A successful marketing strategy forms the foundation of a marketing plan. It should pull from market research to offer the marketplace the right product mix. Ultimately, the purpose of a marketing strategy is to maximize profit. And the purpose of profit is to build a sustainable business.
Despite the vital importance of a marketing strategy and a comprehensive plan to roll it out, many small businesses don’t give it the time, care, and attention it deserves.
This is not because small business owners don’t appreciate the significance of developing good marketing strategies but because they are preoccupied with survival. They are paying attention to what is urgent, but not what is important. Administration, production, and sales are urgent. A marketing strategy is important.
With that said, here are 5 ways to develop an excellent marketing strategy:
- Use marketing automation.
Marketing automation is an umbrella term for software and technology used by marketers to automate the repetitive tasks involved in marketing on many channels like websites, emails, and social media.
Marketing automation software benefits include making the marketing team more effective, making the sales cycle more efficient, and slashing marketing administration costs. Ultimately, marketing automation increases revenue.
- Recognize that SEO is not dead.
Due to Google’s constant influx of new algorithms to stop webmasters from gaming their ranking in the search engine results page, many marketers have come to the conclusion that SEO is a hopeless pursuit. This is far from the truth and there are still a number of effective strategies to get search engine traffic.
- Understand your target audience.
The more accurate your customer avatars, the more your marketing messages will hit home. By knowing your target audience, you know what to talk about and how to talk about it in a way that triggers their buying behavior.
If you’re clueless or only have a vague idea of who might be buying your products, you will find it difficult to make more money than you spend to run your business. You can develop an increasingly accurate customer avatar by using survey tools and by building a social media presence to directly interact with your audience.
- Learn from your competition.
It’s highly possible that your competition has already figured out what you are still struggling to understand. By using a comparison and contrast method between what you are doing and what they are doing, you’ll be able to spot where your promotions fall short and your offer loses its appeal.
For instance, more people might be buying more from your competition because they are pricing lower or higher than you. If they are doing better because their pricing is lower, then the customers in your niche may be bargain hunters.
On the other hand, if they are doing better than you because they are charging more, it indicates that the customers in your niche are value shoppers (or even conspicuous consumers).
By noticing what your competition is doing, you can decide on whether to focus on changing your price or increasing your perceived value.
- Coordinate your teams.
What can you do to coordinate all your departments to improve customer experience? Your customers see your business as a whole. They aren’t aware of communication breakdowns between accounting, production, marketing, sales, and customer services.
- Review your customers’ experiences.
Take the time to see your business through the eyes of the customer. By reviewing all your processes for customer interaction and deploying a variety of surveys, you can get a good picture of how you’re doing.
Perhaps there is a mismatch between what you think about your business and what customers think about it. For instance, your customers may make you aware that you take longer to ship your products than the competition. This feedback can help you revise your current shipping and handling methods.
You may have too many steps between receiving a customer order and sending out their package or you may be using an inefficient third-party fulfillment service.
- Optimize, tweak, or abort business processes.
Do you know what is working, only partially working, or not working in your organization? By analyzing your metrics, you can change how you do things in your business.
There may be something that you’re doing that you can be doing more of to get better results. For instance, you could be getting 80% off your traffic through content marketing and only 20% from paid advertising. Meanwhile, you are spending 80% of your money on paid advertising and only 20% on content marketing. By reallocating your money to hire more writers, you might get even more business.
Similarly, there may be things that aren’t broken but could be improved. Your sales team might be doing well, but by adding more training workshops, you could make them even better.
Finally, there may be things that you thought would work but never did take off at all. Perhaps you thought promotional merchandise would help you build your brand but after a little research, you discover that customers are not that interested in getting umbrellas with your logo on it. They simply put it in a closet and rarely ever use it.
Developing a solid marketing strategy may be one of the most important things you can be doing in your business right now. By reviewing and upgrading your existing strategies, you might increase revenue in an unexpected way.