One of the most overused and misunderstood terms used in marketing is the phrase “marketing strategy.” Throughout my career, I’ve seen many clients impulsively disregard the importance of developing an effective marketing strategy and immediately implement marketing tactics. Their rationale is that they want a “quick fix” to increase their company’s revenue while building their brand’s reputation.
Although I understand the attraction toward gravitating towards “the low hanging fruit”, in most cases, you will not reap the benefits that an effective, Marketing Strategy can do for your business. That said, here are some of the main components to keep in mind in developing a marketing strategy:
One of the most critical steps in creating your marketing strategy is collaborating with your key stakeholders to ensure that you’re on the same page as your stakeholders. Do you want to increase sales? Promote brand awareness? There needs to be among your key stakeholders on your marketing objectives or all of your hard work may become an exercise in futility.
Getting buy-in from the inception of your marketing strategy is critical. I’ve worked with many clients who’ve spent endless hours identifying what they believed was their company’s marketing objectives. However, they soon learned that their senior management and/or Board of Directors had a completely different vision.
Many businesses assume they know their customer and/or prospects better than anyone else. That may be true, but setting some time and resources aside to conduct research to get an accurate pulse on your target audiences expectations’ will save a lot of time and resources.
Identifying Your Target Audience(s) and Tailoring Your Approach to Achieve Your Marketing Objectives:
Every business has at least one target audience, if not many diverse target audiences. It could be the senior decision-maker for a small to mid-sized company, the head of a household, a millennial. Identifying who they are, what will resonate with them and the most effective and efficient way to reach them will be worth its weight in gold once you implement your campaign.
As you know, the marketing tactics available in your arsenal are plentiful. However, the tactics that will optimize your ROI is a different matter. Social media? Digital advertising? Print advertising? Media Relations? SEO? Collateral Development? Branding? Website design? Affiliate Marketing? Special events? The list goes on…When it comes to identifying your target audience(s), remember “one size doesn’t fit all.”
Tactics and Resources:
Once you receive buy-in from your key stakeholders, you need to identify what tactics will achieve your marketing objectives – both from a financial and staff resource perspective. Concurrently, it’s worth asking yourself if you have the internal resources to achieve your goals or do you need to enlist outside resources. From a financial perspective, it’s imperative to create a realistic budget that identifies the majority of the costs associated with your campaign.
I recently worked with a small business that was spending $1,000 a day on Google AdWords. The good news was that they saw a tremendous influx website traffic to their site. The bad news was that the bounce rate, or the amount of time that prospects spent on their site, was less than one minute. This was not nearly enough time to make a transaction and/or learn about the company’s services. The reason this occurred was their website was not user-friendly, had slow load times along with broken links. As a result, they had to re-design their entire website and terminate their AdWords campaign until they had a website that would promote business development in a user-friendly, easy to navigate manner. The cost to do that after the fact blew their marketing budget out of the water. The point of me sharing this example is to emphasize the importance of due diligence before prematurely launching a tactical approach.
Many years ago, I provided consulting services for a major pharmaceutical company that was launching a new over-the-counter pain reliever. Their number one objective was to see how many impressions they could garner through a variety of media outlets. The campaign resulted in over 80 million impressions through a variety of tactics: company website launch pages, radio, television and print ads, a special event and a celebrity endorsement. However, despite my recommendations, they didn’t build metrics into the campaign from its inception. Consequently, they couldn’t tell what tactics resulted in the increased sales of their product. If they had incorporated metrics into their campaign from the beginning, they could have leveraged the most effective tactics and minimized or eliminated the least effective ones.
Whenever you launch a marketing campaign, it’s absolutely critical to metrics into the campaign from the inception. With such outstanding resources as Google Analytics available for free, we can now identify exactly where web traffic is coming from, demographics along valuable information to make your campaign more effective, strategic and dynamic.
I’ve briefly touched upon a few of the areas that should be considered in creating and executing an effective multi-channel marketing campaign.
If you’d like to learn more about how your business can achieve the marketing results you and your desire, please feel free to contact ROI Advisory Solutions (ROIAdvisorySolutions.com) or contact me personally at email@example.com or 312.953.1716.