Why you need a marketing strategy
If you’ve been wondering why you need a marketing strategy, here’s six good reasons.
- It’s a roadmap that helps you understand your market and therefore tailor your product/services to better meet their needs, which in turn increases your revenue
- Having a marketing strategy in place makes it easier to stay focused on achieving your business goals (and not waste money on ineffective marketing activities)
- It supports working out the right price for your products/services and set your annual marketing budget
- You can identify the opportunities that will deliver you the best return on investment
- It helps you, and your staff, understand and promote your brand position
- It is a foundation for all your marketing and communication campaigns
I say a lot…
But its not only having a strategy that's important. It’s also important to document your strategy – to get it out of your head and onto paper!
What's involved in documenting your marketing strategy?
There are varied opinions on this. Some people prefer lots of detail and covering every aspect of your business. Me, not so much…
Being a KISS fan, (Keep It Short and Simple), I believe in the same principle when developing a marketing strategy. You don't need a traditional 30-page document that's going to sit on the shelf and gather dust. You need a document you can reference easily and regularly, that's not going to feel overwhelming.
So, a basic marketing strategy can simply include:
- your marketing goals
- your ideal clients (target market)
- key messages
- brand position
- marketing strategies/activities and budget
Of course you can put a lot more detail in your marketing strategy. I certainly have more detail in my clients strategies and my own marketing strategy. Our strategy's are living, breathing, and working spreadsheets. Yep, not a 30 page document. A spreadsheet that I (and my clients) are in and using every week – keeping us on track and focused on our marketing goals and measuring how we're going in achieving those goals. But I digress…
The idea behind documenting your strategy is because it's well known (and researched) that marketers who document their strategy are more likely to be successful.
In fact, Coschedule surveyed nearly 1600 professional marketers and found they are 313% more likely to report success if their strategy is documented.
What do I include in my marketing strategy ?
As I mentioned above, the strategy I develop for my clients and for starfish marketing is more than a one page strategy. As mentioned previously, it's not your usual marketing strategy that has a competitor analysis, SWOT analysis etc – 30 pages of words that gather dust. It's a more practical approach that delivers results for my clients and I.
My marketing strategy includes:
- Vision, Mission and Why
- Marketing goals
- Target Market
- Key Messages
- Brand characteristics
- Marketing activities and budget
- Content and social media plans
- Monthly reporting sections for marketing activities
- Reporting dashboard
- An ideas section for future planning
What does having a documented marketing strategy do?
Having a documented marketing strategy and action plan will help you make sure your marketing activities are always aligned to your business goals, your market and your brand position, as well as making sure you get a return on your investment.
Check in on a regular basis (I recommend monthly as a minimum) to measure how your activities are performing. If something is not delivering to expectations then review how it aligns to your strategy and adjust if necessary.
Keep in mind however, there is no silver bullet and you need to allow time for your marketing strategies to be effective.
Need help building your marketing strategy?
Marketing without a strategy is like travelling without a map. You don't know where you'll end up or even know how to get to where you wanted to go.
If you need help building your marketing strategy, get in touch. I'll work with you to build a road map to help you achieve your marketing goals.