Are you ready to discover the ultimate guide to creating a marketing strategy? In this post, we’re sharing all our top tips and posts to help you create your own marketing strategy so you can feel more in control and clear about your marketing approach.
Last year, we shared our Marketing Strategy 101 series and we thought it would be helpful to have them all in one place for you to access. So here are the different elements you need in your marketing strategy and some more in-depth posts for you to access:
The first part of any marketing strategy – or your roadmap if you prefer – is working out where you already are. And this is the part of the marketing strategy that we call the marketing audit.
Doing an audit can sound terrifying but essentially it’s just a marketing consultant or you as a business owner taking a look at your business and your marketing activities then writing down and mapping out what you’re already doing. This involves looking at a couple of different areas, usually focusing on digital marketing but also considering your traditional marketing activities if you’re doing those too.
Setting marketing objectives
The second step of the marketing strategy development process is to look at your marketing objectives and your key performance indicators. Your marketing objectives should always feed into your wider business objectives, so it’s really important when you’re doing a piece of work on a marketing strategy that you’re very clear on what the objectives for your business are as a whole.
Both your business and your marketing objectives should usually be SMART objectives. If you haven’t come across this term before, it means they are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic or Relevant and Time-bound.
By making sure your objectives are SMART, it means that you’re hopefully going to be able to achieve them in the set time frames and make progress with your marketing in your business without getting overwhelmed.
Competitor analysis is really important – not only to see how you stack up against other businesses who are operating in the same field as you, but also as a great source of inspiration for your strategy!
By spending some time looking at your competitors websites and the other marketing activities that they’re doing, as well as how their customers engage with them, you might be able to come up with some really great initiatives and new ideas.
The next step is to start understanding your customers and what really makes them tick.
One of my favourite ways to do this is by developing out customer personas, also sometimes called avatars. I’d usually recommend starting with three core personas to begin with. A customer persona is a fantastic tool for really starting to think like your customer.
As business owners and even senior marketers, we often forget that it’s not about us – it’s actually about our customer. So spending some time on your customer personas is vital to ensuring you have a really robust strategy and that you’re really targeting everything at the right people.
Once you’ve developed your customer personas and continue to develop your marketing strategy, the next step is reviewing your value proposition.
Sounds scary? Don’t worry, it’s not! Chances are you already know what this is anyway because it’s just a fancy term for what product or service you offer and what problem it solves for your customers.
Key messages and channels
Key messages are not only what you want to say to your customer, but also how you’re going to say it. You can start developing your key messages by outlining some key bullet points and then expand them out. When you’re doing this, make sure you’re also creating messages in the right tone of voice to make sure your messages really resonate with the people you’re trying to speak to.
Within the strategy, it’s also important to include which channels you are going to be sharing your key messages on so you can plan effectively. Once again, this ties into the customer personas you developed because that exercise should have given you an idea of where your ideal customer spends their time.
The next part of the marketing strategy centres around budget and resourcing. This is the part of a strategy that is very easy to leave out because you just want to jump ahead to the fun bit of planning all of the stuff you’re going to do! But actually, this part is really critical to ensuring the success of your marketing strategy and all your activities.
This is the part where you take a really long, hard look at what budget you have available, what staff resource you have available, and what time you have available. You then need to make sure that it all fits together and that you can actually achieve what you’ve outlined in your strategy. And make sure you’re honest with yourself about what’s achievable in your business!
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