The key to any business’s success is to have a great marketing strategy in place. Marketing strategies provide focus. In the end, you will be unable to accomplish any of your goals or objectives without focus. If you don’t plan, you’re planning to fail.

Marketing is not a one-off, standalone activity. In addition to these, it comprises several components that are essential throughout each stage of a business’s endeavors – from long before a sale is made, through to after the sale has been made. With so much going on, it is imperative to have a plan in place.

Marketing Strategy Definition

An investment company defines a marketing strategy as a company’s overall plan for reaching prospective customers and converting them into customers. It usually involves the value proposition of the company, key messaging, demographic, and other high-level information about target customers

Integrated marketing strategies ensure that all aspects of the customer journey are taken into account and that each department is visible. As a result, the organization can focus on the resources it has available, making sure they are used to their full potential to generate sales and increase competitiveness.

Marketing’s goal is to know and understand the customer well enough so the product or service fits him and sells itself.

 

Marketing Strategy Vs Marketing Campaign

Marketing strategists and marketing campaigns can sometimes be confused when it comes to marketing. Aren’t they the same thing?

Short answer: no. Marketing strategy frameworks serve as a high-level, overall strategic plan for building a brand and achieving organizational objectives. Marketing campaigns, on the other hand, are short-term, goal-oriented initiatives with very specific objectives. A marketing strategy should provide information for developing marketing campaigns.

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What Is the Need for a Marketing Strategy?

You might wonder, why should we spend so much energy on developing a long-term strategy that is likely to need revising anyway, in an environment where change is frequent and unpredictable?

Our answer to that is: we don’t have repeatability or scale without a strategy in place.

Repeatable Marketing Strategies

Even though your marketing strategy might need adjustments or tweaks, it provides you with a template where to begin and makes it easier to see similar or better results from each campaign without having to start from scratch. Furthermore, it gives the marketing department a sense of stability and predictability.

A marketing strategy is like a menu; it is a framework and a process that can be repeated. For instance, if your Thanksgiving dinner menu typically consists of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, and pumpkin pie, then it is probably fair to assume that this is going to be fairly similar every year. It is possible to add or subtract an extra item or two, as well as change your methods and recipes, but your core plan remains the same.

As marketers, our quarterly menus probably look similar, given that we strive for a similar outcome of brand awareness or lead generation through a variety of marketing tactics, from email marketing to SEO (search engine optimization) to PPC (pay-per-click advertising), and so on. While our recipes can be altered and adapted, the menu is more or less the same, which allows us to spend more time improving our recipes rather than changing the menu every week/month/quarter/year.

Scalable marketing strategies are important

When you have a repeatable marketing strategy in place, you can now leverage it for scale. As such, it could be shared with another employee, team, or division of the company. As a result, you can apply the same marketing strategy across the board for all of your products and services. Keeping everyone on the same page will ensure consistency across all of your marketing campaigns.

Let’s return to Penn’s Thanksgiving example once more…

As Thanksgiving drew near, you were extremely busy and didn’t have time to properly prepare your holiday dinner, so your neighbor shared theirs with you. Having this option would greatly reduce stress and save a great deal of time. By focusing simply on for how you no longer have to think about the why and what. Should this menu be a success, then maybe you’ll want to share it with your friends and family? Ultimately, many homes are now preparing great meals using just one menu.

Referring back to your marketing strategy…

When you have an effective plan, that is both repeatable and scalable, you can focus your efforts on improving the strategy and making it work rather than spending time worrying about what the strategy will be.

Who is the target audience?

Knowing your target audience is essential to crafting a solid marketing strategy. Many of the decisions you need to make will depend on who your target audience is, such as branding and pricing, as well as the messaging you choose to use and the marketing channels you choose.

There is only one strategy that works. That is, precisely defining the target market and directing a superior offering at that market.

Your marketing strategy will be more effective if your target audience is clearly defined as you will be able to tailor all marketing content, messaging, and ads to their preferences. The more insight you gather, the more you will understand who exactly falls into your target audience. You might find you need to target a different group of customers than those you initially intended to target, so don’t be afraid to learn as you go and be open to change.

You simply cannot reach everyone with your target audience, before you ask. Unless, of course, you’re Amazon, who have been establishing themselves as a pioneer in e-commerce for 26 years and have earned the right to target anyone they want.

What Is the Difference Between a Target Market and a Target Audience?

Many marketers mistakenly assume that the terms ‘target audience’ and ‘target market’ are synonymous, and the confusion can get pretty confusing when those terms are used interchangeably. Although sometimes they are the same for your business, this is not always the case for others, so let’s quickly review the differences between them.

 

Target Market

The target market is essentially the general market segment that will use and consume your product or service. Depending on their age, gender, income, and jobs, these people may share similar characteristics. Babies and toddlers of both sexes are the target market for nappies and baby wipes, for example. Another target market for a luxury beauty salon might be women and men of a certain age, who belong to a certain income bracket and live in a specific area.

Target Audience

A target audience is whoever a business expects to purchase its products or services. In the earlier example of nappies, the product is obviously designed for babies and toddlers, but they aren’t the ones making the purchase. Consequently, the advertising and marketing efforts should target the parents and guardians making the purchase, who would be the target audience.

Alternatively, your target audience can also be a subset of your target market; these are people you are trying to reach through a particular marketing communication or promotion. An anti-wrinkle treatment might be discounted at a luxury beauty salon, for example. Generally, these treatments are age-specific, so you don’t have to target the entire market. You can instead target people who are within your target audience’s age range.

