Imagine if the coach of your favorite football team decided the team would no longer be using a playbook. They would also not waste their time watching game film or performing any activity even remotely strategic to prepare for upcoming games. Instead of approaching games strategically, would exclusively depend on the individual talent of the players. Even if you’re not an avid football fan you know this would be absurd. You won’t find this happening in professional sports because successful coaches know if they want to win the game, having a strategy is key.
Successful businesses, the ones that consistently experience systematic growth year after year are equally not winning by chance. For these businesses their playbook is their marketing strategy, the tool that guides them every step of the way, taking them to the end zone time and time again.
So you know you won’t win the game if you don’t have a playbook, but how do you choose the right plays to go in the playbook in the first place? Or in business terms, what exactly makes a marketing strategy effective?
Here is a list of 5 questions that will help you start the process of developing a marketing strategy that will ensure you dominate the field.
Determining realistic short-term and long-term goals will guide the focus of your marketing efforts. Of course everyone’s ultimate mission is to grow their business, but more specifically you may want to improve customer retention, boost brand recognition, and/or cross-sell to existing customers.
If you are unsure what you need to work toward, you may want to consider conducting a SWOT Analysis of your business. Determining your business's strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities will help determine what you need to accomplish in a year, 3 years, or even 5 years.
You can’t create a strategic marketing plan without identifying your key players, or target market. In today’s world, target audiences have become extremely specialized and segmented. Examining the demographics of the top 3-5 groups of the most profitable and loyal customers provides insight into the audience you should be targeting. What has worked in the past is often the best indicator of what will work in the future.
Through research and experience, you can create buyers personas detailing their age, gender, race, income, education, and where they are most likely to get information (i.e. word of mouth, social media, trade associations). If you work primarily B2B, it is also important to note their position, ranking status, and average day on the job.
A key component of a marketing strategy is having engaging, segmented messaging that speaks to each individual at every stage of the buyer’s purchasing journey. Understanding the motives behind a person’s purchasing habits and how this relates to your offer is critical.
This is where the buyers personas make the greatest impact. Delving in further than demographics, begin to analyze what moves a certain individual to purchase your products or services. Their fears, challenges and pain points, personal and professional aspirations will determine the tone, writing style, and phrasing of the message. Just keep in mind, effective messaging should always include the benefits of your products/services, ways in which you are different from the competition, and a clear call-to-action.
Knowing where and how your target market prefers to shop will determine which marketing approaches will be most effective. Does this specific group of people tend to educate themselves before making a purchase, perhaps by reading online reviews? Do they do most of their shopping online or in-store? Do they read the newspaper or listen to the radio? Are they influenced by social media? With so many different tactics available, having a marketing strategy will focus your efforts on the most efficient and profitable to use.
When a coach creates the playbook, they have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the team as whole as well as each player individually, who they are up against, and whether or not they are ready for the Superbowl or just need to win the first game.
Without knowing where you’re going or how to get there, your marketing efforts will be disorganized and ineffective. By combining each component into one comprehensive plan, you are in a much better position to promote and sell your products or services and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
We have found that a major roadblock for many businesses is the amount of time and expert knowledge required to develop and implement a cohesive marketing strategy. The last thing you want to do is dedicate the needed time and efforts to your marketing but negatively impact your current business in the process. Here at Splash Omnimedia, we have the expertise and marketing specialists ready to create a marketing strategy for your business that will attract, convert, and retain the most profitable customers! If you are ready to get started, contact us today.