Building a marketing strategy is often a step that is overlooked in a business. Instead the business jumps into doing a range of market tactics without a clear plan or direction.
In this blog, I will share with you, the 7 key steps involved in building a marketing strategy.
What is a marketing strategy?
But let’s first of all start by explaining what a marketing strategy is:
“A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular mission or goal. This includes which campaigns, content, channels, and marketing software they’ll use to execute on that mission and track its success.” Hubspot
Common business problems
Do you feel like you are trying to sell to anyone and everyone, and you’re not really sure which marketing tactic is working, or giving you the best ROI?
And as a result you are probably attracting the wrong type of clients, and find it hard to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Well by developing a marketing strategy before any set of tactics, it will help you alleviate these problems.
Ok so let’s jump into the seven simple steps to building your marketing strategy.
Goal setting is a fundamental component of the marketing strategy, so that you know how to measure success, and what you are working towards. I recommend that you set three types of goals in your business:
- Business – This is the big overarching goal that you want to achieve such as launch a new product or enter into a new market.
- Sales – This is the revenue figure that you want to achieve monthly, and then break this down further into targets by product/services.
- Marketing – This could be number of new customers, conversion rate from website visitor to lead to customer, website visits and so on.
Track these metrics monthly to see how you are going against your plan. And if you are not achieving any of the targets investigate why.
2. Research and understand your ideal client
Pretty much 99% of business owners that I speak to don’t really understand their potential clients, and have not taken the time to research their problems and solutions that they are looking for.
So I’d suggest doing market research with 10 of your top clients and find out:
- What triggered the need for your product/service?
- Where did they search for solutions? What were all the touch points?
- How did they make a decision between which businesses to go for?
- What attributes in your business are important to them?
- What do you do really well?
- What could be improved?
- What information do they find useful on your website
Once you have this information, next you would build a Buyer Persona which is a fictitious representation of your ideal client. Now you may have more than 1 ideal client in your business.
3. Understand your competitive landscape
The next step is to do an analysis of your top 3 competitors in your industry. You want to identify:
- What they do really well?
- Any gaps in their service?
- What do you do better?
- What ads are they running? Google/LinkedIn/YouTube/Facebook
- What freebies do they offer on their website?
From this analysis identify what you can do even better, what gap you can fill and be really clear on communicating this difference on your website.
4. Your point of difference
Every business has a point of difference you sometimes need to just dig a little deeper to find it. Refer back to your market research you did with your 10 clients, what did they say you did really well? Ask them for specific examples.
You can also read your Google and Facebook reviews, are there any commonalities around what people are saying about you. Get really clear on your point of difference as this is what will set you apart from the competition.
Don’t say your point of difference is your level of service as everyone says that! Get specific.
5. Develop your brand promise
Next you need to articulate clearly for your website:
- Who you help
- What problem you solve
- How you help them
- And what the outcome will look like after using your product/service.
This then becomes your brand promise and core message.
6. Plan which marketing channels you will use
Did you know there are more than 10 marketing channels? Well I’m not suggesting that you use all ten by any means.
What I’d suggest is again referring back to your market research and identifying what the path to purchase is and planning your customer touch points accordingly for example you may choose this Omni channel approach:
- Google Ads
- Search Engine Optimisation – Google My Business and Organic listings.
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Referral marketing
- Strategic partnerships
So can you see why the market research step is so important? It feeds into pretty much everything you need to do in your marketing strategy.
7. Build a content plan
Content is really the voice of your strategy, so you need to plan which content mediums and types of content that you are going to produce on a regular basis.
Some ideas for content are:
- Weekly tips emails
- Daily social media posting
- Free eBook
- Video tips
- YouTube show
- Email nurture sequences
So there you have the seven simple steps to building your marketing strategy. If you need help with a marketing strategy for your business please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to help.
Author: Vanessa Geraghty McGann, Chief Marketing Officer at GreenStalk.