How to create a marketing strategy
Marketing strategy is a process which helps to understand your target audience, analyse the market and competition, create a brand identity with USP and finally execute a marketing plan with a budget to increase your brand awareness and sales.
Understanding Target Audience
It is critical for every business to understand their target audience, what they do and where they are before initiating any marketing campaigns.
Instead of running a generic marketing campaign to a wider audience and hoping to get some business, it is a wiser choice to reach a specific set of potential customers with a tailored campaign which could increase the conversion.
There could be one or more segments of audience who are our potential customers. We need to understand our potential customers’ typical needs and how it is served in their world. What they like and hate in the existing market, how and where they buy can provide lot of insights.
It is also important to understand the places where our target audiences connect with the external world. For some businesses, the gateway to our target audiences is a search engine but for others it may be a specific discussion forum or social network platforms like linkedin, facebook. For some, it could even be offline places like a meetup venue.
Once the specific audience is identified, their workflow mapped and their favourite hangout place is found, we need to personalise our message. The messages should be customised based on the place, timing and the relevant content format. For some places like facebook, a video content provides better conversion than a text based content. For some places like instagram, a content posted in noon will have more impressions than morning.
Analysing the Market and Competition
It is critical to know the market trends, growth rate and the demographics of target audience. The dynamics of the market like high growth / low growth seasons, socio political climate needs to be understood to ride any growth wave successfully.
The pricing & communication strategy used by our competitors can indicate what is working and not working among our target audience. This is especially easy in the social media where the user engagement is public for us to understand the nuances.
The content and marketing strategy employed by our competitors can guide us to the channels which are available to reach the potential customers. For example, the keywords bid by the competition in search & social ads can help us to understand how the customers are discovering the competition and where the business is existing.
Once we understand our competition and the market as a whole, we can choose the right battles and war strategies – in this case the right channels, partners to compete with our own voice.
Creating a Brand Identity with unique selling proposition
If we successfully understood our target audience and market/competition, we can position our brand to our advantage. Our brand should not only differentiate from our competition in critical areas but also fulfil the needs of the target audiences in a better way.
The unique selling proposition can be in the way we price our offerings or it could be the way it is served.
For example, if SMEs are finding it difficult to manage their businesses using high cost complex desktop based ERP solutions, we could differentiate and position our brand as a simple cloud based ERP solution which is priced with an affordable monthly fee.
Executing a Marketing Plan
Once all the pieces in the puzzle are in place, now we need to create a plan for our Marketing activities. A marketing budget is fixed based on the stage and type of business and the targets planned for a period. List of marketing activities are then created based on the channels we identified to target and the respective budget required to produce the results.
Multiple channels are available to a business to reach their offline and online audience. We have explained here -> offline and online channels for marketing
Typically businesses create a marketing calendar where different activities are identified, allocated to the marketing team members to execute on a particular day of a month with an expected result. Based on the actual results produced, marketing plans for the future are updated by the marketing teams.
Integrated marketing and communication tools like Teleduce can be used by businesses to create the campaigns, schedule to run the campaigns on specific date on a specific channel. For example, you can send a SMS campaign on Day 1 followed by an email campaign on Day 2 based on the action taken by the user.
Tools like Teleduce simplifies the work of marketing teams to translate the marketing plan into action. They can track all the campaigns across multiple channels at one place. Marketing plans can be updated based on the performances reports extracted for each channels.
Happy Marketing and Selling !