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Marketing Without Strategy Garners So-So Results
If your marketing efforts have resulted in lackluster results, it’s likely there was no marketing strategy behind your campaigns. Perhaps you inherited a set of marketing activities with which you simply continued. Maybe you made marketing decisions based on the advice of well-meaning, but singularly-focused vendors. Or, perhaps you just didn’t know how to create a marketing strategy. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s the most common challenge we see in small to mid-sized businesses.) In any case, your marketing plans can reap more rewards when a marketing strategy is behind them. Read on to learn how to get a marketing strategy powering your marketing efforts.
Marketing Strategy Versus Tactics
Many people use the term “marketing strategy” when what they are really discussing are tactics. Tactics are things like social media, building a website, content marketing, SEO, newsletters, etc. So, they will say, “We are using a social media marketing strategy to achieve greater engagement.” The truth is, a tactic is an execution. It’s not a strategy.
What Is Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is what guides your tactical decisions. It is a plan, informed by your business’s current situation, that allocates resources to best communicate your value to the right audience at the right time and in the right place. A good marketing strategy will make your marketing budget work harder for you and propel your business forward.
Marketing strategy is the difference between making informed, deliberate decisions on your marketing efforts and guessing what will work. A marketing strategy will save you time and money and could be the difference between success and failure.
There is no one-size-fits-all in marketing strategies because they are crafted by understanding the entire situation in which your business currently sits. No two businesses are in the same situation, so marketing strategies are always unique.
To gain a thorough understanding of your business' situation requires a thorough 360-degree exploration into the landscape in which your business currently sits. A situation analysis is the best way to gather this kind of specific intelligence and it includes the seven components listed below.
These are the seven studies we offer in a situation analysis. Some or all may be required to determine the best marketing strategy for your business.
A SWOT Analysis examines your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats so that the strategy can mitigate your businesses' weaknesses and threats and leverage its' strengths and opportunities.
A Brand Audit unveils the difference between what you think your brand is communicating and how customers perceive your brand.
A Competitor Analysis reveals your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and locates the gaps in their marketing that you can use to your advantage.
Target Market Research discovers who your target markets are, what is important to them, and the best ways to communicate with them.
A review of your Search Engine Optimization uncovers how your website ranks against competitors in search engine results.
An analysis of your Customer Data illuminates your profit centers, measures your customer lifetime value, (CLV) and other valuable metrics.
A review of your Website Data (Google Analytics) reveals how people interact with your brand through your website.
The Strategy Statement
Once the situation analysis is complete, we use it and your business goals to formulate your marketing strategy statement. The strategy statement answers the question, “Given the goals we want to achieve and the situation we are in, how should we focus our marketing efforts?”
This statement serves as the basis for all subsequent marketing decisions. It is the guidepost by which we evaluate all marketing future decisions to make sure everything is in line with our strategic direction.
The Results Of A Good Marketing Strategy
A good marketing strategy helps you get more of the customers you love and less of the ones that take up too much of your time. When you make decisions based on a well-informed strategy, you naturally focus on getting leads from the kind of customers you want and paring down the inquiries from the customers that aren’t profitable for you.
A Great Strategy Without Meticulous Execution Is Pointless
Once we devise an integrated strategy, the daily efforts of writing, publishing, producing, designing, distributing, and analyzing the associated campaigns are where that strategy gets realized. While a good strategy provides a road map to improve your marketing business, you still have to get in the car and drive it from point A to point B every day. Strategy without execution is just a fantasy. And lackluster execution without attention to detail and a standard of excellence reflects poorly on your brand and won’t achieve your goals. Visit our execution pages to learn more about the types of marketing tactics we do.
Is it time to take a deliberate, strategic approach to your marketing?
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