Planning and marketing strategy go hand in hand. Neither the strategy nor the plan can be considered finished or relevant without the other, and the two go hand in hand during the marketing process. Both require research conducted within and outside of the company. Learning about your brand and your target audience will help you create meaningful connections between the two.
We have provided a basic framework for creating effective marketing strategies and plans to help you get going. These are general guidelines to follow when working independently, as the specific stages may differ based on the organization.
1. Establish an endpoint
The objectives of your marketing strategy should complement those of your company as a whole. If your ultimate goal is to raise income by a given percentage, then one goal of your marketing plan could be to boost website traffic and conversions by that percentage.
Determining your organization’s purpose is another good first step. What you’re providing here is essentially a “what” and “how” of your company; a breakdown of your goals and the means by which you intend to attain them. Even while it’s harder to quantify on the inside, it can help you hone down on a key theme for your campaign.
2. Conduct a marketing analysis
Before developing a strategy for reaching customers, you must first learn about the industry you will be entering. Analytics in marketing are essential at every stage. However, at the outset, you should try to gauge the internal and exterior climates.
Examine the current state of the market and your company’s strengths and shortcomings. Keep an eye out for new developments as well as continuing ones, and think about how you may benefit from them. In a similar vein, stress the difficulties that you and your rivals have had or may encounter in the future.
3. Acquaint yourself with your clientele
Planning efforts should always revolve around satisfying customers’ needs. Your marketing plan will succeed only if it takes into account the wants and needs of your target audience members and finds ways to satisfy those wants and needs in a more efficient and effective manner than the competition.
Currently, you should consider your consumer personas and select target markets. These are the two most important ways to learn about your target audience, whether you’re just starting out or already have a well-established company.
Knowing the specifics of your target audience will help you formulate strategies for reaching them. It improves the specificity and applicability of your marketing, which in turn raises the likelihood of your campaign’s success.
4. Be familiar with your supply and goods
Whether your product or service is already on the market or still in the works, you must have a firm grasp on what it is that you will be providing to your clients. Knowing where you stand against competitors is the objective.
A reasonably tried and true method, the “4 Ps of the marketing mix,” is available to you at this juncture. Here are the four main points:
Product: In this section, you’ll dissect your product or service to determine its value to clients. Think about the features it lacks and how well it serves your customers’ demands.
Price: Naturally, we’re talking about your asking price and how it stacks up against the competition. Consider, too, whether or not you can expand your market share through advertising and other means.
Promotion: How and where can you advertise your wares the most effectively? You’ll need to think about questions like these, as well as how your brand’s personality interacts with these types of campaigns.
Place: Finally, you should learn about the markets in which you intend to sell your product or service. Are there no physical copies available, only digital ones? Maybe you also need to consider brick-and-mortar locations. What is the user experience like when navigating these? Who exactly is going to sell your product?
Using the 4 Ps, you may have a better grasp of your marketing strategy and how it relates to one another.
5. Clarify your goals some further
According to the first step, you should already have a broad vision for your company. You’ll need a strategic approach if you want to succeed. It’s important to consider intermediate goals that can be ticked off on the road to the final prize.
As with many of the other items on this list, the precise goals will depend heavily on your company’s unique circumstances. Nonetheless, a few examples are:
- New client acquisition
- Boosting the success of a business’s sales or conversion efforts
- Building Consumer Interest and Recognition of Your Brand
- Acquiring a larger email subscriber base
To complement them, you should write down some attainable objectives. For instance, one aim may be “doubling the size of the email list by the end of the year,” meaning that 2,000 new people would be added to it by December 31. Goals should be SMART, meaning they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
6. Describe Methods
Consider some of the marketing strategies and channels at your disposal after you’ve identified your goals. There is a wide variety of approaches and tools at your disposal, and your selection will again be heavily influenced by your unique business and goals.
Take the aforementioned goal of increasing email subscribers as an illustration. Strategies like promoting your site on social media may be worth considering. In a similar vein, it may be beneficial to incorporate subscription calls to action into the planning of your content strategy. With the use of marketing analytics, you can pinpoint the factors that are currently influencing your subscription rate.
7. Create a Financial Plan
Whether or not you include this idea in your marketing strategy or plan is up for debate. It is a necessary step in the procedure regardless of where you decide to include it. Verify that you have set aside sufficient funds to reach your objectives without overspending. Just as you would check your investment back into your business to see if it was worthwhile, you would do the same thing with your marketing efforts.
In one of our guides on how to launch a company, we go over the basics of budgeting. Here, we emphasized the value of precise budgeting and profit forecasts. There is no difference between this and the previous case.
8. Make a Marketing Strategy
In the process of developing a marketing plan, this is an essential first step. Below, we will outline the fundamentals of this procedure, so we won’t repeat them here.
9. Examine the results
Having a thorough system for assessing performance is crucial for virtually every facet of running a business. Planning for the evaluation of your marketing initiatives is a crucial part of designing your strategies.