A marketing strategy can make or break a business, large or small. Before setting up a marketing plan, it is important to ask some questions in order to ensure you are setting up your brand for success.
A marketing strategy is essentially the big picture view of how a business is presented to the outside world, driven by a brand’s value proposition.
This is often confused with a marketing plan, which are the tactical details of where, when, and how you will get that message across. The marketing strategy is more high-level and is driven by the company’s overall goals and brand messaging, but this is what will eventually drive the marketing plan.
As discussed above, your marketing plan should be directly tied to your company’s value proposition. A value proposition is a short, simple, and often times catchy way of saying the number one reason someone should choose your brand/product over your competitors’.
It is typically a short statement describing the benefits of your product and what differentiates you from your competitors. The value proposition should be unique, clear, and easy to remember – something that consumers will instantly be able to identify and associate with your brand.
Understanding how you stack up against competitors is also important to developing a marketing plan. This will help your brand find its ideal customer and fine-tune your target market.
Performing A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis compares you to your competitors and allows you to see where in the market you have room to grow and succeed, and areas in which some additional work may be needed.
Understanding your target market – the group of consumers you are aiming to sell your product to – is vital to the success of your marketing plan.
You should select this group of consumers based on research of who is most likely to benefit from or buy your product. You must be deliberate in choosing this group so that you can effectively reach and retain a customer base. The target market will determine what the best way to reach them is, whether it be social media advertising, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, or video ads.
At the end of the day, your target market should be measurable, accessible, substantial (large enough to be worthwhile), differentiable, and actionable (you can set up a program to reach them). You can choose your segment based on demographic, geographic, or behavioral characteristics.
In order to develop your marketing plan, you must have a focused goal for what you want to accomplish. The goals can be specific and concrete, or more general depending on the business or product.
Think of goals such as entering a new market, increasing sales, or growing market share. The goal that you decide to focus on will drive your marketing plan and tie other aspects of the business together.
If you are entering a new market, you are going to want to focus on getting your value proposition delivered. Perhaps you can consider using search engine optimization to ensure customers are seeing receiving your message. You will be new to the market, so you want to catch your consumers’ attention and bring them in.
If you are trying to increase sales, you may want to focus on a more direct marketing method to ensure you are reaching the maximum number of individuals in your target market, possibly with display advertising.
Once you have answered the previous questions, you must consider different marketing tactics. This will be how you deliver your value proposition to your target market using paid social media advertising or any other digital marketing strategy that is most suitable.
There are so many marketing outlets, from video marketing and display ads to pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization. All the options can be overwhelming, so you should consider using a digital marketing agency or an online marketing company to ensure your brand is set up for success and that you are using the best marketing channel to reach your audience.
Creating a marketing budget is essential to succeeding in executing a marketing plan. You need to decide how much you will spend, and how you will divide the money between different parts of the marketing plan.
Setting up a budget can be intimidating, but a digital marketing agency can help you prioritize your spending and make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck.
So now you have a marketing plan and ideas about your value proposition and target market, but how will you actually implement it? It is important to develop a strategy for exactly what you need to do, step by step. This checklist can be used as a guide to ensure your business is staying on track and meeting the goals that were set.
If you’re not sure where to start, that’s okay too – an online marketing agency, like Colorado Digital Experts can help you define the actions needed to carry out your plan and track your progress to ensure the desired results are achieved.