department that the company currently has. It holds the key messaging, company and outside data and many other elements that help define the strategy itself.
3 reasons why having a marketing strategy is important
- It helps the team stay on the same page while allowing action items to be distributed in an understandable and realistic timeline.
- Having a strategy provides a step-by-step guide on how to win the market over your competitors.
- It helps the company use all the resources effectively and understand the team‘s capacity.
“If you form a strategy without research, your brand will barely float and at the speed industries move at today brands sink fast.“- Ryan Holmes
What to consider when planning a marketing strategy
When creating a marketing strategy, there are a few KEY subjects you need to consider. If you are currently doing your research, you will notice every marketing specialist will have their own list with some variations. I would love to share my personal one, which I’ve created and modified as I grow on experience and knowledge. Feel free to add your own items (let us know in the comments if you do!)
PRO TIP: Grab a paper and a pen the old fashion way and do these exercises as you read along
· Identify the GOAL
What is the main BUSINESS goal you want to achieve? Is it sales or leads? Is it reach or conversions?
Think about what the business objective is and then root out the marketing goals. If the business wants to double the sales from last year, what marketing goals need to be achieved for this to happen?
· Do the research!
Now that you know what you are aiming for, do the research on:
- Your current customers
- New audiences you want to reach
- What have you done in the past
- Who are you competing against
- What are they currently doing
· Map out your persona
This is one of the most “obvious“ points, yet, rarely done correctly. When mapping your persona, traditional marketing will ask you — how old are they, what did they study, do they have a family??? While this is good to know, it is NOT vital. You need to map out your persona around the needs and goals THAT ARE RELATED TO YOUR PRODUCT.
The difference between knowing their LIFE needs and the NEEDS RELATED TO YOUR PRODUCT is how you will be able to serve them and for them to see you in a much more organic way.
· Define the actual competitors
Before you say “I don’t really have any competitors“, let me assure you, you do. It doesn’t have to be a competitor that has the exact same product, but that SOLVES the same need. Instant oats, drinkable yogurts, and “healthy“ cookies all solve the need of having something quick for breakfast that requires low energy. Yet, they are all different products.
Map out who is solving the same problem for your audience and really understand HOW they are solving it.
You know the goal and you know who you are against. Brainstorm ideas on the strategies that could work to reach the goal. Not all the ideas will be good or doable at the moment, but this will give you clarity on the road ahead
· Decide on the strategy to follow
It doesn’t have to be only one. You can choose 2–4 and test them all — if you have the time and resources. I strongly suggest you talk to someone (a coworker, a friend who’s part of your target audience, your boss) before deciding.
· Plan out the strategy
Now you are clear on what you will be doing and the results expected. It is time to define activities and involve the entire team! Plan out times, people, resources, tools, everything that will be needed to get the most out of your strategy
One of the questions I get asked more often is, what’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan?
First of all, a marketing strategy is usually created by the leadership team. If it’s not created by them, it has to have their approval. A great way to show and present the strategy is to map a report and graph how the outcome is connected to the WHY. It shows how everything is connected and has a reason to be.
Which marketing strategy is best for you?
Before planning, creating, changing, and doing the whole “all hands on deck“ thing. Let’s plan and figure things out. What type of strategy are you going to work on? If you google “types of marketing strategies“, you will find some of the following:
- Marketing strategy
- Direct response strategy
- Paid media strategy
- Complete marketing strategy
- Affiliate strategy
- Product-focused strategy
- Price-focused strategy.
To answer the million-dollar question “which strategy is best for me?“, the answer is…. IT DEPENDS!! Every strategy should be tailored to your company’s needs, current place, goals, and resources.
To sum up… a marketing strategy is almost vital for all the marketing efforts to be aligned and working towards a business goal. Without it, we will just be planning and executing without a big picture. The strategy helps everyone understand where we are at and where we want to be.
The strategy will lay out the foundations for the MARKETING PLAN, which are the action items that come out of the strategy itself.
Let us know in the comments what your current marketing strategy is and how it is going!
By Denisse Gp