Your Ultimate Guide to Creating a Marketing Strategy
Marketing your business or product in today’s fast-paced world means understanding the landscape and the different marketing areas that will work best for your business goals and objectives. Marketing is harder than ever because information and content is available everywhere. It’s difficult for your prospects and customers to filter through the noise. Regardless of your company’s size, taking time to form your marketing strategy will help you stay focused on the most effective approach to reach your audience and achieve your business’s goals.
As you probably already know, a well thought out and planned marketing strategy sets your course for achieving success. With so many options for marketing, building a strategy that will effectively achieve your goals can be overwhelming for some marketing teams and businesses. If needed, make sure that you connect with an experienced marketing strategic planning team to help you develop a strategy that’s built with your marketing foundation in mind and will transition into an actionable and tailored marketing plan.
Marketing Plan Building Blocks
- Understanding your purpose, vision, and mission is done when you build your marketing foundation, but incorporating them into your marketing roadmap is important for your future success. Knowing your company’s purpose, vision and mission will help you create messaging that’s aligned with the leadership’s company goals and overall purpose.
- Outlining your business goals and objectives are key to building a solid marketing strategy. Those goals will influence what you include in your marketing strategy. For example, if you’re trying to build brand awareness or engage your audience, you may want to include a social media strategy in your marketing strategy mix. But keeping up with the different social media sites is impossible for many companies. You have to know where your audience is. According to the HubSpot State of Marketing Report, most marketers in 2021 believed that Facebook was the most popular social media platform across all age groups. The report also revealed that 49% of YouTube users in the US are over the age of 65, yet for 44% of US teens, Snapchat was the most important social network in 2019.As a reminder, the goals defined in your marketing strategy should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) and should correspond with the purpose, vision and mission of your business.
- Evaluating your SWOT can help to inform your strategic planning and guide you towards the ultimate marketing goals for your company. Some key considerations to think about when assessing your marketing strategy include competitive positioning, customer analysis, marketing mix, and budgeting. By taking these factors into account and using them as a basis for planning your marketing efforts, you can create an effective marketing strategy that will help to drive success for your business. So whether you are just starting out or looking to refine your current approach, careful evaluation of your marketing SWOT will set you on the path towards achieving marketing success.
- Mapping out your core marketing stack should include your brand, the customer relationship management (CRM) application you are or plan on using, your online presence, and an outbound email marketing tool at a minimum.
- Brand: Your company’s brand is what connects you to your audience. It’s more than a logo. It’s how your company and its values are represented in content, images, and voice. Your brand strategy is a critical component of your digital marketing strategy because it allows you to define the organization’s personality, character, values, purpose, vision, and mission.
- CRM: Most companies stumble when it comes to understanding the need for and how to best use a CRM so if you fall into this bucket you are not alone! Your customer relationship management (CRM) application includes all the methods, strategies, and tools that are used by organizations to analyze, track and improve customer data and engagement with their brand. In terms of your marketing strategy, a lot of focus is given to acquiring new customers because the fact is, that’s how your business will grow. However, once a prospect has turned into a customer, it’s important to nurture that relationship and retain your current customer base. That’s a big part of what a CRM can do for you.
- Online Presence: A website has the ability to create a wider reach in building awareness for a brand. And, unlike a few years ago when having a website marketing strategy meant optimizing a website for search engines and promoting it on social media, today there are more options for Indianapolis marketing strategic planning for a website.According to Hubspot, a website’s traffic source is pretty well evenly distributed. Their research shows that direct traffic makes up 22% of website traffic on average. This means that when building your website keep your visitor’s experience and ease of getting around the site as one of the main objectives. Organic search provides 17% of website traffic and social and email are not far behind with 16% and 14% respectively.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is another prominent building block of a strong and practical digital marketing strategy. When your goal is to build or maintain relationships, improve brand awareness, increase new customer acquisition or re-engage prospects, email marketing strategies need to be part of your overall marketing strategy. A report by Statista reveals that 49% of customers say they don’t mind promotional emails from their trusted brands on a weekly basis. This shows that the consistency in the frequency of email marketing campaigns plays an important role in click-through rates (CTR). When working on email marketing strategies, there are two components that need to be included: marketing automation and content generation.