A Defined Target Audience Is Crucial

Your marketing strategy must contain a clearly defined target audience. This allows marketers to:

 

  • Develop a campaign’s content in a way that appeals to the emotions and interests of the target audience
  • Understand the language used by your target audience, including words and phrases that may speak to them
  • Make sure their messaging is aligned with the audience’s concerns, wants, and motivations
  • Identify where the target audience spends their time (whether online or in the real world) so they can target their messaging appropriately
  • Know what future purposes their products or services are expected to fulfill

In order for people to relate to your brand, they must be able to relate to the tone and content of your message. Making a personal connection and establishing trust with your customers depends on your ability to strike a chord. Targeting consumers who are likely to be interested in your brand, product, or service will result in a higher return on investment (ROI) than sending out direct mail to every possible household.

Segmentation of audiences

Your next step is to segment your target market once you have established your general target market. A customer segment is made up of a few subgroups within your overall audience, usually determined by their similar needs and wants. The consumer has become increasingly empowered and expects highly personalized messages from brands, making segmentation more important than ever before.

In most companies, there are different types of customers who might be interested in your products or services. Segmenting involves identifying these different groups and positioning your brand effectively for each.

Here are a few of the most common methods marketers use to segment their target audiences:

 

Demographic

In one of the most basic methods of segmentation, consumers are grouped by factors such as their age, gender, marital status, education, religion, race, income, occupation, and family size. Most brands successfully segment their customers by using demographic information (at least) based on this data, since it’s one of the easiest to collect and analyze.

 

Geographic

The geographic segmentation process involves dividing your target market into countries, regions, or states. For smaller companies, drilling down to the city, neighborhood, and zip code can even be beneficial in some scenarios. However, it does not just focus on the location of your customers. Considering your target audience’s urbanity, climate, culture, and language is an important consideration when creating a marketing strategy.

 

Behavioral

A behavioral segmentation involves dividing your audience according to the information you have gathered from their past interactions with your brand, whether that was online through your website and app, or in-store. You can optimize your customers’ experience with this insight so that you know when, why, and how to do so. Any conclusions or decisions you draw as a result will be based on real information, not assumptions.

 

Psychographic

Psychographic segmentation is defined as analyzing the preferences, values, interests, opinions, and motivations of your target audience. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, and case studies are most commonly used to collect this kind of data. The key to achieving higher conversion rates is understanding the varying needs and wants of each subgroup, and applying this knowledge to your marketing campaigns.

 

You will be able to set objectives and develop ideas centered around your target audience when you gain a deep understanding of each of your customer segments. Your campaigns will be highly personalized and will achieve maximum impact if you do this. Your company’s marketing strategy should be based on customer segmentation.

 

Objectives & Goals for SMART Marketing

A good place to begin when planning your marketing strategy is with your goals and objectives. How does one determine whether or not a marketing campaign has been successful without them?

Marketing professionals commonly use the SMART method to successfully set goals and objectives. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

For your strategy, you should set goals that are ambitious and compel you to work hard, but are also attainable. When you and your team know that you can’t achieve a goal, it’s extremely demotivating.

Let’s take a look at each of the five objectives in the SMART method, and how they can assist you in setting realistic goals.

 

1. Specific

Focus on one clearly defined metric when you create your goals and be as specific as possible. It is generally believed that people who set vague and ambiguous goals will be less likely to achieve them. Focused marketing objectives can be a great help in eliminating distractions and making your objectives clearer.

 

2. Measurable

A system that allows you to measure results is completely necessary. The past was dominated by guesswork in marketing. Today, we have access to several tools that allow us to gather, analyze, and report on data. Therefore, be sure you understand how you are going to acquire the data you need and how you are going to analyze it.

3. Achievable

A challenging goal that is still achievable is the most effective. Make sure your goals don’t only reflect what you think your boss wants to hear. This will make you sound great until you report back that you didn’t even come close to reaching your goal. You and your team will be demotivated if you fail to reach your goals, so don’t make life harder than it has to be. You must still constantly challenge yourself and push the boundaries, so find a middle ground between challenging yourself and setting easy goals.

 

4. Relevant

 Making sure the objective aligns with the brand’s overall strategic positioning is crucial to set appropriate goals. This means that the goal must improve your brand’s relationship with its customers or boost your business.

To increase your ROI by 3%, you might set a goal of building an enormous following on the latest up-and-coming social platform, TikTok. After putting into place all the tactics you need to achieve this, this ends up being a great success and you now have a TikTok account with 1000 subscribers.

In reality, your business is a B2B firm that sells office space in North America, so the TikTok audience you have gained has no bearing on the overall strategy of your business. You have not gained any valuable leads on this platform, so increasing your ROI by any amount will not help your business. While you have partially accomplished your goal by building a following, you have not gained any valuable leads.

 

5. Time-bound 

The end date of each goal must be determined when you expect to achieve that metric. Achieving goals requires the right timing. Unless you allow yourself enough time, you will write off your marketing efforts as a failure before they have even had a chance to succeed.

How will you know when the time is right to call the strategy successful or unsuccessful without a time limit? We tend to lose focus without deadlines, and can easily become distracted by other tasks that seem more important. If your goals are not time-bound, they tend to never be achieved, so ensure that they are time-bound. After you reach your goals, a deadline will allow you to reflect on the overall process and track your progress.

 

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