Your marketing strategy is your map – keeping you on the right path until you reach your destination. Who’s to say what’s really worse – driving and getting lost or just driving with no destination in mind? Ah…..the beauty of a few simple directions. Whether you’re a GPS type, pull-over-and-ask-the-convenience-store type or you’d just rather get out a map and plot the course – it’s a lot easier to get somewhere when you know where you’re going!
The same goes for your business when it comes to your marketing & advertising. Throwing dollars at an ad is pretty pointless if you don’t have a plan. Like driving down the road and taking a turn at the street with the best sounding name – it might make for an entertaining afternoon, but it won’t get you very far along the highway. You need to have a strategic plan – in this case, your marketing strategy. Once you’ve got a strategy – you can hit the open road!
Here are my top 5 considerations for an effective strategy:
- Know where you want to go! Know more than the goals for that month’s sales – know your goals as a business for at least the next six months, preferably even longer.
- Know your brand, your demographic, then know what to say. Make sure you know where to find your customers (market research), what your message is (brand development), how to relate your message and why your customers need to say it (value proposition statement).
- Have a strategy and then do the follow up. If you have a seasonal sale you want your customers to know about – plan for it, do it, then measure the results. Setting goals and then analyzing your success against those goals is the only way you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. Which leads me to the next consideration…..
- Know it will take time. Marketing messages take time (and multiple avenues) to really sink in. In internet marketing endeavors, this could mean upward of 25 exposures to your message before a potential customer will engage. But keep an eye on it as well. A little adjustment might make all the difference. Which leads to…..
- Stay flexible. Just like your trainer at the gym (because you have a trainer, right?) always says – you’re actually stronger when you’re flexible. It’s the same with your strategy. Have a strategy, but be ready to adjust when the forseen or unforseen occurs.
If you’re working with a marketing & advertising professional, one of the first things they will want to know is when you’d like to plan out your strategy. If you were unaware that you needed a strategy – then they should offer to assist you in generating one. With a good strategy you can make sure your business takes the road to success this year – so don’t be afraid to ask for directions. Unless you’re just along for the ride……