I get approached all the time to create tactics for businesses, but I start by asking owners and management about their marketing strategy goals. Typically, their answer is, “Strategy? What strategy? Do I need a strategy?” When I explain to them that a marketing strategy is crucial in implementing an organized marketing plan, they soon realize just how much they’re missing.
Marketing strategy involves establishing what your objectives are in order to determine the best way to reach your customers and prospects. Before you can identify what’s unique about your business, who you want to target, and how you differentiate from your competitors, you need to figure out your marketing strategy.
Ultimately, I emphasize focusing on promoting the right product(s) or service(s), or a combination of both, to establish the most effective marketing methods and maximize your business potential. To move forward, you need to figure out where you want to go—which is what a marketing strategy actually helps you do. So since this subject seems to make many business owners feel uneasy, let me clarify a few things.
A marketing plan is not a marketing strategy
Basically, your marketing plan is the application of your strategy and how to put it into action to make the biggest impact. The most effective plans aren’t throwing a variety of different tactics against the wall and seeing what sticks; I think the best ones are always measured and deliberate.
When it comes to digital strategy, think integration
Sure, digital marketing is huge these days. But that doesn’t mean you need a separate strategy developed just for your web, pay-per-click, and social media. Nor does it mean I would ever advise you to focus on just digital (or any other isolated area for that matter—from sales and product development to financing and hiring), while ignoring the rest of your business.
In order to achieve the most success and growth possible, your organization needs to integrate digital components with all of your marketing activities working together. Simply put, I always say your marketing strategy should encompass everything. Digital is a very important part of your overall business; thus, a good marketing strategy will incorporate it.
How to implement your strategy
Unfortunately, I’ve seen many business owners hire an agency to create a marketing plan for them, but then they store it away in a file folder or on the virtual cloud. Without someone to implement the strategy and develop a plan from the findings, it simply won’t do you much good. And when you think about it, there is virtually no other area of your business you would operate this way.
If you proactively decide to invest money in a professional marketing agency that can write your marketing strategy, you need take it a few steps further. If you don’t have the internal resources who can subsequently create a plan, and then implement and measure your activities, you might want to consider hiring a full-service agency.
CreativeWorks Marketing has the strategic expertise to help you market your business, from conception to initiation. Contact us today to learn more!