A winning marketing strategy is your business’s battle plan that guides your future marketing efforts. A robust marketing strategy will reach your target audience – this includes those who have never heard of your brand all the way to repeat customers.
Without a defined strategy, you’ll essentially be throwing things to the wall to see what sticks. And it’s costing you cost, time, and resources.
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What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is an overview of how a business or organization will articulate its overall value proposition to its customers. Generally, a winning marketing strategy outlines the business’ goals, its target market, buyer personas, competitors, and value for customers. It provides a long-term vision for overall marketing efforts, often looking many years ahead.
Steps for a winning Marketing Strategy Process
Below are the steps to a winning marketing strategy process:
Have your market research data ready
Market research is an essential part of marketing and a topic on its own. I won’t go too deep into this, but I’ll provide options to get the needed data. Remember that even cheap, quick, and imperfect market research is better than no research at all.
Build a marketing plan.
Wait, I have to make a plan for my strategy? What’s the difference?
A marketing strategy provides an overview of the reasons why your marketing team will need certain resources, take certain actions, and set certain goals over the year. Your marketing plan is the specific actions you’ll take to achieve that strategy.
Create buyer personas.
If you can’t define who your audience is in one sentence, now’s your chance to do it. A buyer persona is a snapshot of your ideal customer.
Buyer personas have critical demographic and psychographic information, including age, job title, income, location, interests, and challenges. Notice how Belinda has all of those attributes in her description.
Identify your goals.
Your marketing strategy goals should reflect your business goals.
Whatever your goals, identify what they are and how your marketing organization can work to achieve them over the next year.
Select the appropriate tools.
Once you have your goals identified, make sure you have the right tools to measure the success of those goals.
Online software like social media schedulers gives you analytics to help you keep track of what your audience likes and doesn’t. Alternatively, you might consider Google Analytics to measure blog and web page performance.
Review your media.
Decide what you already have in your arsenal that can help you create your strategy. To streamline this process, think of your assets in three categories – paid, owned, and earned media.
- Paid media
- Owned Media
Audit and plan media campaigns.
Cleaning house segues straight into this step. Now, you must decide which content is going to help you. Focus on your owned media and marketing goals.
Bring it to fruition.
At this point, your market research and planning should help you visualize how your strategy will be executed – and by which teams.
The final step is to bring that all together and assign actions to your plans.
Create a document that maps out the steps you need to take to execute your campaign. In other words, define your strategy.
Think long-term when creating this document. A standard strategy document is 12 months. This structured timeline should be the home base for your strategic marketing efforts.
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