There are hundreds of ways you can develop a marketing strategy. There are countless different schools of thought on how to put together a plan. A quick Google search can provide you with dozens of articles, each sharing 5 to 7 different templates you could use.
Because there are so many options, knowing where to start when developing a marketing strategy can seem overwhelming.
At the highest level, your marketing strategy should define your key business objectives and customer needs, as well as how your marketing efforts are going to connect the dots. Though no two strategies are alike, all should detail a few essential components.
3 Questions to Answer Before Developing Any Marketing Strategy
Whether you’re looking to develop a comprehensive annual strategy or put together a small marketing campaign, here are three questions to consider before you dive into creating your strategy:
1. What is your overall purpose and specific goals?
You’ll never reach your marketing goals if you don’t know what you are looking to achieve. Since different types of marketing work better in pursuit of some goals rather than others, it’s essential to clearly define success from your organization’s perspective.
One of the simplest ways to home in on a unique and worthwhile purpose is to examine the key area where your business has been struggling the most. Are you trying to increase brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, or customer retention?
Without taking time to include your overall purpose and goals in your strategy, you could end up wasting a lot of time on efforts that don’t line up with what you want to accomplish.
2. Who are you trying to reach?
While every business wants to be known by as many people as possible, marketing is really intended to help you reach the right people. So, who are you actually trying to reach? Of course, you want to go after the people who are interested in what you have to offer and have the power to make a buying decision.
Once you’ve identified your ideal buyer persona, make sure to include a clear picture of who they are within your marketing strategy. Classify their unique interests, goals, and challenges so that every aspect of your strategy is built with the right tactics and messaging to reach them.
3. What is your unique message and mission to the audience you’re trying to reach?
Once you know your purpose, goals, and audience, you have the information to develop the final component of your strategy: your marketing mission and unique message. How is your business uniquely positioned to help potential customers? What makes you different from competitors? What are you best at?
Your marketing mission statement should help your entire organization better understand what distinguishes your brand from all the other businesses competing for your audience’s attention.
If you’ve struggled in the past to create an effective marketing strategy, start with these three questions. Once you have a firm handle on how to develop your strategy, you can move on to identifying specific tactics to achieve your goals.
Ready to develop your marketing strategy but need some guidance along the way? Contact us to learn how Green Apple Strategy can help.