He feels the rough surface with the pads of his fingers, taking a deep breath before throwing the football and running to the right. It’s all part of the plan.
A football coach strategizes for games, crafting both defensive and offensive plays for his team. During practice, the players will learn, practice and repeat. And when the time finally comes, they execute these plays with success—and take the win.
Marketing is like football in that both need a strategy to reach their goal. In football, you must understand the ins and outs of the game to create the most effective plays. Marketers need to thoroughly understand their company—including its weaknesses—to craft the most effective marketing strategy.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
Your business goals shape your marketing strategy, which helps ensure you conduct your marketing in a way that achieves business goals. Think of a marketing strategy as the “what.” If your goal is to increase sales, what do you need to do—and how do you do it? The “how” is your marketing plan, or the actionable efforts you take and the tactics you use.
Marketing Strategy: What to Know
Before developing a marketing strategy, there are some items to take into consideration.
Know how to articulate your business goals
You know what your business wants to achieve. You understand your goals and how they revolve around your finances, values and mission. But to craft the most effective strategy, you need to be able to articulate your goals since they influence your marketing strategy. Being able to express your goals will assist you in understanding what precisely needs to get done and the best way to do so.
Determine your SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis is an overview of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (download our free SWOT Analysis worksheet). Take it into account when developing your marketing strategy (what needs to be done) and marketing plan (how it will get done). You don’t want to overextend your team, miss out on potential avenues or fall short of competitors. Use this information to develop a marketing plan that:
- plays to your strengths
- supports your weaknesses
- takes advantage of opportunities
- and keeps you ahead of competitors (threats)
Keeping these in mind will help you create a marketing plan that effectively supports your marketing strategy.
Strategy execution is about integrated efforts…
Integrated efforts refer to the tactics you use as well as various departments throughout the company. Anyone who is involved with the marketing should understand how their work fits into the plan and supports the strategy. Your teams should not work in silos: A lack of communication could result in the marketing plan being incorrectly executed. And if the plan isn’t correctly executed, your strategy is weakened.
…and it should focus on your customers
Sure, a goal may be to increase revenue, but who will help you achieve this goal? Your customers. That’s why your marketing strategy should focus on them—specifically, the segment that makes you the profit. You could say that you’re going to focus 30 percent of your marketing efforts on the top 70 percent of customers who bring in the most sales.
Articulate your brand story. Work toward connecting with them and establishing relationships that last.
At Paragraphs, we help you define the “what” and successfully execute the “how.”
Research is the initial step in determining your strategy. We work to understand your business goals, strengths and weaknesses before determining strategy. Other necessary research may include, but is not limited to, keyword analysis, SEO evaluation, market information, audience definition and customer profiles.
To perform better than your competitors, you need to understand them. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How can we defend against their strengths and use their weaknesses to your advantage? Benchmarking your company against competitors gives us an idea of your competitive edge. It also helps us identity areas of improvement.
Target Audience Definition
For a strategy to work best, we need to create it with your audience in mind. We’ll look at your current target audience and, if need be, re-define. You want to know that you’re marketing to the appropriate customers for your business and marketing goals.
Market Opportunity Planning
What opportunities exist of which you are currently not taking advantage? We’ll help you identify these opportunities before they’re gone. We’ll also work with you to develop a plan for you to take advantage of these opportunities. And if you need help executing the plan, we can assist with that as well.
Positioning and Messaging
To be effective, your marketing needs to be consistent in the position it takes and the messages it sends. At Paragraphs, we’ve helped countless organizations with their positioning and messaging. With these guidelines, they are better able to market to their target audience, and they see positive results because of it.
Is your organization performing the best it can? Lack of communication, confusing processes and other issues can prevent an organization and its employees from meeting its full potential—and profitability. Whether you need your business restructured or need to re-define processes, we can help optimize your business.
To develop your B2B marketing strategy or inquire about a brand consultation, say hello to Paragraphs today.
312.828.0200 | firstname.lastname@example.org