Creating a marketing strategy doesn’t need to be painful or time consuming. Create an effective plan for your business in 9 simple steps.

A marketing strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve in marketing. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing.

The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be.

That doesn’t mean you need to produce a 50-page long document. It needs to be specific but concise to ensure it is manageable and measurable.

In this article, we’ll walk you through a 9-step plan to create a marketing strategy to achieve your goals.

How to create a marketing strategy in 9 steps: 

  1. Choose goals that align with your business objectives
  2. Learn everything you can about your audience
  3. Get to know your competition and market
  4. Do an audit of your current marketing
  5. Define your product and service mix
  6. Outline your methods of marketing
  7. Set a marketing budget
  8. Create a marketing plan
  9. Analyse performance

Why do you need a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is the backbone of any successful business. It outlines the goals, objectives, and tactics that will be used to reach your target audience and promote your products or services. Without a well-defined strategy, your marketing efforts may be scattered and ineffective.

One of the key benefits of having a marketing strategy is that it helps you stay focused on your goals. It provides a roadmap that guides your decision-making and ensures that all your marketing efforts are aligned towards achieving your business objectives.

A marketing strategy also helps you understand your target audience better. By conducting market research and analysing consumer behaviour, you can identify their needs, preferences, and pain points. This knowledge allows you to tailor your marketing messages and offers to resonate with your audience, increasing the likelihood of conversion and customer loyalty.

Furthermore, a marketing strategy helps you differentiate your brand from the competition. It enables you to identify your unique selling proposition (USP) and highlight the benefits that set you apart. This differentiation is crucial in a saturated market, where consumers are bombarded with countless options.

A well-crafted marketing strategy helps you cut through the noise and establish a strong brand identity.

Step 1 – Choose goals that align with your business objectives 

Setting clear marketing objectives is crucial for measuring the success of your marketing strategy. Objectives provide a clear direction and help you stay focused on what you want to achieve. When setting objectives, it’s important to make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Start by identifying the overall business goals that your marketing efforts will support. Once you have identified the overarching goals, break them down into specific marketing objectives.

For example, if your business goal is to increase sales by 20% in the next quarter, your marketing objectives could include increasing website traffic by 30%, generating 500 new leads, and achieving a conversion rate of 5%. These objectives should be specific, measurable, and aligned with your overarching business goals.

By setting clear marketing objectives, you can track your progress and evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This data will help you make informed decisions and make adjustments to your strategy as needed.

Step 2 – Learn everything you can about your audience 

To create a powerful marketing strategy, you need to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Who are they? What are their needs, desires, and pain points? What motivates them to make a purchase? Conducting thorough market research and gathering valuable insights is essential to answer these questions.

Start by creating buyer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customers. Consider demographic information such as age, gender, location, and income level, as well as psychographic factors like interests, values, and lifestyle. Use surveys, interviews, and data analysis to gather information and refine your understanding of your audience.

In addition to understanding your audience’s characteristics, it’s important to identify their buying journey. Map out the different stages your customers go through, from awareness to consideration and finally, to the decision-making stage. This will help you tailor your marketing messages and tactics to each stage, ensuring maximum impact and relevancy.

Step 3 – Get to know your competition and market

Understanding your competition and the market landscape is crucial for crafting a powerful marketing strategy. Analyse your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, their marketing tactics, and their value propositions. Identify what sets you apart from them and how you can position your brand effectively in the market.

Conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) to assess your business and identify areas for improvement. This analysis will help you understand where you stand in relation to your competitors and the market as a whole. It will also highlight opportunities you can capitalise on and potential threats you need to mitigate.

Additionally, keep a close eye on industry trends and changes in consumer behaviour. Stay informed about new technologies, emerging platforms, and shifting preferences. By staying ahead of the curve, you can adapt your marketing strategy to meet the evolving needs of your target audience.

Step 4 – Define your product and service mix

To craft a powerful marketing strategy, you need to have a clear understanding of your product and service mix. What are the key features and benefits of your offerings? What problems do they solve for your target audience? How do they stand out from the competition?

Define your unique selling proposition (USP) – the factor that sets you apart from your competitors and makes your offerings irresistible to your target audience. Your USP should be communicated consistently across all your marketing channels and materials.

Consider the pricing strategy for your products and services. Are you positioned as a luxury brand or a budget-friendly option? How does your pricing compare to your competitors’? Pricing plays a significant role in shaping your target audience’s perception of your brand.

Finally, evaluate your product and service mix regularly to ensure it aligns with your target audience’s needs and preferences. As market trends change and customer demands evolve, you may need to adjust your offerings to stay relevant and competitive.

Step 5 – Do an audit of your current marketing 

Before moving forward with your new marketing strategy, it’s essential to conduct an audit of your current marketing efforts. Evaluate the effectiveness of your current tactics, channels, and messaging. Identify what’s working well and what needs improvement.

