A marketing strategy is a detailed plan that outlines a business’s marketing goals, as well as the steps needed to accomplish them. You need to know how to create a marketing strategy that can serve as a dynamic document that is referred to – and updated – on a regular basis.
How to create a marketing strategy for your business
You should plan your marketing strategy for the whole year. Developing the plan is the hard part. Once you know what you intend to do and when, implementing that strategy is simply a matter of following a predetermined plan.
The aim of any marketing strategy is to help you grow your business and increase your brand awareness.
A successful marketing strategy must be multi-faceted, realistic and implemented consistently over time.
There are a number of ways in which you can accomplish the above steps:
- Only spend what you can afford to
- Make sure that you and your staff have enough time to dedicate to marketing without negatively impacting on the running of your business.
Who should contribute to a creating a marketing strategy?
It’s always a good idea to involve all of the departments within your business in creating your marketing strategy, and not just the marketing department. It’s good to get input from finance, manufacturing, HR, sales and so on. This is important because it will take all aspects of your company to make your marketing plan work.
5 Steps to creating a marketing strategy
1. Do a swot analysis
Examine your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Create a document that outlines all of the above and how they can benefit or disadvantage your business.
Resource: Free SWOT Analysis Template
2. Establish your goals
Create lists of your company’s goals, listing these in order of priority. This is where you’ll want to consult with other departments to ensure that you have a comprehensive list that you can then refine to include only the most important items.
3. Identify your customers
Also make a list of people or organisations who would be your ideal target market. Then consider the type of media that each of those potential customers might use and which message would most appeal to them.
4. Set measurable steps
Lay down a plan of action that is concrete and measurable. Your marketing strategy should include:
- Monthly reviews
- Tracking and measurement
- Sales forecasts
- Expense budgets
- Metrics for tracking progress, which can include sales leads, presentations, phone calls, links, blog posts, page views, conversion rates, proposals, etc.
Allocate tasks to people on your team and hold them accountable for their successes and failures.
5. Review and revise
Your marketing strategy should continue to evolve along with your business. You may also find that some parts of the strategy will work better than others, so you need to review and revise as you go.