Marketing Strategy

Make strategic marketing decisions now for a successful 2014

Now, more than ever, organisations have to invest wisely in strategic marketing that hits targets head on. For a successful 2014, it’s crucial to make the right decisions today. There are many new possibilities, but the trick is to truly understand which options translate into sales and profit.

We can be cautiously optimistic. The International Monetary Fund tells us the global economy is levelling out and 2014 is expected to be a more stable year. But it’s by no means plain sailing for your business. Here are 5 keys points to consider when making strategic marketing decisions about your marketing for 2014:

1. Choose channels that fit your business.  

Businesses are looking for new, smart ways to get their message in front of customers. Social media strategy will be high on investment considerations. The number of social media networks available makes it difficult to know which ones have the potential to enhance your business and the best way to use them. Not only is their number increasing steadily, but organisations are finding new ways to use these channels. Some are investing in the countless social media applications available – such as management and monitoring tools – to gauge their markets. Social media sites too are competing for your business. LinkedIn, for example, has recently introduced Sponsored Updates, a tool that allows an organisation to promote its updates to audiences beyond its contacts list. And remember that with social channels, customers have the power to endorse or deny a product in the public domain. What channels are relevant to your business and how can you win your customers’ trust and stand out in this environment?

2. Understand your market. 

What are your customers wanting to accomplish? What drive’s their behaviours?  When you understand this, you can deliver products and services and craft messages that speak directly to them.   Business users don’t click banners that don’t interest them.  And they won’t continue to use a supplier that offers an out of date product or substandard service. They have the resources at their fingertips to find value, quality and the best deal in seconds.

3. Plan your content.

How much time and budget will you spend on content? And how much of it will be relevant? It’s difficult for your customers to hone in on relevant content. A 2011 study, reported in The Telegraph, revealed that individuals were bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day. And that was two years ago.   Focus on key messages that are relevant to your audience. Know how to make your message relevant, for the different stages of the buying process and deliver value – then your content will spread.

4. Plan your mobile marketing.

Today, more people than ever view their content on smart phones, dramatically increasing the amount of information they process each day. Recent eMarketer statistics project that by 2014, 53.7% of the UK population will use smart phones. That’s roughly 34 million people, many of whom will be CEOs or other business decision makers. If your content doesn’t view easily on the mobile device they’re using, they won’t read it.

5. Review your resources. 

Do you have the resources and the skill sets in place to show your customers that you can meet their needs? Do you have the marketing skill sets to create and distribute your message across the channels you need to be in? Are resources in place to manage your leads? Lead management is often overlooked. Money is spent generating leads, but many sit unqualified. Nurture leads, qualify them – turn them into opportunities and sales.

Take action: 2014 is quickly approaching. For a successful 2014, think strategic marketing, not just a repeat of last year’s activity. No gimmicks – your audience is too smart for that. You need to visualise what your customers see, feel how they feel and understand what they need. It’s time to hit them square in the jaw with a product or service that they can’t live without in 2014. And don’t wait, because at the rate competitors are moving, they’ll be nurturing their leads and pass you by without a second glance.

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