Effective marketing can bring a whole host of benefits to your business. With that in mind, we take a look at everything you need to know about how to create a marketing strategy.
Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a larger marketing team, getting your products and/or services in front of customers can be an exciting challenge. It takes a wide variety of skills and knowledge to know how to appeal to your target market, and understanding how to create a marketing strategy can play a central role.
We take a closer look at exactly what a marketing strategy is, as well as why you need one. We also explore what you need to develop an effective strategy and the steps you need to take to do so. To help you on your way with creating your own, we’ve also included some links to useful and relevant courses.
What is a marketing strategy?
Let’s start by taking a look at what exactly we mean when we use the term marketing strategy. On the surface, it seems like a fairly straightforward one – a way of outlining your approach to your advertising and sales. But in reality, it’s a more complex concept.
On closer inspection, there are a few useful definitions floating out there. One of the most useful ones is from Investopedia, which defines a marketing strategy as, ‘a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of the products or services the business provides.’
So, it’s about strategic planning on how you’re going to get your company in front of the people who are going to buy from it. As we’ll see, there are many facets to this process, with a lot of analysis, preparation, and research.
Why do I need one?
There are several reasons why your business needs a marketing strategy. Ultimately, without taking the time to create a marketing strategy, you’re reducing how effective your promotional and sales activity will be. There are several reasons for this, many of which are crucial to growing your business:
It helps you reach your target audience
One of the main reasons to create a marketing strategy is to help you connect with the right people. As we explored in our series on how to start a business, understanding your target audience is vital to success. With a marketing strategy in place, you not only identify who your customers are and what they want from your company, but also gain insight on ways you can reach them.
It helps you spend your money in the right places
There are various marketing channels you can choose from when you’re trying to connect with your customers. As well as traditional methods such as print and TV advertising, there are also digital marketing options such as social media, content and email marketing. When you create a marketing strategy, you can better understand where to invest your marketing spend for maximum return.
It keeps your marketing consistent
When you’re trying to build your brand and reach new customers, consistency is key. Your brand messaging and visuals across each channel should be in line with the overall identity of your company. A marketing strategy helps to provide this alignment, making sure the message you deliver is clear and consistent.
It gives you a measurable outcome
Creating a strategy for your marketing also helps you set goals. Once these are in place, you can start measuring how effective your efforts are. Whether for metrics such as ROI, engagement, or conversion rate, having this insight can help you refine and improve your marketing.
It serves as a guide
When you have a marketing strategy in place, you have a clear outline for how you can engage with customers. You understand their buyer personas and pain points, as well as how to reach them effectively. This is useful for every team or individual at your company who wants to market your product or services, guiding them through the process.