Whatever your reason is, you will find thousands of resources on marketing strategy online, all of which claim to be a blueprint for success. But if only it was that simple, the truth is that some of these resources should not even be looked at, let alone followed.
Alternatively, you may be new to marketing and looking for inspiration with your next project. In this case, marketing strategies and plans can seem overwhelming and you might not know where to start.
In this blog post we’ll explain the importance of a marketing strategy, helping you to differentiate between marketing tactics and strategy. After all, “tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” Sun Tzu. Below are some of the most important reasons as to why you need a marketing strategy.
To achieve your goals
Are you looking to significantly increase your businesses revenue next year? If you intend to drive improvements then you must set goals for what you want to achieve.
But anyone can set goals and hope that they’ll make you a millionaire. These people are called dreamers. Instead, the people and businesses that are truly successful do not accidentally achieve their goals, they set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals which form the foundations of a bigger marketing strategy.
The marketing strategy is your vision and ideas for achieving your goals and without it your project would lack focus, which brings us nicely onto the next reason why a marketing strategy is important.
To help you to focus your time and efforts
If you read almost any business biography or self help guide then they’ll reference the importance of focus and discipline.
A marketing strategy will help to focus your efforts on the areas of your marketing which matter the most, whether that’s PR, content marketing, SEO, advertising or something else.
One reason why many businesses fail to grow is because they focus too much time on channels which don’t offer a good return on investment, whether that’s through copying other businesses or following the latest crazes.
There are countless marketing tactics and channels that you can utilise, but the most important thing to consider is your audience. Just because one business has increased its sales through snapchat, it doesn’t mean your company will. That business might be targeting people aged 16-20, whereas your ideal customers may be based around people aged 45-50.
To give accountability and structure
Any good marketing person knows how important it is to create ideas and run tests, whether your goal is to increase website traffic, conversion rates, average time on a website or something else.
But all ideas and tests should be carefully considered, and they need to be in line with your marketing strategy. If you choose to run Facebook adverts as a test, then this should be recorded and measured with your other experiments.
When one of your tests returns good results, you can then double the amount of time and effort you put into it.
If you follow the points above, then you should also have a good structure to your marketing work so that you’re accountable.
To support your marketing plan
Most business owners or marketing managers know that they should have a marketing plan and strategy. But, even if they do have one, the two are often not very well aligned, meaning that the message can be confusing.
If you have a marketing plan with set dates and times to complete tasks, then your team will benefit from the structure you’re giving them. But this marketing plan should not have been prepared in isolation.
The marketing strategy should always come before the marketing plan as it provides the goals, visions and values.
To allocate your spending
A marketing strategy will help you to allocate your resources, so that you can make judgements on whether you want to spend more on advertising, hiring staff or other marketing tactics.
It will also help you to map out your spending so that you don’t over budget a website build in your first quarter or go overboard on a Christmas marketing campaign. Without a clear plan, you will not be able to use your resources efficiently.
To communicate clearly and give clarity
As a leader in a business, it
might be your responsibility to communicate the vision and goals of your
Part of being a good leader is demonstrating both competence and confidence. A good marketing strategy helps with this as it gives clarity to people across different departments, whether this is IT, finance or another division.
Without a marketing strategy, your workforce will lack direction and this could lead to a drop in performance, motivation or both.
Now that you understand the importance of a marketing strategy, what will you put in place for 2020? Or if you want some help to set off in the right direction why not book a free 45 minute call where you can discuss your objectives and leave knowing your next steps to benefit your business.