How to create an effective marketing strategy

How To Create An Effective Marketing Strategy

Do you want an effective marketing strategy that will help your business to achieve its goals in 2020?

In this article, I share top tips to creating a marketing strategy that will enable you to plan your year ahead and help you to achieve the goals you want.

What Is A Marketing Strategy?

A Marketing Strategy is a plan of action designed to promote and sell a product or service. It is the backbone of your marketing activity to ensure you are sending the right message, to the right people, in the right place.

Why Should I Create A Marketing Strategy?

Having an effective Marketing Strategy helps you to stay focussed on your business goals and shows a clear action plan, with timelines, of how you are going to achieve them and enables you to monitor your progress.

In my experience, there are 6 crucial steps to creating an effective Marketing Strategy, so let’s dive into each of them now.

6 Steps To An Effective Marketing Strategy

Understand Your Customers’ Buying Journey

This may seem an odd place to start, but until you understand your buyers’ journey, you will not know what actions to put in place to add potential customers to the various stages of your sales funnel. Unless you have a well-known brand, very few people know about your business and why you are the solution to their problems, so they are very unlikely to just straight into the purchase layer. The buying journey will vary, depending on your niche but the 5 main stages are Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action and the often forgotten, Loyalty. I will be dedicating a whole blog to this as it is crucial to understand your customer’s buying journey. In the meantime, here is a graphic giving a summary.

Customers buying journey

Know Your Business Goals

The next thing you need to do is think about what it is you want to achieve. The obvious answer that most people think of is ‘more sales’, and you would be right. However, not every activity will give this to you immediately, especially if you are targeting people that don’t even know your business exists as they will enter their buying journey at the very top of the funnel. Careful planning is needed to create goals at every level of the funnel to help people work their way through and reach your final goal of becoming a loyal customer.

Create SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Being more specific with an action plan of how you are going to achieve them, the resources required, how you will measure their progress and the date you want to achieve them by, gives you a far greater chance of success.

Carry out S.W.O.T. Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a useful technique for understanding your internal Strengths and Weaknesses, and for identifying both the Opportunities open to you and the Threats you face externally. Here is an example of the questions to ask:-

Effective Marketing Strategy 2

 

Once you have your business goals in place, you can use the results of the SWOT analysis to establish the areas you can take advantage of as well as actions needed to make improvements to help you achieve your goals.

Know Your Ideal Customer

Understanding who your ideal customer is enables you to target your marketing efforts to speak directly to them. Imagine you can only sell your product or service to ONE person. What makes them the ideal customer? Build a customer persona and get as specific as you can with the following questions:-

  • What is their name? E.g. Caring Colin
  • What is their age?
  • What is their job title?
  • What is their education level?
  • What is their relationship status?
  • Do they have children?
  • What is their annual income?
  • What groups are they involved in?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What are their biggest fears?
  • What magazines/books do they read?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What websites do they like?
  • How do they make buying decisions?
  • How can you help them?

When you can answer all these questions, you can use the information to build your strategy, knowing how to speak directly to them in a language they understand. This is where many businesses struggle as they worry that if they get too specific, they scare off other customers that don’t fit the profile and make their message far more generic. The reality is, people need to relate to your message and the best way to do this is to target one person. Those that don’t relate are not your ideal customer anyway!

effective marketing strategy 3

Decide On Your Delivery

Now you know your goals, ideal customer persona and how your customer’s buying journey works, it’s time to consider how you are going to market to them. Create actions for each level of the buyers’ journey and create content that will help your customer reach the bottom of the funnel. What Social Media platforms do you need to be active on. What kind of posts will get their attention? Will you be writing articles or attending events? What message do you want to deliver to them? At this stage, you will start to build an action plan around your business goals that clearly defines EXACTLY what activities you will be doing, with time-bound targets.

Allocate A Suitable Budget

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that small businesses have is allocating a suitable budget to complete the tasks. We would all love to gain new customers for free but let’s get real! If you want to grow your business, you need to invest in it. There is no point deciding that Google Ads is the right direction and only allocating a daily spend of £10 and expecting 100 clicks per day, when the average click cost is £3.00. The maths just don’t add up.

You need to consider everything needed to achieve the goals. This may include training, software requirements, outsourcing costs as well as the costs of any paid advertising. If you don’t allocate a suitable budget for these activities you will not reach the goals and your marketing strategy will fail.

 

Follow the 6 steps above and you will have a marketing strategy that is far more likely to achieve your business goals and grow your business.

If you decide that Google Ads will be part of your Marketing Strategy, we would love to help you. Book a call with me to discuss your needs and let’s see if we are a good fit to help you to achieve your goals. BOOK A FREE 45 MINUTE DISCOVERY CALL TODAY.

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This is Suzii, signing out for now. Have a great day everyone!

 

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