You want to grow your business online, but you’re overwhelmed with options and directions in a world driven by technology. Who wouldn’t be? Understanding the function of a well-crafted strategic marketing plan will lend focus and direction to you reaching your ultimate goal of landing new customers. Let’s look at five important steps you can take right now to build an effective strategic marketing plan:
Businesses like yours successfully drive more leads, build brand awareness, and secure new business by viewing marketing as an investment, not an expense. Once you have embraced the mantra that marketing is vital to your company’s growth plan, your next step is to identify some measurable goals.
To help you determine the right goals and objectives, spend quality time evaluating your growth levels to date and your current position in your market space. Make a priority list of specific marketing goals, and then select the top three to five, focusing on the ones that will most meaningfully propel you forward to success. These should be measurable goals, and this brings with it accountability, which is crucial to ensuring that your plan is always moving in the right direction.
Many businesses make the mistake of rushing past strategy development and fixate instead on tactics, but tactics without strategy are about as effective as a rocket without an engine. If your goals inform where you want the company to be, the strategy is the route you need to take to get there. For example, your strategies could be:
If strategies are the “big picture” of how you want to achieve your goals, tactics are the specific actions that need to be properly executed in order to achieve them.
Let’s say you’ve set a goal to enhance your company’s brand awareness. A proven strategy would be to increase the number of brand contacts among your potential customers. Tactics for realizing that strategy would include, for example, writing and promoting a white paper with helpful trade secrets, blogging about issues that are relevant to your target audience, or sponsoring a local event.
Your marketing budget should be determined by how ready you are to grow, how fast you want to grow, and by your company’s goals and objectives for the future. But you can’t focus solely on dollars – consider also your available time and resources required to manage and execute your plan.
While all five of these steps are critical to marketing success, this is not a “set it and forget” kind of thing. Ideally, your plan should be reviewed monthly to check progress and make adjustments as needed. Marketing is a living thing, and committing to your marketing strategy will allow your business the space it needs to grow!