For most people, New Year is the time to decide on a resolution or to make a change with something that they are not happy with or feel could be better. A marketing strategy is something that is often renewed or changed in January for the same reasons. HOWEVER this shouldn’t always necessarily be the case. Digital technology is changing at such a rate that a marketing strategy needs to have some level of flexibility to ensure the business keeps at the forefront of customer demands and habits.
The goal of any marketing strategy is to meet set objectives for that time period. These may be to grow the business, increase brand awareness or launch a new product or service. In order for a marketing strategy to be successful, it must be based around SMART objectives – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. The first step to create a strategy is to complete an audit of current performance, competitors, market place and customers to really understand the current situation and benchmark objectives against.
Understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses is key when developing a strategy. Begin your marketing strategy document with a SWOT analysis, looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from competitors, the environment and any other industry threats that may be on the horizon. It is a good idea to conduct some market research on your existing customers at this point, as it will help you to build a more honest picture of your reputation in the marketplace. Now you understand the strengths and weaknesses you can develop a strategy that plays to them and to the emerging opportunities.
Once you have completed this step it is now time to draw up a detailed marketing plan that sets out the specific actions to put that strategy into practice. We would recommend working through the following questions –
- What are your ideal customers looking for?
- What are their needs and wants?
- Which customers are the most profitable?
- How will you target the right potential customers?
- What’s the best way of communicating with them?
- Can you improve the level of customer service to make the customer journey as smooth as possible?
- Could changing products or services increase sales and profitability?
- Could extending the product list or service meet existing customers’ needs more effectively?
- How does the price of the product or service compare to competitors and the current marketplace?
- How can you best promote the products or service?
- How can you tell if the marketing activity is effective?
Once you have answered these questions you can then pull together your marketing plan. To create a marketing plan, you need to understand how and when you are going to reach your target customers and with what message. A marketing pan will enable you to plan what tactics you will use and when.
Need help with your marketing strategy? Here at Pick & Mix Marketing we have a wealth of marketing experience and have successfully supported brands to reach and achieve their objectives through the creation and implementation of great marketing strategies. If you would like help and support or even to chat through your ideas then please get in touch with the team on 01904 863511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.