It’s Called Strategy.
Everyone and anyone can market a brand or a product. Google can teach anyone the basics of marketing and populate an abundance of “How-Tos” and step-by-step guides. But there is only one effective marketing plan, one that can only be learned through experience and a long list of trials and errors – a strategic marketing plan.
At CMG, we have been through it all with our clients. We have clients in various different industries and have seen what works and what doesn’t necessarily work for them. Even if in the same industry, no two companies will have the same marketing solutions for their goals. As we grow and add on new clients, we have learned that in order to set each client up for success we have to build a strategy that is unique to them.
Building a strategy looks different from client to client, but the fundamentals stay the same. Here are 6 steps to get started on building your own strategic marketing plan.
What is your mission?
It’s time to get on the same page with your team. Go back to the basics: What is the mission and vision of your company? Not having a direction from the beginning will lead to chaos from the very start of trying to market your brand or product. Having a clearly defined mission and vision will lead to clearly defined goals you want to reach.
Define your target audience.
Once clear goals are established based on your unique mission and vision, then you can work backward to create a strategic plan to achieve the goals. This involves breaking down everything from looking at who your target audience and consumer is to where to target geographically and on what platform. Marketing comes with many options, but usually, only a few actually make a difference with your audience.
Some questions to help define your audience:
- What do they do for work?
- What do they do on the weekends?
- Where do they hang out?
- Do they drive?
- What decisions are they making right before and after they buy a service?
Set SMART Goals.
We’ve all heard this before – SMART goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely goals. If your goals don’t have these elements, then they will be impossible to track. Take some time to think about how your big picture goals can be broken down into SMART goals.
It’s time to think about messaging.
So you have clearly defined your mission and audience, and have trackable goals – now what? Cue the creativity. What the heck is your messaging going to say? Above all else, your messaging should match your goals – what you say should be reflective of your goals and relatable to your audience. Still stuck on what to say? Think through your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Taking time to think through these different pieces will lead to your key messaging.
Let’s talk tactics.
Messaging is established, now how do you get the message to your audience? There are hundreds of different ways and tools to start putting your message out there. It’s easy to get lost in all of the possibilities, but remember it isn’t about using it all, it is about thinking strategically and utilizing necessary tools based on your company and unique audience. When determining which tactics to use, think about time vs. money and what is actually worth the time. And remember, at the end of the day all the money in the world on marketing tactics is useless if your website is not running properly.
Track your success.
The thing about strategy is that it never really ends. Tactics, messaging and goals will inevitably change as time goes on. Tracking metrics is the best way to see areas of opportunity or even where your efforts may not be worth the money or time being put into it. Track, analyze, adjust and keep going!
Ready to get even more into the details? We are marketing nerds who thrive off of coffee and talking strategy. Contact us today to get started building a strategic marketing plan.