4 Steps to Creating a Marketing Strategy

We often tell clients that you can’t just dip your toe into marketing. If you’re going to start a Twitter account, a new website or a blog, you have to dive in. Because it’s impossible to “dive in” to every marketing tactic all at once, you have to consider which tactics work best for your audience and business. This is where marketing strategy comes into play. In marketing, much like life, it pays to think before you act.

marketing strategyA marketing strategy is not a quick and easy procedure. It takes time, thought and research to create, but the end result is a plan that will guide you through each and every marketing project that you undertake. So before you jump on Twitter or start a blog, consider these 4 steps to create your company’s marketing strategy.

1. Know Your Differentiators. And Use Them.
Overused marketing tactics tend to create an automatic eye glaze from your audience. They simply won’t respond. The best way to capture your audience’s attention is to play up your differences. Look into the heart of your business and your culture, and make sure those unique qualities translate into all areas of your marketing.

2. Know Your Target Audience.
Know your audience, and know them well. This is essential in creating a sound marketing strategy. A deep understanding of your audience allows you to know which marketing tactics will be most effective. Consider these questions: How old are they? What is their job and position? Are they predominantly male or female? Where do they get their information? How do they decide what products/services to buy? What is their personality like? These are just some of the many questions you should know the answer to in regard to your target audience. After analyzing your audience, you may realize you have more than just one target audience. When you’re developing marketing campaigns or writing digital content, you should be writing to a specific audience. Because your various target audiences may have completely different personality traits and job descriptions, it’s foolish to assume they should be marketed to in the same way.

3. Know Your Voice.
Clearly defining your voice is critical to achieving a consistent, unified writing style throughout all of your marketing materials. Establishing a specific voice that is a filter for all content will make your writing style consistent regardless of who is writing your content. Your voice should be so distinct that it has its own personality. Is your writing style conversational and clever? Is it professional and educational? To determine your brand voice, think about your company as if it were a person. What kind of a car would your company drive? What would be its go-to restaurant? What kind of music would it listen to? This exercise is helpful when determining how your brand should speak.

4. Know Your Goals. And Your Limits.
Specific goals are essential to creating your marketing strategy. Develop short and long-term goals that are specific enough so that you can measure your success as time goes on. Once your goals are listed, choose to implement the marketing tactics that will help achieve these goals. It’s important to choose goals and tactics that are realistic and manageable. For example, a client may have a goal to increase their Facebook following by posting once a day, but because they don’t have the time to actually post once a day, they end up posting once every two months. It’s always better to pick a goal that you can actually commit to than to overwhelm yourself with lofty, unsustainable goals.

Marketing strategies take deep thought and research, but the outcome is more than worth it. Your strategy provides the framework for how you write, which marketing tactics are most effective for your customers, and how you speak about your company. Plato was onto something when he said “Know Thyself” and we believe a thorough understanding of your differentiators, your audience, your voice and your goals will lead to successful marketing.