Having a marketing strategy is vital when promoting your business. Going in blindly and doing whatever comes to mind in the hopes it will work is not efficient.
Strategy is the thinking and planning is the doing. Here is an example of how the two work together:
Objective: To gain broader market adoption.
Marketing Strategy: Introduce into new market segments.
Marketing Plan: Develop marketing campaign that reaches out, identifies with and focuses on that specific segment.
A successful formula that can be used to further explain the importance on marketing strategy and marketing planning looks like this:
Marketing Strategy —> Marketing Plan —> Implementation = Success
Your marketing strategy consists of:
- The “what” has to be done.
- Inform consumers about the product or service being offered.
- Inform consumers of differentiation factors.
Your marketing plan consists of:
- The “how” to do it.
- Construct marketing campaigns and promotions that will achieve the “what” in your strategy.
Your implementation consists of:
- Taking action to achieve items identified in marketing strategy and marketing plan.
The best thing about having a strategy in place is that it keeps everyone in your business, no matter how big or small it may be, on the same page. It’s also flexible, meaning you can find out what is working and what isn’t, and adjust your marketing plans accordingly.
One thing remains consistent in the content marketing world despite game-changing trends: document your strategy. The Content Marketing Institute’s annual research found that those who document their content marketing strategies are more likely to consider themselves effective, feel less challenged by every aspect of it, and were able to justify spending more of their budget on it.
There’s no end to how far you can take your documentation, but focus on a core outline and actionable steps. Start by building your case for using content marketing with an outline of channels to approach, content you want to produce, and end goals.
Back up your efforts by meeting regularly with your marketing team to reassess your strategy and make adjustments as needed.
If there is anything nearly all consumers want from companies these days it’s the reminder that behind every company is people just like them. When working out your strategy, make sure you ensure everything you do is aimed towards forming a bond with your audience.
Before personalization became a brand in itself, marketing was always about making it personal. Keeping it personal is more of a challenge with marketing automation but the basics still prevail. In order to acquire and retain loyal customers, and keep followers engaged, personalized one-to-one marketing is no longer an option, but is a requirement.
Personal touches and one on one engagement results or is driven by the need to make an emotional connection above all else. Millennial in particular are looking for that emotional connection to a brand – which can result in brand loyalty – and word of mouth referrals and online reviews.
Bring it down to brass tacks and consider what makes one a loyal customer. As an example, a seating host at a local pub may know ones favorite spot or the waiter may bring ones favorite scotch to the table.
A restaurant owner always knows its best to personally address consumers while getting personal with consumers equates to more emotionally connected customers. It is human nature and despite massive shifts and advances in technology, the human touch still counts for a great deal in marketing and communications.
With planning and thought at the beginning of the marketing process, the rest of it will run much more smoothly – which as any business knows, is precisely what you want.