When you want a build a marketing strategy that’s as strong as it is scalable, it’s vital you make a conscious effort to tackle the marketing process using clear-cut steps that eliminate guesswork and leave little room for error.
Every marketing strategy must have a goal, but not all goals are created equal. Success hinges on naming a target that’s SMART:
- Specific: “Make a lot of money” isn’t a strong goal, but “make $1.2 million” is
- Measurable: Use KPIs to quantify your goals, because real numbers make it easy to calculate gains and losses
- Achievable: No sense setting a goal that’s impossible to attain, so keep your targets realistic
- Relevant: Don’t strive for goals that aren’t relevant to your business just because they seem cool or trendy
- Time-based: Goals should have a timeline, so you know what end date you’re shooting for — this helps keep you on track by working backward to set periodic milestones
This step involves studying the market and your competition. Identify all relevant opportunities, recognize risk factors that could throw up roadblocks as you scale and make a list of strengths and weaknesses. This information will help you make crucial decisions about where to allocate funds, what gaps in the market your business can help address and which challenges could prove to be your undoing if you’re not vigilant.
Step three is creating your strategy from the ground up. You’ve got the data, you have a good idea what you want to emphasize and what demographics you may want to avoid, and now you can put together your marketing mix. Much of this step focuses on the four Ps:
- Product: This is your product which could be a tangible good or a service
- Price: After you’ve established your product, you use factors such as supply and demand and perceived value to determine your price
- Promotion: Once the product and price are established, you move on to promoting the good or service using the channels best suited to your industry and audience
- Place: “Place” isn’t always a brick-and-mortar store but rather wherever potential customers will discover the product and have the opportunity to make a transaction
You’ve got a plan, data, a product, pricing, pretty much everything you need to make your strategy work like a charm. Now it’s time to hit the “go” button. Put together a schedule for all your ads, posts and other promotions and launch your strategy.
- Review & Adjust
Now that you’ve released your campaign into the wild, be hyper critical. Use the metrics that make the most sense for your mission to measure progress, identify weak points and see what’s working. Make changes as needed, relaunch and repeat until you reach your goal or you realize the campaign is unsalvageable (hopefully it’s the former).
While real-world strategic planning may not be as cut and dried as the five individual steps above, this should get you off to a good start. Dig into more information on the strategic marketing planning process using our handy guide and empower yourself and your team to build the best marketing campaign yet.