Marketing Strategy

Four steps for improved marketing; a giant leap for your business

We know that a systematic approach to any task will help you reach your goal smoothly. That’s why we advocate 4-steps for improved marketing. This common-sense approach will help you develop a competitive advantage, get organised, stay focused and see measurable results.

We’ve been able to see how our four steps can improve marketing performance. Some clients follow our steps, others take a reactive approach. The results are always clear. Consider how following the following four steps could improve your marketing performance.

1. Marketing strategy

Start with strategy. Knowing which direction to take with your marketing can be the difference between creating a sustainable competitive advantage or struggling in a market where you are constantly chasing the competition.

Developing a marketing strategy involves following a systematic approach. Research, insight, and objective setting will ensure that your chosen strategy is aligned with your business objectives. Strategy tools can be used to help you work through your thinking and determine the best strategy to meet your objectives. Tools such as Porter’s Generic Strategies will help you define the basis of your competitive advantage. Is it based on your product performance, perceptions of your product, your attitude, your flexibility, your sills or perhaps alliances – maybe even low cost operations. Porter’s 5 forces can help you gain an understanding of the attractiveness and profitability of an industry. The Ansoff Matrix can help determine your product and market strategy – the risks involved in penetrating new markets, vs product development, market development and market penetration.  Perhaps you have already determined a strategy. With over 80 tools to draw from, they are useful for testing your thinking and aiding decision making.

2. Marketing planning

Your marketing strategy’s clear. You’ve set your objectives and you know what your customer needs are. Now it’s time to plan. Look at your 4 P’s and make sure you’ve got the resource and the skill sets to get your marketing running, smoothly, consistently.

A good, strategic marketing plan will take into account the current market overview. It will segment your market and define your target audience. It will map out your product or service strategy. Pricing is examined and a pricing strategy is set to ensure your pricing policy supports your objectives. Your promotional strategy will define your value propositions, your key messages and how you will spread them.  How will you take our product to market? Are there multiple channels to support or only direct selling. All of these factors impact decisions regarding selecting marketing tactics that will offer you the greatest impact and return – sales.

3. Marketing tactics

Online or offline, there are countless marketing channels available, but how do you know which ones will work best? Throwing money at many different options in the hope that someone, somewhere, will respond to your message, is risky and expensive. What worked last month, won’t necessarily work today.

Make smart choices and manage implementation, for maximum return. Inbound marketing, utilising content marketing and social media is even higher on the list of priorities , since Google introduced Penguin and Hummingbird.

And don’t forget to make sure all activity is implemented in a way that enables you to measure performance.

4. Control and evaluation of marketing performance

Implementing controls will enable you to evaluate your marketing performance – and take quick corrective action to maximise your return on marketing spend.  A clear marketing plan and marketing budget will remove guesswork, while reporting will enable you to use data to drive your decision making.

Start by setting clear KPI’s that you’ll measure your marketing performance against. Utilise tools that make implementation easy and enable you to report on performance. Know which reports you need. Make sure reports are run and analysed at the right intervals. Know what to look for in the data.

Soon you’ll begin to see what activity produces the best leads, how many of your leads translate into sales, how much each lead costs and your marketing cost per sale. You’ll be able to make informed decisions about how to convey your message, what channels appeal most to your audience, and how your tactics are working for your business.

By taking a planned approach to your marketing, combined with implementing controls and analysing performance you’ll soon begin to strip out inefficiencies and ensure every penny spent on marketing counts. See our  4 steps for improved marketing.

If you require any support with taking a planned approach to your marketing, get in touch. We can help you develop and implement smarter marketing. 

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