Whether you’re the owner of a small start-up or an international conglomerate, you must devise and implement a solid marketing strategy. Chances are, no two companies’ strategies will be the same since factors such as industry, competition, or level of resources can influence a business’ approach.
However, there are a few key measures you need to take to ensure you’re assembling your marketing plan in the right way. Consider the following three steps every business should be taking to get the most out of your marketing budget.
Set clear objectives
There is very little point in setting about devising your marketing strategy without first deciding upon some clear goals. In other words, what do you want your marketing efforts to achieve? Deciding upon these goals is crucial, so it’s important to set enough time aside for this stage of the process.
These goals will be specific to the marketing side of your business, but can ultimately seep into all facets, from increasing engagement on social media to broadening brand awareness. The hope is that in setting and meeting these goals, the wider business will benefit, through an increase in profits and growth. Since your employees are going to be the ones responsible for hitting these targets, it’s important to work in tandem with your team when developing your goals.
Conduct and analyse market research
This is arguably the most important step of the entire process, as it will largely dictate how you choose to market your company. Whilst there is lots of information available detailing how to perform effective market research, if you’re unsure, it’s never a bad idea to enlist the help of a professional.
Your marketing expert will likely perform a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and the analysis is used to determine each of these elements of your business.
Having an external professional view your business with a fresh pair of eyes could highlight areas that you or your existing staff may have missed. If done effectively, a SWOT analysis can act as the basis for determining how your company can move forward, by highlighting existing strengths and identifying areas for improvement.
Position your business and choose a target market
After setting your goals and completing your market research, you need to decide upon your target market and position your business accordingly. With your market research results in mind, you will be able to decipher which types of customers you should be targeting with your product or service. Many factors can separate potential customers, from age to gender, to lifestyle.
Since different demographics digest information in different ways, it’s important to lean on the results of your research to correctly position yourself within the market. These results will be crucial in determining the methods used to market and advertise your company. For example, if your market research details that younger people would be more likely to use your product, you might look to focus your marketing efforts on social media, since 90% of 18-29-year-olds in the U.S. use social media compared to just 40% in the 65+ group.