Marketing is just another word for communicating, but communicating with a specific purpose.
Marketing is the conversation between you and your customers, clients and potential customers about the benefits and values of your product, service or brand.
That conversation is going to take place over an extended period of time. It is going to take place on different platforms, in different media and might address quite a few different topics.
A marketing strategy is a plan to manage, focus and measure that conversation. To make sure that it keeps saying the right things at the right time to the right people.
A strong strategy needs to be built around the values and attributes of a company’s brand.
What does that mean? Just ask yourself, what are the three things that define what my business does and how do they benefit my customers?
Your marketing strategy needs to define who your customers and potential customers are. It might be that they fall into more than one group, that you have more than one target audience but you still need to focus on what sort of people are most likely to do business with you. Saying ‘anyone and everyone’ is the first step towards wasting your marketing budget.
A strategy will look at what communication channels you might use and how you might best use them. It will look at what resources you have available already and where you might need to outsource or add to the skills within the business by training.
In our experience, a marketing strategy might need to be just one or two pages long or a weighty document full of supporting data and analysis.
Some clients can take that strategy and run with it themselves, some take us on board for long term support or training but all our clients have seen the benefit of that analysis of where there business is, where it wishes to be and how it might best get there.