06/25/2018 By wiredwebwriter
In this article I will cover off the basics of developing your marketing strategy and how you can regularly check back on it to make sure you are on track. Ideally a marketing strategy runs annually but you can start this process at any point in time.
Firstly make a realistic set of business objectives based on past performance, budget constraints and competitor analysis. What are you hoping to achieve in the upcoming twelve months. How much can you afford to invest and what resources do you have in place to achieve them. The best way to get your staff to buy into your strategy is to involve them in developing it.
Have a specific time set aside to brainstorm new ways to market to your customers and bring along customer research to the session. It’s really important that you are listening to what your customers are saying as they are your business effectively. Once you have your business objectives try and come up with up to five key strategic objectives. These should be measurable, time bound and ultimately focus on your customers or prospects. For example one business objective might be to increase sales by 10%. One strategy could therefore be to focus more energy on a specific niche which you know is profitable. Another might be to launch a new marketing channel to acquire new customers through.
At this point you should not be thinking tactically and trying to implement solutions. Try and think more high level than executing campaigns. Work through your objectives until you have agreed an overall strategy of how you will achieve them. Bear in mind that this should be a plan to keep you on track so try not to have too many objectives. All your activity going forward should link directly into one of these strategic objectives.
The next stage will be to build a marketing plan which will link into the marketing strategy. The marketing plan lays down the tactical activity which you will carry out in order to achieve the business objectives and that link into the marketing strategy. For example if you have agreed to launch a new sales channel, you need to document the launch date, the marketing mix and budget. It is beneficial to have an annual marketing plan but you can start this at any point in time.
Spend time developing your marketing strategy and build a solid document for everyone to refer to. This way everyone knows what you are trying to achieve as a business and how you are going to achieve it. It should ensure that you innovate and stay in line or ahead of your competition rather than being reactive. Present the marketing strategy to all the staff within your business so they know where you are heading and they can buy into it. Make sure everyone has a copy to refer back to through the year.