6 steps to a good marketing strategy - image of a rubiks cube with one colour out of place

What makes a good marketing strategy?

A good marketing strategy is essential for the success and growth of any business, whatever its size.

Your marketing strategy is the blueprint that guides your company’s promotional activities, enabling you to effectively reach and engage your target audience. A well-crafted strategy is a culmination of thorough research, careful planning, and thoughtful execution.

Here are 6 key factors that contribute to a good marketing strategy.

6 steps to building a marketing strategy for your business

1. Define your target market

Ask yourself: who are you speaking to? Who are your customers and what do you have that they need?

A good marketing strategy is rooted in a deep understanding of your target market. It involves conducting market research to identify the needs, preferences, and behaviours of your target audience.

Market research doesn’t have to be a huge investment. Three simple market research activities you can do right now are:

  1. Use your knowledge of your existing customers and survey them for information about what they love about you and what they need you to do better.
  2. Identify your competitors and see what they’re up to. There might be tactics, or mistakes, that you can learn from.
  3. Jump on social media to get real-time insights into customer sentiments, industry trends, and competitor activity.

This knowledge forms the foundation for creating compelling marketing messages and positioning your product or service in a way that resonates with your target market.

2. Set clear, achievable goals

You’re creating a marketing strategy for a reason. What is it? And how will you measure your success?

Simply writing “we need to grow the business and get more sales” isn’t enough. Specifically, how many sales? Is your goal realistic? How will you get there?

A good marketing strategy sets clear and achievable goals. It outlines specific marketing objectives that align with the overall business objectives.

These goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-bound. Your goals should also allow for progress tracking and evaluation of the strategy’s effectiveness.

Whether the goal is to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or boost sales, a well-defined objective provides direction and focus.

3. Define your channels and tactics

A good marketing strategy utilises a mix of different marketing channels and tactics.

Your customers live in a chaotic world of information on multiple platforms. So your strategy needs to recognise the importance of reaching your target audience through various platforms including:

  • Content marketing through your owned channels
  • Digital advertising channels
  • Social media (paid and organic)
  • Traditional advertising channels

Your strategy should leverage the strengths of each channel to maximise the reach and impact of the marketing efforts within your marketing budget.

Not all businesses have the budget for TV advertising. Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and charities often don’t have the capital to invest in TV and large scale national billboard advertising. This is where digital marketing can really work for small businesses.

4. Plan for change and build in flexibility

The environment you’re working in is subject to unexpected change. Who can forget the impact of the COVID pandemic on an individual, business, and societal level?

So your marketing strategy needs to be adaptable and responsive to changing market dynamics. Build in some flexibility so that you can reposition if you need to. And map out some responses to the risks you can anticipate. And even some of those you can’t!

A good strategy recognises that consumer preferences, market trends, and competitive landscapes are constantly evolving. Therefore, it should be flexible enough to accommodate adjustments and refinements based on market feedback and emerging opportunities.

5. Brand alignment

Do you know who you are as a brand?

A good marketing strategy incorporates a strong brand identity and consistent messaging. Brand alignment ensures that all your marketing communications are aligned with the brand’s values, personality, and positioning.

Consistency in messaging across different touchpoints helps build brand recognition, credibility, and trust among the target audience.

6. Measure and analyse

Lastly, a good marketing strategy includes a robust measurement and analytics framework.

Your strategy should track and analyse key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure whether your marketing campaigns and initiatives are working. This data-driven approach allows for informed decision-making and optimisation of marketing efforts.

My marketing mantra: test, learn, respond. Try out marketing tactics against a hypothesis. Check your results. And adjust accordingly. Love your marketing data and make it work for you.

A good marketing strategy is your dynamic roadmap

To wrap up: a good marketing strategy is a comprehensive and dynamic roadmap that guides a company’s marketing activities. It involves thorough research, clear goal-setting, an integrated approach across various channels, adaptability, consistency, and data-driven evaluation.

By incorporating these elements, your business can create a solid foundation for successful marketing campaigns and achieve your goals.