Connecting the Dots: Creating a Strategic Marketing Strategy
At Over the Moon Sales & Advertising, we specialize in connecting the dots between all of the elements necessary in creating a strong brand identity. One of the first elements of this process is the development of an effective marketing strategy. Strategic marketing plans are cyclical in nature, meaning that they never truly end until your campaign is executed and optimized. You should be constantly evaluating the success of the plans currently in place, adjusting them as necessary, and continuing to implement your new and improved strategy until you achieve the outcome you want! To create a thorough and effective marketing plan, you can start by following the steps below:
1. Determine your marketing goals
The first step to a successful marketing plan is to establish your goals. These goals should be very specific so that you can utilize them to create a roadmap that will lead you to your definition of success. As a quick way to remember the elements necessary in creating a good goal, think of the acronym SMART-- these goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.
2. Conduct & analyze market research
The next important step is to conduct an environmental scan. This scan will help you identify competitors, opportunities, and threats, as well as useful information about the market you’ll be catering to and working within. This is necessary because you need to have a full, comprehensive understanding of your market and how it can both help and/or hinder your ability to implement your marketing plan.
3. Identify your target audience
Here’s a big question: Who is it that you’re trying to reach? Determining specific target publics is an integral aspect in the formulation of a strategic marketing plan. By narrowing this group down by characteristics such as age, location, income bracket, etc., you can better decide how to reach them and what tools you’ll need to bring them in as new customers.
4. Create a budget
Budgets are important because they establish a baseline for how money will be allocated. As we all know, a company must earn more money than it spends in order to remain in business, so it is extremely important to adhere to this budget. This is necessary so that funds are properly distributed and utilized efficiently to meet your goals.
5. Develop your marketing strategies
And now for the step you’ve been waiting for! Once you have set your goals, conducted and analyzed market research, identified target clientele, and created a budget, it’s time to get brainstorming about how you plan to meet these goals while accommodating the limitations of all the information you’ve just gathered. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
6. Create a schedule
One of the key identifiers of success is whether or not you’re able to reach your goals in a certain amount of time. This is why the “T” in the SMART goals acronym is so important-- by making these goals time-bound, you give yourself a guideline for when you should be hitting certain checkpoints along the way.
7. Evaluate and make changes as necessary
As we mentioned, strategic marketing plans are not linear; they are cyclical. That means that it’s an ongoing process. Throughout the implementation of your plan, it is important to always be evaluating the success of the tools you’ve utilized so that you can measure where you are in comparison to where you’d like to be and how you’re doing with your return on investment (ROI).
By following these seven steps and utilizing these points as a roadmap for the development of your strategic marketing strategy, you are on your way to successfully connecting the dots for your business. Stay tuned for next month’s blog, where we will discuss the second step of connecting the dots: creating a scope of work and customizing a plan to your specific needs. No two plans are alike, and we create individualized plans to reach the specific marketing goals of each client. Check back in October to discover how this is done!