Ever had a day when time just gets away from you?
Try as you might, there’s no catching up. You’re running behind in the morning, which affects the course of your afternoon, which throws off the evening. Worst of all, you’re frazzled. And who could blame you? It’s tough to keep your cool when the whole day feels like a horrible comedy of errors. There will be no cleansing breaths here. No sir. Just let me survive and I’ll try again tomorrow.
Now, imagine living that kind of day every day.
Without a specific marketing strategy, that same feeling of frazzled will start to creep in.
Now, creating a marketing strategy may not sound the least bit appealing to you. I get it. After all, who has time to sit down and piece that together? But that initial time investment is minimal compared to the amount of time (and quite likely dollars) that will be wasted on unspecified marketing. When you take the time to develop a strategy and a schedule, you’re able to streamline the entire process. Day-to-day tasks become much easier (and faster) to accomplish, because you’ve outlined your guidelines and goals. As a result, your marketing initiatives will reach the right audience with the right info.
So, strategy’s a good thing. But, how on earth do you put one together?
Strategy’s just a plain intimidating word. But, I have good news – it isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It mostly involves a careful examination of your own business.
When building a strategy, two of the most important things to consider are your audience and purpose. These two concepts will create greater focus for the finer details. Determining your audience is as simple as looking at your customers. Who are they? Where are they? What do they have in common? The more you know about your audience, the clearer your content’s purpose will be. No matter what industry you’re in, your marketing should address your audience’s needs in one way or another. It’s that value offering that will keep consumers coming back for more.
With those cornerstones in place, you can then focus on your context. A thorough understanding of your environment will help you craft a strategy with realistic parameters. There’s no sense creating a strategy that you don’t have the resources to accomplish. Examine your business’ success and resources to date – it’ll help you determine what you ultimately want to achieve with your marketing strategy. Explore what tools you should use. Does your website need SEO? PPC? How would social media benefit you? By taking the time to investigate your options, you’ll be able to put together a plan that’s effective and feasible. And, of course, include a competitive analysis. It’s good to know what they’re up to, too.
And there you have it – the plan. Once you have those pieces in place, it’s as simple as delegating tasks. Decide who will be responsible for implementing and maintaining each portion of your marketing strategy, and determine how you will measure the strategy’s effectiveness. Does it take time? Yes. Is it worth it? YES.
Clarity is priceless in the long term. Ultimately, a marketing strategy will give you confidence and direction, which means no more frazzled marketing ploys. Get past that survival state of marketing – make a plan, and start thriving.