To create and implement an effective marketing strategy, marketing teams must follow a crucial series of steps. Each step builds on the one before it, ensuring that the marketing strategy, campaign, and tactics support the business’s objectives and growth.
Here are seven steps that can guide marketing teams to success.
1. Start with clear goals and objectives.
No marketing strategy can succeed without an understanding of what it’s supposed to accomplish, so outlining goals and objectives is the top priority. A marketing team needs to define the purpose of a strategy before making any other decisions. The goal might be to identify potential customers, close sales with new customers, encourage existing customers to buy additional products, build the product or company’s visibility, or increase traffic to a store or website.
Once a team has identified goals and objectives, the next step is to identify key measures of success. For example, with a goal of closing sales with new customers, measurements could be the number of new customers or the amount of revenue gained within a certain time. For a goal of increasing traffic, measurements could be the number of site or store visits by new or existing customers.
2. Make sure the budget is adequate.
No company has unlimited funds to spend on marketing strategies. However, a marketing team needs to understand the budget that’s available. That way, they can allocate funds where they make the most impact. After the goals, the budget frames a marketing team’s decisions. Marketers may need to be prepared to champion their marketing strategies with C-level executives to create buy-in for the funding they need.
3. Define the target audience.
Sometimes, marketing teams need to differentiate between buyers and end-users to create personas that accurately represent the target audience. In B2B environments, one department may oversee purchasing products for users in another department. For B2C companies, parents may be the buyers for products their children use, or one person in a household may make the purchasing decision for items others use.
Marketing teams should create detailed personas that represent their buyers and their end-users. Personas will vary based on the product or service being promoted, but marketing teams may want to include factors such as gender, age, income, geographic location, profession, interests, and preferences.
4. Create engaging content.
Marketing teams need to create a campaign that supports the marketing strategy. A lot of factors inform the direction of the campaign. A team might be introducing a new product, broadening the reach of an existing product, or upselling a product’s features. They may be reinforcing the company’s existing brand and visibility or rebranding with a more modern style.
Regardless of the campaign’s objectives, the content must be created with the personas in mind.
5. Choose tactics that support the marketing strategy and campaign.
Once a marketing team has its content ideas in place, it’s time to position those ideas in areas that will reach the desired audience and work within the budget. There are many different options for marketing tactics based on goals, products, and strategies. Marketing teams may want to:
- Place ads in social media
- Send emails
- Offer prizes to boost engagement
- Create blog posts
- Sponsor podcasts
- Connect with influencers
- Promote positive reviews
- Develop case studies or white papers
- Partner with affiliates
A marketing team will want to combine several different tactics to support the marketing strategy.
6. Measure key performance indicators and other markers of success.
Measuring success means reviewing the goals and objectives to see what’s performing well in the campaign. A team will want to ask questions such as: How many new customers came on board? How much revenue was generated? How much more did existing customers buy? How did visibility increase? How much additional traffic reached the store or site? And which tactics led to positive outcomes?
With this information, a marketing team can double down on tactics that are performing well and revamp or replace those that aren’t.
7. Review, revise, and repeat.
Whether a marketing team is continuing with an existing campaign or launching a new one, these steps—and the lessons learned from them—can be used again to build a successful marketing strategy.
For help with creating a successful marketing plan, contact Imaginari today.