If you feel like marketing is a vague, broad term— you're not alone. It may feel as if your marketing strategy is throwing things against a wall, and seeing what sticks. This article will help you define marketing strategy and why marketing is a crucial component of a business.
The constant flood of recommendations on how to market a business can be overwhelming. When making marketing decisions, it is vital to identify what you know about your business, your customers, and your long-term goals.
What is Marketing?
Everything you share with the public about your business is considered to be marketing. From a logo to a website, anything that communicates a message can be a form of marketing. The question is: what marketing strategies are the best fit for your unique business? Any marketing decision made should incorporate research, data, and planning.
What is Digital Marketing?
Research has shown that between December 2013 and December 2015, smartphone internet consumption grew by 78% and that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the layout or content is not attractive. In 2019, you can bet those statistics are more relevant than ever.
In the current tech world, digital marketing is hugely impactful for nearly every type of business. The internet is used daily for making purchase decisions. If the majority of your target customers use the internet, it is highly recommended to have an online presence. A digital presence should provide consumers with credibility, interest, and information—while also being correctly search engine optimized.
Find your Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy can be paramount to a business's success. Defining the following steps can help to put your best foot forward when coming up with a tactic that reaches potential clients, drives revenue, and propels growth.
1: Outline your Business Goals
Businesses should have a vision for their desired long-term achievements. Goals should align with your branding, purpose, budget, and vision. Identify what parts of your business bring in the most income and what parts create a potential for growth. For example, you may want to expand your customer base by 15% every year. To meet that goal, you'll have to keep attracting new customers. Think about how you are going to reach potential customers and show them the value in choosing your business.
2: Identify Your Target Customer
Identifying your target customer means defining what type of person wants to use your service. Some businesses may believe that their target customer is "everyone." Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Narrow down the customers that bring the most value to your business.
Determining these clients will allow you to focus on what components of your business attract them the most. Find aspects that customers value about you, such as an aesthetically-pleasing interior, efficiency, affordability, or quality. Take notes from those customers, and find what they like. Documenting this will help define your marketing plan.
Find common characteristics in your customers, such as age, location, interests, education level, income level, and any other details on your ideal client.
3: Identify Your Competition
What makes you stand out from your competitors? Being able to understand your competition, and what sets you apart— is crucial to your marketing strategy. Determining your competition doesn't mean defining what makes you better; it is more about defining your business's uniqueness and appeal. Find out what other companies provide as an alternative to your customers.
Having competition is beneficial because it results in innovation. It helps businesses set themselves apart from others and continuously improve. Having healthy competition brings in awareness, market penetration, increased consumption, differentiation, improved efficiency, and customer loyalty.
Study your competitors - document what you like about them, what you dislike, and how you'd do it differently.
4: Choose Your Channels
Today, there are more options than ever to market a business. From advertising in magazines to search engine marketing, the number of options can seem to be endless. Whatever strategy you choose, it is essential to find the channel that will attract your ideal audience, and eventually turn them into customers. A properly optimized website is a fantastic tool to attract potential customers because it enables searchability, brand recognition, information, and connection to other marketing channels.
Make a list of marketing channels that potential clients are using the most and how they discover new businesses.
5: Create a Budget
Having a budget will narrow down your marketing strategy even more. Marketing is an ongoing process. Making a marketing budget will help to create a sustainable plan, that you can use month by month to provide consistency to your customers while also driving results.
6: Make an Action Plan
After defining your business goals, target market, competition, potential channels, and budget, it's time to take action. Make a list of where you want to promote your business and what steps each marketing strategy involves. Determine what or who you'll need for your marketing plan.
Write down all the ideas you have, and start communicating with agencies, contractors, family members, employees, and anyone who will help to execute your strategy.
Once you've started, make sure to document each step and collect as much data as possible. Data collection will help you figure out what works and what doesn't. Using a marketing professional or agency can give you expert analytical insight on the status of your marketing strategy, and provide future marketing action steps.
We hope that this article helps you start your best marketing strategy yet! If you are interested in more information or have any questions on digital marketing, contact the experts at Giant Donut Marketing! Do you have an existing website that isn't performing? Consider receiving a complimentary website audit!