When I start to work with a new client, regardless of size, a key start point is to help them build their Marketing Strategy. I often get asked what is that and why do I need one? Well, your Marketing Strategy is the thinking behind any of your marketing activity. It is the long term vision of where you are taking your business and works very closely with your business plan. So often people make the mistake of thinking that an ad or leaflet is what Marketing is all about, in reality it is the thought that goes into it that is the most important part. Once you have your plan in place you can avoid those moments of staring at your screen thinking “What do I write next?” or “What is my audience interested in hearing about?”.
WHAT is a Marketing Strategy?
A Marketing strategy can be defined as: “The long term vision of both your business and your Marketing, based on market research, it is a document which combines all of the Marketing goals into one plan.”
A Marketing Strategy helps to guide the direction that you wish to take your business in and should consider (but not limited to) the following:
- What are your Business Objectives? Think about what success looks like for you.
- Who is your target audience is. Think about the attitudinal elements that set your audience apart, this will give you the golden nuggets of how to resonate with them. As well as the practical ones eg: location, family, couple, etc.
- Marketing Audit: what is happening in your business environment? What are your competitors doing? How does your price point compare to your competitors?
- Review past marketing activity: what has worked and not worked?
Once you have developed your Marketing Strategy you can then develop your marketing plan and guide your media choices. Think about how you are promoting your business eg: if you want to speak to a family audience they why not advertise in Families magazine https://www.familiesonline.co.uk Just because you define your primary target audience does not mean this is at the exclusion of all else but should help guide focus and investment.
A note of caution, this is such a big, key piece of work, don’t put it in a draw and forget about it, use it on a regular basis to help make conscious decisions about your business direction and investment you make.
WHY do I need a Marketing Strategy?
Why would you not have one? Once you know what you are trying to achieve with your business and who you are speaking this forms the fundamental base of anything you then produce. For example, how can you write in the right tone of voice for your blog or email if you don’t know who you are talking to? How can you play in the right social media space if you don’t know who your clients are or where they are looking?
HOW does it then influence my Marketing?
Once you know what you wish to try to achieve with your business you can move in that direction. It is true that this is a process all of the big brands work through. I love the below image, it just goes to show that by knowing your audience you can make marketing work even on a shoe string!
It is quite old now but a fantastic example of this pub knowing their target audience and tapping into that in a timely fashion, this was on display out on a Saturday lunchtime at about 11am – perfect timing for catching shoppers heading into Windsor for a spot of lunch.
I also like the focus below from Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip shop, Bournemouth. Their objective is to gain more reviews on Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor is a valuable tool for any relevant business, as it supports the recommendation and referral element of Marketing, I am sure this also helped to support their SEO as well.
If you would like some help re-visiting your Marketing Strategy or writing one please get in touch and email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Families magazine: https://www.familiesonline.co.uk