Before we tell you how to compose an effective marketing strategy, you need to understand what a marketing strategy is and how it can help you improve your advertising.
In simple terms, business marketing strategies are a tool marketers use to outline their various campaigns and marketing models. It’s the how of how you’ll get customers interested in your products and services.
To create an effective marketing strategy, you need to do four things:
- Understand who buys your products or services (who are your customers?)
- Understand how to motivate these people to buy/continue to buy your products or services
- Understand who your competitors are and what they’re doing to achieve the same objectives
- Understand how to measure the success of your marketing campaigns and efforts.
Like a marketing plan, your marketing strategy should cover the five “Ps” of marketing:
- Product – What you’re trying to sell
- Price – Profit margins, marketing budget, etc.
- Place – What channels or platforms will you use? (For example, will you be advertising on social media, utilizing email marketing, or going offline?) Consider where your customers already spend their time for the optimal marketing locations.
- Promotion – What are you trying to achieve? (Are you hoping to build your social media presence, increase brand perception, promote a new product, or something else?)
- People – Who is your target audience? What drives them?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be in a fantastic position to start building your company’s marketing strategy.
Marketing strategies vs. marketing plans vs. marketing tactics
Although “marketing strategies” might seem relatively straightforward, there can often be some confusion when establishing whether you’re creating a marketing strategy, marketing plan, or marketing tactic. While all three of these marketing initiatives work together, they cover slightly different aspects and should not be used interchangeably.
A marketing plan is an overview of all your marketing initiatives. This will include all the campaigns you intend to run over a set period of time, your goals and ambitions for the projects as a whole, and any research you’ve compiled to support these aims.
Marketing strategies at first glance appear very similar to the overarching marketing plan. However, the strategies will take a closer look at just a few select parts of the marketing plan.
For example, if your marketing plan is to promote a new product or service, you might have a strategy dedicated to how you’re going to use email marketing to support these broader goals. Every marketing plan will most likely produce several marketing strategies as part of the broader plan.
While the marketing plan and strategies are committed to explaining what you’re going to do, marketing tactics go deeper again and establish how you’re going to do it.
Using the above example, the marketing plan is to build awareness for a new product. The marketing strategy is how you’ll utilize email marketing as part of this. The marketing tactics will detail the specific actions you’ll take as part of the marketing campaign.