What to include in a marketing strategy
So, great news, you are ready to start writing your marketing strategy – but what do you put in it?
So often we come across people that have been daunted by the potential contents of a strategy document that they have given up.
Below we have set out the basics of what needs to be included. As an added value we can also give you a template if you drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Define your objectives
The first and most important step is to define your objectives for the business, which will then translate into marketing objectives. For example, your business objective might be to *open a new office in Brighton. This could translate to a marketing objective of *create brand awareness in Brighton. Your tactics will then link to the marketing objectives so a tactic in line with this could be *sponsor Brighton Pride for example.
The objectives ideally need to be SMART. This means, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. So were the above objective for a firm in Scotland they would arguably not be attainable or realistic.
Once you have your objectives clear you can start to look at how these are going to be achieved. For us this is the fun bit! But it is also where people can become overwhelmed. We use this infographic in a marketing strategy seminar that we run and it often panics people (this is not the intention). It just perfectly illustrates how many ‘tactics’ there are out there! You don’t need to do them all. Just those that will work for your business, be that because they are the more affordable ones, the less time-consuming ones or the ones that you know work!
Create your ideal buying persona or client profile
If you haven’t already profiled you ideal client ahead of writing your marketing strategy then this is the next step and your tactics will be dictated by the target.
A persona or client profile could for example be: Mid 40-60s, Director of a Business, living or working within a 30 mile radius of your offices. This might be a target for a company/commercial team or for an accountants.
Mid 30’s, recently married/started a family living within a 5 mile radius of your offices. This could be a target client for private client who need more will clients.
Explore and decide on marketing tactics
Once you know who your target client is, it’s time to look at the tactics. There are lots that are FREE, but beware, they are not effort or time free. Also, just because they are free does not mean they are worth doing. We will explore my top 10 FREE marketing tactics in another blog.
Possibly the second most important part of your strategy is making it happen (objectives being no 1).
We used to draw up 12 month action plans but as is often the way in business deadlines slipped and the plan very quickly became out of date. We now tend to work with 3-6 month action plans. That isn’t to say that you can’t plan things for 12 months time if needed.
It is vital to have due dates for actions along with who is responsible. This is also where you will schedule check in points, whether it’s monthly meetings or quarterly reviews. Your strategy and more so your action plan needs to be a fluid document, able to adapt and change as your business and the marketplace does.
We suggest you give some thought to using a project management tool to help you with rolling out your strategy/action plan. We use Trello (other tools are available).