Having a strategy is a crucial part of marketing. In fact, it’s the most important part! The problem is that many companies think that they have a market strategy in place, but they don’t. They are missing one or more necessary steps. Don’t be fooled – having a strategic marketing plan is essential to your company’s success. Strategic marketing can help you achieve your goals and get ahead of your competition. But how do you know if you’re doing it right? Here are 4 simple steps to take to develop a strategic marketing plan with proven results and long-term benefits.
Define your goals and objectives
What are your long-term goals? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months? Do you have sales goals, profit goals, market goals? Set goals that are clearly defined and don’t change often. If you’re experiencing increased sales in the next few months, but then you set a lower goal in the next six months, you are setting yourself up for failure. The key is to stay consistent. If you make significant progress in one area, be sure to keep it moving in that direction.
Develop a plan
The first step is to develop a marketing strategy. This includes identifying the different areas you’re going to focus on in the market and the best channels to reach the right people with the right message. Take your plan to a trusted advisor for a professional analysis. Take time to plan your strategy for long-term growth, ensuring your plan aligns with your business goals. If your goal is to sell more through this channel, don’t run ahead of your customer and try to reach them too soon. You don’t have to have one plan either! Sometimes certain goals tie-in with each other. For example, if you are ultimately trying to gain more sales for your e-commerce business, having a solid social media presence on Facebook could very well be a goal. However, wanting to increase your engagement rate while growing your Facebook Audience are great goals that need to be properly planned.
Implement the plan
Now that you’ve determined a strategic marketing plan, it’s time to implement it. Take each of the steps described above and include them in your company’s marketing activities. For instance, it’s a good idea to implement surveys and focus groups to gather feedback from your customers. And keep track of your sales by monitoring your company’s website and social media pages. Make sure your team (if applicable) is on-board to assist with the implementation of your business goals.
Measure to see if you’re getting results
You must set measurable goals in your marketing strategy. If you’re not, then you don’t know if you’re making the progress you want to make. Measure your results Monitoring your marketing activities is key to knowing if you are actually achieving your goals. Don’t just take sales and sign-ups at face value, but measure how much of that activity is actually converting into sales. Remember – marketing is a numbers game. If you see a lower conversion rate, you might be missing something. As you become more comfortable with your strategy and track its progress over time, you can evaluate it at the end of each quarter or year to determine if the strategy is working for your company and you are meeting your goals. If not, you can make adjustments. Create an annual or quarterly plan Whether you’re a startup looking to grow quickly or an established company that’s looking to expand your reach, you need to take time at the beginning of each quarter or year to create an annual or quarterly plan. Do you need to hire more employees or make changes to your products or services?