- Developing a consistent content strategy is necessary for all marketing strategic planning because content is needed for all areas of your marketing strategy. Hubspot reported in 2020 that 70% of marketers budgeted for content marketing with 40% of all marketers stating that content marketing was essential to their overall marketing strategy. And according to a Semrush State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report, 57% of companies surveyed have content marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Of that group, 42% of the companies have just started building out their content marketing. Content marketing is an important piece for building trust and brand awareness over time. Providing relevant content with consistent messaging across multiple digital marketing platforms moves your contacts through the marketing funnel where they eventually convert from a lead to a prospect and eventually a customer.
Your marketing strategy is as unique as your business, so you need to invest the time to identify the reasons why doing something will help you achieve your business goals. Of course, as every business owner or manager knows, things can easily change.
Benefits of a Marketing Strategy
Businesses of all sizes will realize benefits from developing a marketing strategy or from working with an Indianapolis marketing strategic planning consultant. Here are some of the top benefits of a marketing strategy:
Building Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is critical for the success of a product or a service. If you’re trying to build brand equity, brand recognition, or create an association with your brand, a marketing strategy will give your brand a clear focus and identity so it’s better recognized within your target market.
A marketing strategy can help increase engagement by improving your messaging and accelerating the demand for your product or service. By using the customer personas identified when you set your marketing foundation, your marketing strategy will define why you are creating specific messages and content and how increasing engagement will help achieve your business’ revenue goals.
Establish Trust and Industry Leadership
If you’re looking to be seen as trustworthy or a thought leader in your industry, a marketing strategy will help unite the leadership team and set a clear direction with a clear and consistent voice. This will help set you apart from your competitors while setting the tone of knowing what matters to your customers. According to a 2021 Edelman-LinkedIn thought leadership study, 71% of B2B decision makers reported that thought-leadership content provides them with valuable insights, and 47% said they discovered a brand or made a purchase based on thought leadership content.
Identify Audience Communication Channels
A business marketing strategy allows you to concentrate your resources and actions on your greatest opportunities for success. Your marketing strategy will help you identify the communications channels where you can effectively reach your target audience and bring in new customers. Increasing conversions and acquiring new customers is, in the end, the foremost goal of any marketing strategy.
Pulling It All Together
Developing a successful marketing strategy involves many building blocks. So, it’s crucial that you take time to think through all of the different aspects of digital marketing and how each component fits into your strategy.
Finalizing Your Strategic Plan
Your marketing strategy is unique to your business and will differ greatly according to your audience and your business goals and objectives. With so much at stake we recommend that you consider working with an Indianapolis marketing strategic planning consultant that has the expertise to work with you on all facets of your marketing strategy.
Making it all work together
We’ve addressed the top four building blocks required for implementing a successful marketing strategy. In order to make sure that your strategy is meeting your business goals and objectives, make sure that you’ve covered the following and have addressed why you’re doing it and what you’re trying to achieve for the following areas:
- Target Audience
- Marketing goals and objectives
- Marketing channels
Engaging your team
Once you’ve created your marketing strategy, share it with other teams and key stakeholders so they’ll know what you’re working on and what measures are in place to determine the project’s success. They’ll be able to provide a different perspective and valuable feedback.
Having a marketing team that understands and can manage and execute each component of the strategy is fantastic, but that is usually not the case. For smaller businesses, a marketing team may not even exist. A detailed, realistic, and relevant digital marketing strategy needs a marketing team that can confidently manage the marketing strategy execution successfully. If you don’t have a marketing team, or if it’s just a small team, you should speak with your Indianapolis marketing agency.
Measuring and Evaluating Success
Part of your marketing strategy needs to define how you’ll measure success. What does success look like if all goals and objectives of the marketing strategy are met? This is the stage that tells you whether or not all of your marketing efforts paid off. After building and implementing your marketing strategies, you need to measure the results. However, don’t wait until the end of campaigns before evaluating. Depending on the results, you may be able to make needed adjustments.
Common critical metrics
Critical marketing metrics are measurable chunks of data that companies use to see the impact of their campaigns. For measuring the success of a marketing strategy, common metrics include:
- Gross revenue
- Email engagement (clicks versus opens)
- Return on investment (ROI)
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Cost per engagement
- Number of downloads, leads, and website traffic
When to re-evaluate?
There is no fixed timeline for how often you should evaluate your marketing strategy. Some businesses like to measure the influence of their marketing campaigns after every 6 months, but we recommend annual strategy evaluations. If you want to follow best practice, you should look at the marketing metrics monthly and do yearly evaluations on your marketing strategy.