A clear and long term marketing strategy could make all the difference to your business’ profitability.
That may sound like a bold claim, but too many start-ups fail because they didn’t have adequate marketing plans in place. It can be hard – for new companies in particular – to see the immediate benefit of marketing and fledgling businesses often throw all of their resources into sales efforts. Yet sales and marketing are inextricably linked – and you can’t really have one without the other.
A marketing strategy will help you to further understand your audience, communication channels and how to reach them. This in turn will assist you with your product and service development, distribution, innovation, diversification and optimal pricing.
The first step in developing a marketing strategy that delivers the right results for your business is to conduct a marketing audit – more of which later. This will provide a thorough SWOT analysis, identify your goals and objectives – and will put you in the strongest position for the planning stages. Once the audit has established where you are, what you offer and where you want to be, the fun really begins as you start thinking about how you will achieve your goals.
There are five basic elements that you will need to cover in your marketing strategy.
Step one: Consider the basis of your strategy. Are you looking to attract new customers or retain them? Or it could well be a mix of the two.
Step two: Think about your customers: who you wish to target, what channels you will use to reach them, what information you can store on them and how you can encourage them to buy from you.
Step three: Focus on what your customers really want and need; understand where you need to make assumptions (it’s okay, we all have to make some) and be explicit about where you have made them.
Step four: Ensure everything is accountable. Each part of your plan needs to be budgeted for – you don’t want any nasty surprises and you need to understand not only how much you will spend, but what kind of return you can expect to see from your investment.
Step five: Measurement. Metrics will prove to both you and your stakeholders that you are on the right track and will help you to make adjustments later on, if necessary. You should think about what success looks like and how you will quantify it.
An effective marketing strategy is the roadmap for your entire business. By developing and establishing a coherent and well considered marketing plan, you can promote your offering, court the right types of client and allocate your resources correctly, giving you a competitive edge and the best possible chance of success.
With extensive experience of working with organisations of all sizes – and on a wide range of marketing activities – 55 Connect delivers a bespoke, sustainable and successful marketing strategy for every client, one which is fully aligned to business objectives and designed to generate sales.