Marketing strategy differs from a marketing plan in very different ways. In fact, a marketing plan can be seen as one of the deliverables of a marketing strategy. A marketing plan is the roadmap for marketing executions including all tactical, channels, timing and KPI’s. It can be developed for a specific campaign, launch, or period of time.
Whereas, a marketing strategy involves a connection to a specific business goal, either for a product, service or funnel stage, and how to achieve it. Also, the definition of the target segment, stakeholders and people you need to get involved to make things happen smoothly. It has to consider a balance in both digital and traditional marketing techniques and that will depend on your specific business.
Working on your marketing strategy from the beginning brings many benefits for you and the fulfillment of your goals. Below you have some o the most powerful benefits marketing strategy planning process.
4 Benefits of working on your marketing strategy
A marketing strategy can be as deep or practical as you want, as long as you have the main pieces and make sure to communicate within your company. It should be reviewed every year to keep direction towards you company’s vision. Working on it will strongly support and accelerate your company’s growth.
Clarity and focus on your business goals.
When it comes to marketing expenditures, it becomes really easy to expend money and resources on tactics. However, when these executions are not align to your business goals it gets really hard to get meaningful numbers out of it. Working on that, along with a plan will keep you and your team focused and accountable towards your goals settings and optimize your budget.
Make better decisions.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) definition for you strategy and tactics, will allow your company to know if you are achieving or not your business results and facilitate your decision making process. KPIs may vary based on your objectives, across departments, sales or marketing tactics, projects and so on. For marketing purposes you need to define those that provide you with the best insights and information to make any possible changes if results are not going as expected. They will allow you to understand historical data from previous efforts, compare, and forecast results for future investments.
Teamwork and break silos.
A marketing strategy involves pretty much all areas in your company. It requires to have everyone involved and working together to provide a positive experience to your customers and get the best results meaning that fluent internal communication is key. Working as a team for the same objectives will help to break silos and have better conversations across departments.
Planning is an essential part when you build a marketing strategy and its means to build a timeline and have a clear picture of what you are going to do to make things happen. It will also help you to forecast the required budget and resources saving you time and money. There are many project management softwares and applications that can make easier the process like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Monday, etc.
6 elements you must have on your marketing strategy
Now, let’s talk about the essentials of your marketing strategy. Below are the 6 things you need to set up.
What is your vision?What is that outcome you want to achieve with your business in the next 5 years? And, then go backwards and picture it for the next couple of years and then for the next 6 months. This is the heavy lifting, and even the strategy may change where you want to go. Without this, your marketing investment and results are going to be aimless. When setting your goals make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to your business, and time-based goals.
Niche market or target audience.
I know you have heard this many times. And, yet it is still essential and necessary to go deep on knowing your audience and choose your niche, create your buyer personas. Segmenting requires research and data analysis. Even though choosing your niche seems to be a one time thing, getting to really know your customer requires permanent research. Some techniques are sales performance, product usage data, facebook groups related to your niche, surveys and polls on social media, etc.
WOW factor – what is the difference between you and your competitors?
When you don’t have this clear, the door of your churn rate is wide open. Meaning, there is not a single thing your customers could feel you are worth enough for staying with you in a long term relationship. There is no reason you can give them to stay with you and not trying a different brand. Once you have your differentiator build your value proposition, the problem you are solving for them and the transformation your audience will get by using that product or service from your company. A good value proposition always involves the solution to a problem your target might have.
Customer journey or funnelHow does your customer journey looks like for the product or service you are working on? When you picture this and really nail it down, the process of setting specific objectives and brainstorming marketing tactics becomes much easier when building the marketing plan afterwards.
Message framingHow do you want them to perceive your brand?, what are going to be the key messages you want to spread and to be recognized for?. From that definition you will get the pillars of your brand, and around those you need to fuel your communication and content strategy on each channel.
Now that you have the basics, you can start working on the marketing plan that will support your strategy and will mark the roadmap for implementation. For creating your marketing plan you can use a free template that includes all the main criteria for the implementation, I would also recommend checking out Hubspot free tools. Also, you can wait for our next post so we can guide you step by step on how to build your marketing plan.