Strategic marketing brings layers to marketing operations that are siloed in most cases to a more concentrated and coordinated effort. A good plan that is closely aligned to the customer needs, vision of the company, its values, competitive environment and the right mix of resources can help achieve more measurable and ROI driven goals.
Time needed: 2 days.
Steps to achieve a 360 degree Marketing Strategy
- Define high level business goals & link them to marketing goals.
Business is like a sailing ship on an expedition. You go through different conditions, sometimes planned unplanned. A planning horizon of a year with a short term focus of 6 months would be a good time window of predictability. What are your business goals? eg: say expand into a new region, introduce your product to a new market? Expectations of results could be realistic here and being conservative is prudent than being ambitious and failing.
Each goal will require resources people and management to achieve. Jot them down. A quick tip is to implement Agile methodologies in marketing and it works wonders.
- Digital Marketing – A current situation analysis
Marketing is as per AMA, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. Marketing serves as a conduit of communication between your business and its customers. An audit of your brand identity and web presence could be audited and required steps are taken. Your website’s user experience is good? Are all your social media handles working well and updated? Rather than subjective answers it ideal to set up web analytics and possibly a feedback system in your website.
If you are using WordPress there are many free plugins available to gather feedback from your customers. You can also sign up for free google webmasters & google analytics. Don’t overlook this part as all your actions and directions will be based on the clarity of data and the goals defined thereafter.
- Define Key Marketing Metrics
Brand visibility metrics, Reputation metrics, Web usability metrics, Conversion metrics, Content metrics would be good ones to implement for a starter. If you are running an e-commerce website e-commerce metrics would be mandatory.
- Content strategy – Content is king
Armed with the key marketing metrics you will be able to do a good content audit to create a good content strategy, SEMRush offers an elaborate guide on this. This is where SEO comes into the picture. SEO definitely is the first starting point and a very well mandatory one before any other key digital marketing components are implemented.
SEO is about aligning your website purpose or goals to the need of your audience. And for a business, this strategy is very important to ensure the audience is their customers. A very clear and sharp business strategy and its communication with the entire marketing team is pivotal to business success.
- The Tech Strategy – Importance of a good tech stack
Blazing fast website speeds is not an optional component but a mandatory glue for all the digital touchpoints. For small businesses, there are plenty of options available to host their websites, shared cloud SSD hosting. And for more established ones VPS hosting with a reputed provider would accelerate the execution of the strategy miles ahead. All the components can be in place but if the website or the point of conversion of the customer is slow then the entire budget spent goes in vain.
In marketing more than anywhere else, your strategy and hence results are as strong as your weakest link comes into the picture. To ensure consistent monitoring of performance purchase a website or VPS monitoring service or managed hosting provider for peace of mind.
- Dashboard – Bringing it altogether
A business analytics dashboard could be quite useful at this point to bring data from the various systems to a consolidated view to offer insights. This platform could offer you alerts when key business parameters drop.
Few that you could consider are PowerBI from Microsoft, Tableau and then there are many more cloud-powered products launched every day in this space.
There is definitely a learning curve in setting up a tight marketing strategy and its not a bad idea to avail consulting from experts who can guide you through the complexity and save your investments.