Do you ever find yourself with a wish list of things you’d like to achieve, but no direction on how to get there? You’re hoping good things will happen even though there is no planning or strategy behind it. With no marketing strategy for your business in place, you run the risk of becoming directionless, wasting money on channels and strategies that aren’t producing results and losing out on potential customers that are getting sucked up by your competitors.
It’s time to put in the ground work to make these wishes come true, so you can get meaningful results for your business! These six simple steps will help keep you on track and turn your wish list into a successful, effective marketing strategy.
Know Your Business
You know your business better than anyone else, so take this opportunity to provide a general overview of your current business operations. How long have you been up and running? What is your business structure? What channels do you conduct business through? With these types of questions answered, you can better assess your current situation and where to market your business.
Determine Your Market
This is where you need to list everything and anything you want to know about your ideal target consumer. Defining your target market goes beyond identifying demographic information. Dig deep into their behaviors and buying decisions. This is not a section to gloss over; knowing your consumer is critical in identifying marketing tactics and strategies. Do your research and don’t make assumptions!
The purpose of researching your competitors is to help you figure out how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. What makes you stand out from the crowd? Start by defining your products and services and what makes them unique, then determine how you measure up to the competition. Find out what is working for them and how it fits into your strategy, or look for untapped opportunities that your competitors haven’t tried.
What do you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy this year? Double your market share, increase in weekly page views, or perhaps 100 new followers on Twitter? Whatever your goals may be, make sure they are ambitious and motivating, but not unattainable.
Now that you’ve defined your goals, it is time to outline the strategies that will help you accomplish these goals. Look at each goal individually and figure out what you need to do to accomplish it. By analyzing the steps you need to take, you’re making the goal tangible and providing yourself a map to keep you on track. Strategies will also inform tactics. For example, a strategy would suggest that you need to improve brand awareness, and a tactic would be a paid media campaign that keeps your name top of mind.
Set a Budget
Once you’ve set your goals and outlined your strategies, it is time to set a budget to support your strategy. This can sometimes be a daunting task, but it helps to think of your marketing goals as an investment, not a cost. Your budget should be treated as something that will bring measurable returns on investment over time.
Now that you have your goals set, strategies identified and a budget in place, it is time to get to work! The real way to get ahead of your competitors and succeed in business is to have a completely thought-out marketing strategy and then work towards implementing it.