First up, if you've not already got a business (of any size), then my advice to you would be to not start here right now. A marketing strategy can seem a little daunting if you're just getting started with your idea. Of course if you know this is an area you want a set strategy in place for your business, then by all means jump in and get started.
Whether you are a small start-up or a fully-fledged business, one key commonality will be that without a Marketing Strategy devised around your business, your marketing efforts will inevitably become inconsistent, varied and ineffective.
Getting the time to sit down and draft out a strategy can be a challenge, particularly for new businesses that have to do everything, but if you can designate the time, it will pay off. Not only will you have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve but you will have a defined and consistent approach.
Whilst it may seem daunting to create a Marketing Strategy, it doesn’t need to be a huge document with hundreds of pages, it just needs to focus on a few key areas.
What’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan?
In a nutshell, your strategy will set out your ‘big picture’ of what your business is about and who you are targeting.
A marketing plan is a detailed breakdown of how you are going to deliver that vision and reach your audience.
To get your strategy started the following 5 key sections will help give you clarity on what your business is about, who you are serving and why.
This will give you a good foundation from which to deliver your marketing activity:
1. What is your product/service?
a- Why that product or service?
b- Have you defined a need for the product?
2. Who is your target market?
a- It’s essential to define who your product is aimed at
b- Think about what solution or need your product or service fulfils
3. What is your proposition?
a- How can you talk about your product – your message?
b- What does the customer need to know about your product/service
4. Your brand/identity
a- Is your brand clear and consistent?
b- Your brand is more than just how you look, it’s also about how you interact and engage with customers also. What’s your business’ voice?
5. Routes to market
a- How are you going to take your brand and products to market
b- Which routes does your target market sit within
Take the above one step at a time, and it’s highly likely you already know the answers to much of the above, but getting it down in a plan will give you long-term focus, something to aim for and a consistent approach.
Just remember that whilst it’s a ‘plan’ it doesn’t need to be set in stone, it will be a moving beast that is under your control.
To make life even easier for you (you know we love doing that here at Mothers of Enterprise!) we've created the ultimate Marketing Strategy for beginners. Simply click here to get yours!
Huge thanks to Emma from Hello Marketing Consultancy for providing this great article and workbook! If you'd like to learn more about Emma and her business, all details are here:
Hello Marketing Consultancy have 20 years experience in supporting businesses of all types in getting their marketing working for them, providing affordable and accessible advice and support.