Every business is on a journey. Think of it like a cross-country road trip. Just like you wouldn’t set out on the road without a map, you shouldn’t set out in business without a marketing strategy.
But a good GPS doesn’t just tell you point A and point B. It might include fuel stations along the way, alternate routes, ETAs, even traffic information. These other details help you get to where you’re going efficiently. Your marketing strategy should include the same.
Whether you already have a strategy that you’re updating, or you need to build one from scratch, here’s what a good marketing strategy is and what it should include.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is a detailed outline of how you will communicate your product’s value, relate to customers, and make sales. It is the roadmap that your company can follow to success.
A good marketing strategy is important for many reasons. First and foremost, a strategy helps you define your brand. It guides the details that tell your customers who you are, from packaging to messaging to customer experience.
Your strategy will also be a key driver of results and give you the metrics to measure that success. Each goal provides direction and focus that keeps you moving forward. Each milestone metric easily tells you whether you’re succeeding or need to reevaluate.
A strong marketing strategy is a key tool for making decisions, leading your organisation, and cultivating success.
What Does a Marketing Strategy Include?
A complete marketing strategy can be lengthy, and should be detailed. A good strategy will include information about your company, your product, your industry, and more. This can seem like a lot, but don’t get overwhelmed. Let’s break it down.
First, start with the basics, often called the “the Ps.” While it started with four, the list has since expanded to include 7, sometimes 8.
What product or service are you selling? This includes everything from physical goods to digital downloads. You may start broad with something like ‘men’s shoes,’ but try to narrow it down and be more specific. Maybe you sell ‘men’s hiking boots for trails and mountain use.’ Clearly communicate what value you provide.
Your price point should reflect more than just the cost of the good or service. Will you keep prices as low as possible to target budget shoppers? Or will you sell at a higher price to indicate a luxury, aspirational product?
Where and how will you sell your product or service? This will be somewhat influenced by the type of product you sell, but you do have some decisions to make regardless. Will you sell in brick and mortar stores as well as online? Do you sell through your own website or on a third party platform? If you are a service based business, can customers purchase online, in person, or via phone?
How will your product or service be promoted to customers? How will they hear about you? You may choose to go 100% digital, running paid ads and cultivating a social media following. Maybe you focus on inbound, content marketing strategies and write awesome blogs. It could be a mix of traditional and digital marketing.
These are the foundational four, and a good starting point. Additional “Ps” include:
Physical evidence is all the aspects of your product or company that reassure customers and let them know what to expect. This could be things like delicate packaging for jewelry, testimonials from current clients, photos of food online from a new restaurant. These all paint a picture of what a client will get when they purchase from you.
What steps do customers take to buy your product? Are there multiple sales calls first? Does it include a demo or trial period? How is it delivered and what support is available post-purchase? Some of this will depend on the product or service you sell, but be conscious of how the process reflects on your brand.
What team members support your brand and what are their credentials? If you’re in the health and wellness industry, do you have medical personnel on staff? Are your team members certified in their field? Today, more than ever, customers care just as much about the people behind their favorite products as they do the actual product.
These seven Ps are the most widely accepted in the marketing industry. Some have added an eighth P but there is some variation in what it stands for. It could stand for partnerships, productivity, or performance. To use this eighth P, decide which makes the most sense for your business and values.
The seven (or eight) ‘Ps’ are very comprehensive but they are not exhaustive. Once you’ve nailed down these components, there are a few other pieces to include.
If you noticed, the Ps tend to focus on who you are as a company and a product, which is great. You have to know who you are before you share yourself with the world. But now it’s time to turn that attention outward to your target market.
Compile as much information as you can on your ideal customer segments. Identify their age, gender, location, interests, preferences, buying habits, values, etc. All this will help you connect with them more effectively to make sales.
One of the most critical things to include are your goals. Look at your overall business goals and how marketing can help you achieve those.
Maybe your goal is to increase clients in a certain industry or to achieve a certain market share. Determine how each piece in your marketing strategy factors into those goals.From there, work backwards to set milestones along the way.
For example, if one of your goals is to increase market share among GenZ, you may want to promote more on social media or consider working with influencers. A short term goal could be to grow your Tiktok following by 5% this quarter.
This can be broken down even further into monthly and weekly goals if that works for your team. Using this framework, it’s easy to see how your goals can drive you toward where you want to be.
A good marketing strategy includes a lot, and for good reason. It covers everything from your value proposition to your promotion strategy to information about your customers and what your goals are. That may seem like a lot, but the more effort you put into creating a detailed strategy, the better it can serve you in your business.
If you’re feeling stuck, talk with our team at Unified Marketing to get you started with a solid marketing strategy.