How to Develop a Marketing Strategy
What is the Importance of Developing a Marketing Strategy?
Developing a marketing strategy starts with the time and effort in understanding the internal and external influencing factors that drive sales. Also what is needed is the expertise and experience to identify and quantify the profitability of the marketing opportunities.
In summary, the marketing strategy will represent the dynamics of the organization and the marketplace and drive a consensus as to what direction the company should take.
What a Marketing Strategy Includes:
In building a marketing strategy it includes the following key components:
- The starting point of the strategy will be understanding the driving forces in the industry.
- The strategy will outline the company’s situation with reference to the internal and the external environment.
- In managing from the outside in, it will include a proper situation analysis – the background and foundation for the strategic direction.
- It addresses the resources needed to build out and execute a successful marketing plan.
- It will identify marketing opportunities that are the best fit for the organization based on brand, resources and potential profitability.
How to Develop a Marketing Strategy
Gather an overall observation of the competitive landscape and particular opportunities or threats within this landscape. Also, identify any trends, observe what competitors are adopting and list your top competitors.
List out the specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within your market. If there are areas that are particularly notable that will be a prime area of focus, expound upon those areas.
- Strengths (internal advantages, what you are already doing well, your competitive edge)
- Weaknesses (internal inefficiencies, areas the organization is falling behind the competition or is lacking in resources):
- Opportunities (External areas within the marketplace where the competition is weak and your business has potential. Using the PEST (political, economic, social, technological) analysis to cover all the bases)
- Threats (External area where the competition is strong or there is a market trend with the potential to harm your organization Again, use the PEST analysis here).
In this section provide a synopsis of your buyer personas. Cover why these are your key personas (primary and secondary) as well as the types of buyers you want to avoid. Consider influencers, end users and ambassadors.
In this section chart out your buying cycle. Through primary and secondary research discover how, when, where and why they buy. This is crucial to your strategy.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Explain your unique selling proposition and how you differ from the competition. The USP will be included in all your messaging to ensure it is communicated through your brand to the target audiences.
Discuss your brand and how it will be communicated as well as protected. Changes or strategies we are hoping to develop around your brand will be included here. Discuss how your brand is currently perceived in the marketplace and how you plan to ensure the brand increases its visibility and recognition as well as address any reputation challenges.
In this section discuss how you plan to revamp or build a new site. Address why your website is so important and the role it plays in attracting, engaging and converting your personas into buyers. Additional content and resources for your website plans will be listed here. Include how to measure efforts and what success will look like by listing goals around number of new web visitors, visitors to sales, event conversion rate, number of leads, number of event and newsletter sign-ups, etc.
In this section discuss the important role content will play on strategy. Explain how it will be used, who will be creating it and why it will improve search and attract buyers. Discuss any changes from the previous year, list KPIs, explain how content will be distributed and outline rough goals for the plan. And, include additional resources needed.
Social Media Marketing
Explain how social media channels will be maintained. Include the strategies – how it will keep a consistent presence, build relationships, gain followers, get likes, etc.- and goals for each social media account, plus how it will keep the brand consistent across all channels. Address the role social will play in distributing content and bringing members and potential buyers back to the website, signing up for events, renewing subscriptions, purchasing products or services, etc.
Email Marketing & Events
In this section explain the role events and email marketing will play. Explain strategy and goals. Also address promotions, segmentation and how other channels will be integrated.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
In this section discuss your SEO strategy and its importance in overall goals. Explain how it will be incorporated throughout your website, social media and content marketing efforts.
Measurement and KPIs
For tracking program success, list out how and when you plan to measure efforts, the KPIs used and what success ultimately looks like. Success needs to tie back to the business objectives and marketing goals.
Quantify Potential Sales Revenue From Marketing Opportunities
It is important in the planning stage to quantify potential sales revenue through assessing the marketing opportunities across key verticals, segments, affiliates and sponsors. As a result of having a strong business case for your marketing plan, it will assist in prioritizing efforts and marketing investments.
Marketing Strategy and Tactics
In listing the overarching strategy, recap it all in a brief synopsis. Focus on certain marketing tactics as a part of the strategy by listing 4 to 5 main tactical initiatives in the first year. This will help your organization reach its goals.