First things first, let’s start off with a clear marketing strategy definition. Your marketing strategy is your blueprint or road map to your target market, distinguishing your ideal client and their buying habits, a detailed plan as to how you will attain, retain and grow market share and how best to position your brand and company as a market leader in the industry with competitive edge.
The key elements of a marketing strategy include:
- Market Research – the aim of comprehensive market research is to identify and build your target profile, otherwise known as an audience persona. A fictional “character” based on your ideal customer giving age, gender, location, preferences and interests. The target profile should also include their current buying habits and trends. Market research will then conduct competitor research and analysis. What percentage market share do they currently control, how did they get it and how can you win it over. Finally, market research will uncover opportunities (and how to capitalise on them) and threats (and how to avoid or overcome them).
Brand Strategy – running parallel to the market research function is building your brand strategy. This incorporates your brand identity and your brand essence, which is the subliminal message your brand is conveying through the feelings, emotions and perceptions it evokes Your brand strategy also considers the best opportunities and platforms to create effective brand awareness.
Digital Marketing Strategy – your online strategy. Considering online presence is what drives almost every purchasing decision in today’s market, it’s not an element you want to leave out or skimp on. Digital marketing includes SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), social media marketing, email marketing and much more. Your strategy will determine the best online platforms relevant to your offering and target market.
Business Development and Referral Strategy – even though online and digital marketing are at the forefront of any marketing strategy, a business development strategy must not be ruled out. Business development encompasses your lead generation plan as well as lead conversion strategy. Do you have a sales team or perhaps a professional company profile that could tell your story even more creatively? And let’s not forget, referrals are one of your most powerful tools. When your client receives the value the believed they were going to get or should get, it opens up your business to a potentially unlimited number of new customers.
I’m sure it’s starting to become quite clear as to why having a marketing strategy is important in business. I mean, can you imagine trying to approach your target audience without considering and planning everything we’ve discussed so far? Scary thought right?
That brings us to the next question our clients often ask. When is the best time to create and develop your marketing strategy? Well, given all of this information, you’ve probably already answered that correctly yourself. Before you even open a bank account! But since you weren’t aware of all this when you started out, we have a “better late than never” policy. So, our answer is, right now.
The fact is that you can’t know much if anything about your target market without doing the necessary research, and it’s unlikely that you have the resources to waste on winging it instead of creating a solid strategy (who does have those kind of resources). So just as you wouldn’t venture into any unknown territory without a road map, it’s not worth moving one step further in unknown business territory without your marketing strategy.
Time to get your team together for a brain storming session. Set out your marketing strategy objectives and invest in your business today!