A marketing strategy is a plan that sets out your business goals and how you will achieve them through your marketing.
For a new business, or a business that has never defined their marketing strategy before, this can seem a daunting task. But by understanding the three main elements, it becomes much more achievable.
A business owner must first understand their target audience. This means defining who are your ideal customers. What are their demographics? Do they live in certain locations? Is there a common interest or a shared problem? How wide is your target audience?
You may have more than one target audience if you provide multiple products or services for different types of people. For example, a company such as Amazon would have a much wider audience than a high-street retailer only selling gardening tools.
Once you know who you’re looking to target, think about where you will be able to reach these people.
Although all companies want to obtain more sales, your marketing strategy could include a goal that is not necessarily a direct revenue generator. A marketing goal could be drawing attention to a new product, promoting a newsletter, or increasing brand awareness, for example.
What are your objectives? What do you want your marketing to achieve? A clear, obtainable goal is the foundation for your marketing strategy. Tactics
After you’ve identified who you want to reach with your marketing and what action you want them to take, it should help you to focus on what you need to include within your marketing to help you achieve this.
If you’re a financial planner, you may want to increase the number of people on your mailing list so you can reach them directly at key times within the financial year. A monthly newsletter with money-saving tips could be a great way to show them your expertise and build trust.
If you’re a tech company that has just launched a new gaming headset, your goal may be to obtain more followers from the teenage market. Your tactic here may be teaser videos on TikTok with a giveaway competition.
> Job done, right?
After you’ve devised your marketing strategy and set about actioning it, you may think, ‘great, job done!’ But don’t get complacent - your marketing strategy is never finished!
You should regularly refer back to your strategy to make sure you’re staying on track. Is all your marketing aligned to this plan? Did your tactics work? Did you achieve the goals you set? What worked best? Did anything flop?
Don’t forget as well that you will most likely need to change your strategy over time - your target audience may change, or your goals may differ as your business develops. It’s crucial that you check back to see if it’s still relevant and adjust it if necessary.