How to plan your marketing strategy
An In-Depth Look at How to Plan Your Marketing Strategy
Successfully planning a marketing strategy is quite a skill. It can make you well-known in your own vertical because it puts you right where your fans and clients are looking. It can also make you succeed financially, as any marketing strategy that sits above the rest cleverly tells your audience why they should buy from you.
However in order to succeed you need to know how much of each ingredient makes for that silver bullet marketing strategy plan.
A marketing strategy is the plan that will allow you to reach your marketing goals. These can vary, depending on what you sell, but usually we’re talking about:
- Building brand awareness
- Improving conversion rate
- New customers
- Higher revenues
- Selling more products
- Increasing market share.
How Does Planning a Marketing Strategy Work?
Once you’ve set your goals, you need to break them into smaller objectives. Getting new customers is a good goal, but it’s not enough to make an effective marketing strategy plan.
Objectives, on the other side, are specific and easy to measure. Let’s say you have 100 customers. A good objective is to double this number. Now, you need to break the “100-customer goal” into smaller chunks, because reasonable numbers make marketing easier. With that I mind, you can perhaps start at 10 new customers a month. This marketing objective in this sense is both measurable and time specific.
Once you have defined your objectives for your marketing strategy plan, you then need to come up with a good plan to turn them into reality.
Planning a Marketing Strategy: The Four Major Elements
- Your Product
This is the centre of your marketing strategy plan. At all stages of the marketing process, you must define the features that make your product unique and sellable. They’ll help you promote the product to attract new customers. Think about building a message around the public’s needs or potential gaps in the market you’ve spotted. This can be done by conducting thorough competitor analysis across the market and gather info on potential buyers.
People tend to look at the bigger picture when buying. This is particularly true when looking at millennials, who may need more than their immediate satisfaction. You need to prove yourself socially responsible, to stay on the market.
Becoming part of a bigger thing makes your product worth buying, as it becomes more about ethos and worldview/ It doesn’t have to change the world, but it should try to make it a better place for everyone.
Details like this are important because they tell so much about who you are and how you do business:
- Make sure your product doesn’t harm the environment.
- Support a cause in which you believe. Almost 50% of millennials are more willing to buy from companies who invest in a cause.
- Choose sustainable packaging solutions. Don’t ruin your brand by working with irresponsible companies or by choosing unfriendly materials to wrap your products. Environment-friendly packaging will add costs, but you need to find a balance between quality and payment.
This brings us to the second element in your marketing strategy – pricing.
Everybody knows everything comes at a price. When doing business, the price is more important than you think.
Calculate your costs and try to remain realistic when it comes to profits. Evaluate your product honestly. What does it do for the user? And, importantly, how much would you pay to have it? Look at what your competitors sell. If similar products have lower prices, it’s going to be hard to convince new clients. Ethics are of course important, but as much as 80% of consumers look at the price when purchasing a product.
If your prices are too high, try to cut costs. Come up with a simpler version of your product. Something that asks for less material or fewer working hours. This way, you’ll sell better and cover a larger target public.
Finding the right places to sell your products is an essential part of your marketing strategy. There’s a reason why supermarkets don’t luxury designer women’s shoes, for example.
You need to know your target public well to put your product where potential clients are looking. With all the possibilities online, finding better places to sell is easier than ever before. You can build your own website or sell directly on Facebook. Or, if you’re still testing your product’s potential, you can try special platforms in your niche.
If you have large amounts of products to sell, you can try influencer sites. You will have to find the right people to work with. If you sell clothes, you should go to websites that write for people who like shopping. If you produce tools, you’d better look for a more technical website.
Promotion connects things together to make your product successful.
To start, you need a clear message. Something easy to understand and to share. Information should be accurate yet wrapped in a beautiful story that encapsulates what your brand means.
Marketing campaigns are ongoing stories, and should thus be planned out accordingly. Once a campaign is over, you need to start building a new one right away. This way, you keep your audience connected to your brand and engaged in your story.
You must mix offline with online digital marketing to increase visibility and brand awareness. Digital marketing is essential to grow your brand, but it should form part of an overall complex marketing strategy. Offline channels can generate as much as 40% of online searches, so you need to find the right balance between online and offline marketing.
A Word on Digital Marketing
Everybody asks Google when looking for information at the first stage of the sales funnel. So, you need to make sure you have a good online image to convince possible customers about your product. Here are some major elements you should consider when building your internet marketing.
- Content. Content is king, and is arguably the most important element in digital marketing. High-quality content drives traffic to your website, engages visitors and establishes you as an authority in your niche.
- Social media. There are almost 5 billion people using social networks every day. You can use them to communicate in real time with potential clients through a wide series of tools specially created for business.
- Email marketing. When done properly, it can still the most efficient method when it comes to converting simple visitors into clients.
Digital marketing allows you to target audiences for efficient results. It also costs less than traditional marketing, and with a plethora of 3rd party tools out there you can also measure both effort and results in order to continuously improve your techniques.
Tricks for A Successful Strategy in Marketing
Marketing is a complex area; a mix of science and art. You can build marketing strategies and write hundreds of ‘how to’ manuals to help people sell easier, yet there is no such thing as a perfect recipe.
Each client is different. You can’t come up with a strategy to attract everybody. Instead, you can use some guidelines to customise your strategy for efficient results.
- Keep clients in mind. Create your buyer persona – that person who describes best your clients. Once you know whom you’re talking to, you’ll be able to tailor your marketing campaigns and plans to fit your audience. You need market research to define your actual public. This can be long, hard and expensive work, and you may need professional help in the form of a marketing consultant to reach relevant results. Having a clear image about your target public will make your marketing more efficient.
- Give value. Nothing can compete against a valuable product. Whether you sell expensive jewellery or wood toys, your products need to help people. Yes, you do business to make money, but you need to find a balance between your interests and your public’s needs.
- Pay attention to business partners. They say a lot about who you are. So, try to work with people who share your values. This way, you’ll manage to send a consistent message and to gain trust, online and offline. Check all the information spread about your brand. It’s a hard job with so much stuff flowing on social media, but you have to do your best to stay in control.
- Learn and improve. Listen to what your customers have to say. Their feedback can help you create better products and improve the way you do business. Ask for honest reviews and use them as a marketing resource and as inspiration for new projects.
Putting together a marketing strategy isn’t easy. But it’s not that complicated either if you have the direction nailed. It’s all about having clear purposes. Write down your goals and then try to make them measurable, time specific and realistic.
With your objectives in mind, you can start building a cost-effective marketing strategy that is in line with your company. Test various ideas and see which works better for your audience. Measure results periodically, to make sure you’re not investing valuable resources in the wrong methods. And, most important, never stop learning.