Let’s say you’ve decided to take a road trip. Before getting in your car, you probably have a destination in mind. And a plan for getting there. You’ll make right turns, left turns, take multiple roadways, freeways, throughways and offramps. Until you arrive at your goal.
Like a company who has set objectives to improve business (brand recognition, more clients, higher revenue, increased profitability or a new product rollout), combining your trip’s individual tactics into an overall strategy assures you’ll reach your ultimate destination.
If your business is employing marketing tactics (right turns, left turns) but lacks an overall marketing strategy, you could end up wasting gas…or getting lost altogether. At best, you’ll find yourself back at your starting point.
Before trying a new marketing tactic, or devising your overall strategy, you should be able to answer the following:
- Can you clearly describe what your business does and how working with your business benefits customers?
- What is it you hope to accomplish with your branding and marketing efforts; what is the desired outcome?
- Describe the audience you want to reach
- Research the best channels (tactics!) to reach your audience (and convey your message)
- Have you established a branding and marketing budget?
- Determine that you have the necessary resources to execute your plan (these include human, financial and time resources)
- Establish how you will measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy
Having answered the above, you can now formulate a marketing strategy — one that will best target your audience, utilize available resources to maximum advantage and help you reach your desired destination.
For example, you may decide, based on resource constraints and factoring in your audience and desired results, that you want to undertake a content marketing program. Your goal is to become a trusted, “go-to expert” in your industry.
Find out more: The Ultimate List of Content Marketing Tactics
This is what a marketing strategy could look like:
- Create a weekly blog post (with content helpful and relevant to your audience)
- Post it on your website (optimized for your keywords)
- Include it in a 2 to 3 item email newsletter sent to your mailing list of customers and prospects
- Promote your post (and a link to your enewsletter) on social media platforms including your Linkedin and Facebook profiles, on Twitter or Google + and on LinkedIn’s Pulse publishing platform
- Repurpose your content in industry publications, in a SlideShare presentation you create for a speaking presentation, or for a podcast or webinar
- Include a link to your newest content in your email signature (on all devices)
Having a strategy in place allows each tactic you employ to build upon the results of previous efforts; the resulting plan is an effective combination of selected tactics into an overall strategy. That plan acts as the roadmap you follow to achieve your business goals.
In the case of branding and marketing your company, remember: it’s about both the journey and the destination.
Want to take a marketing roadtrip? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based business branding, marketing and strategy expert. She works with startups and small- to mid-size companies to grow business and is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.