Review your website, social media profiles, email campaigns, advertising materials, and any other marketing assets. Assess their visual appeal, messaging consistency, and overall user experience. Look for areas where you can optimise and enhance your existing marketing materials.

In addition, analyse your marketing metrics and analytics. Look at data such as website traffic, conversion rates, engagement rates, and customer feedback. This data will provide valuable insights into the performance of your current marketing efforts and help you identify areas for improvement.

By conducting a thorough audit, you can build upon your strengths and address any weaknesses or gaps in your current marketing strategy. This will ensure that your new strategy is built on a solid foundation.

Step 6 – Set a marketing budget

Setting a marketing budget is crucial for allocating resources effectively and maximising your return on investment (ROI). Determine how much you can afford to spend on marketing activities while considering your business objectives and financial capabilities.

Start by analysing your historical marketing expenses and their impact on your business. Identify which activities have generated the highest ROI and allocate a portion of your budget accordingly. Consider the cost of implementing new marketing tactics or channels and weigh them against their potential benefits.

It’s important to be realistic about your budget. Evaluate the expected costs of advertising, content creation, social media management, SEO, and any other marketing activities. Consider outsourcing certain tasks if it makes financial sense and frees up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Review your budget regularly and make adjustments as needed. As your business grows and evolves, you may need to allocate more resources to marketing to support your expansion. Keep a close eye on your marketing metrics and ROI to ensure your budget is being optimised effectively.

Step 7 – Outline your methods of marketing 

Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, competition, and product mix, it’s time to outline the methods of marketing you will employ. This involves identifying the most suitable marketing channels and tactics for your business.

Consider the demographics and preferences of your target audience. Are they active on social media? Do they prefer email communication? Are they more likely to engage with video content or blog articles? Tailor your marketing tactics to meet your audience where they are.

Social media marketing is a powerful tool for reaching and engaging with your target audience. Choose the platforms that align with your audience’s demographics and interests, and develop a content strategy that resonates with them. Regularly analyse your social media metrics to track engagement and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Content creation is another effective marketing tactic. Create high-quality, valuable content that educates, entertains, or inspires your audience. This can include blog articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more. Focus on providing solutions to your audience’s pain points and positioning yourself as an industry expert.

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to nurture leads and drive conversions. Build an email list and develop targeted campaigns that deliver personalized messages to your subscribers. Use automation tools to streamline your email marketing efforts and track performance.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential for improving your website’s visibility in search engine results. Optimize your website content, keywords, metadata, and backlinks to increase organic traffic and attract qualified leads. Regularly analyse your website analytics to identify areas for improvement.

It’s important to note that not all marketing channels will be suitable for your business. Instead of trying to be present on every channel, focus on a few key channels that align with your target audience and business goals. By concentrating your efforts on a few channels, you can allocate your resources more effectively and achieve better results.

Step 8 – Create a marketing plan 

Now it’s time to transition from strategy to action by crafting your marketing plan.

First outline your marketing tactics in detail. Specify the channels, platforms, and methods you’ll utilize to reach your target audience effectively. Whether it’s social media marketing, email campaigns, content creation, or SEO strategies, articulate how each tactic contributes to your overall marketing objectives.

Allocate resources and budget to each marketing tactic based on their expected impact and ROI.

Now you can put this into a content calendar to organise your marketing activities. A content calendar outlines the timing and frequency of your content creation and distribution across various channels. This ensures consistency and helps you stay on track with your marketing efforts. Include responsibilities and deadlines to ensure accountability and coordination among team members.

Clearly define roles and expectations to streamline collaboration and avoid duplication of efforts.

Step 9 – Analyse performance

Once your marketing strategy and plan is implemented, it’s essential to regularly analyse your performance to track success and make informed decisions. Review your marketing metrics and KPIs to gauge the effectiveness of your tactics and channels.

Analyse website traffic, conversion rates, engagement rates, and other relevant metrics to assess the impact of your marketing efforts. Use tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, and email marketing analytics to gather data and gain insights.

Identify trends and patterns in your data. Are there specific marketing channels or tactics that are performing exceptionally well? Are there any areas that need improvement? Use this information to optimise your marketing strategy and allocate resources effectively.

Regularly review your marketing plan and make adjustments as needed.

Marketing is an ongoing process…

Crafting a powerful marketing strategy is a continuous process that requires careful planning, research, and analysis. By following the nine simple steps outlined in this ultimate guide, you’ll be equipped to develop a marketing strategy that captivates your target audience and drives impressive results.

If you need help getting started, get in touch with us and we can go through these steps together in our Marketing Improve and Grow session.

Email or call 01474 853 856.

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Ayse Cooper

Inbound Marketing Manager

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