As a small business owner, looking for a way to grow your business is always something that’s on your mind. But developing a multifaceted marketing strategy can take up valuable hours and a lot of manpower. With growing to-do lists and a constant pull in multiple directions, it seems impossible to take the time out and focus on outlining a growth strategy.
Running a business can be time-consuming, and creating a marketing strategy may seem like a redundant task. Especially when there are so many other tasks that take priority.
But you know deep down that to grow your business at a steady pace you need to implement something strategic. After all, you don’t want to add to the yearly statistic of failed businesses.
We specialise in creating marketing strategies for our clients and so in this blog, we’ll be outlining how you can create one for your business.
What Is A Marketing Strategy?
Marketing strategy is about cementing your business and brand in your target customer’s minds through effective brand and marketing methods.
Whether it’s a marketing strategy or a brand awareness strategy, it helps to build trust with your target customer/client so that they feel comfortable interacting with your business. This can lead to an increase in revenue and awareness.
Creating an effective marketing strategy takes time and patience, but if done properly- the results are worth it. You are elevated to a position of authority that your competitors will not be able to match, making you the preferred choice for your prospect.
The key to your marketing strategy should be to identify your best assets (your businesses value proposition) and communicate those benefits to your target audience.
For it to do that the marketing strategy needs to be flexible enough so that it can respond to changes, but robust enough to bring together your sales, marketing and lead generation efforts to reach pre-defined objectives.
Your marketing strategy will be different to your marketing plan. A marketing strategy usually dictates the direction of growth for your business and can usually span a year or two into the future. A marketing plan, however, outlines the tactics you need to follow to achieve what is highlighted in the marketing strategy and extends to just a few months in the future.
Understand Your Audience
The first thing you need to focus on to create an effective marketing strategy is to identify your ideal customers. You can do this by looking at your current client base and highlighting the ones you love working with and who love your product/service.
Using this information you can create personas of your target customers, which will make it easier to direct your marketing efforts only towards your ideal buyer personas.
When you focus on your customer, you can identify where they hang out, what language they use and which platforms they use the most.
This can help you target your marketing efforts to those particular platforms, and use the language that they are using in order to resonate with them, which in turn leads to a higher chance of them converting into buyers for your product.
Once you have created your customer personas you need to look inwards and identify your strengths. What makes you different to your competitors? What’s your unique selling proposition, which makes people buy from you instead of your competitor?
A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis may help you outline each of these and more.
Look at the marketing methods you are currently using, are they effective? What things can you change immediately to get quick results? Are there strategies you are using which don’t move you towards your growth objectives? What is your current sales process? Is it as effective as it could be or could it do with improvements?
Creating a shiny new marketing strategy may sound exciting, but it’s important that you take heed of your current assets and optimise what you already have before you move on to create a new strategy. Having a solid foundation to build upon is always your number one priority, as it will lead to longer lasting results for you and your business.
Understand Your Competitors
Create your marketing strategy with your competitors in mind. Not knowing what your competitors are doing for their marketing can damage your business and waste valuable resources if not allocated correctly.
Make sure you know who your competitors are, what their strengths are and even their weaknesses. This information is valuable when outlining your own marketing strategy because you can see where your business stands compared to your competition and where you have an advantage you can shout about.
It also allows you to identify the areas in which your business needs improvements so you can concentrate on those areas through strategic planning.
Keep Detailed Documentation
Documenting your strategy is important as this works as a resource that will underpin every marketing move you make. If anything does not fall into the strategy that you have created and does not align with your objectives, you don’t need to spend valuable time on it.
It ensures you don’t fall prey to shiny objects or new and exciting tactics peddled by salesmen and marketing companies that won’t actually help you get the results you want for your business.
A well-documented strategy can also allow your team to see exactly where the business is heading and align their daily activities with those goals, so as a collective your business moves forward in the right direction.
Outline How You Will Set Objectives And Measure Success
Lastly, to make sure your marketing strategy aligns with where you want your business to head in the future, make sure you outline and document the key objectives you want to achieve. Highlight the exact metrics and KPI’s you’ll be measuring, as this will keep you on track.
If you don’t know your key performance indicators you won’t know if your strategy is even working. Which means you won’t know what to tweak or optimise to get your desired results.
When everything you do is logged and documented you can compare before and after metrics to make sure the money you are spending is actually giving you results. The last thing you want is to spend time and resources on marketing but not know the ROI of those efforts.
We know the above may seem like a lot to take in so if you want to speak to a specialist then get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help you put in place a marketing strategy that packs a punch!