Creating a marketing plan is like creating a game plan for your business. It gives you purpose and a clear path to achieving your goals. But how does a business make one? What’re the hallmarks of a good marketing strategy? How do you know your strategy is effective? We cover all your questions here now.
Every marketing strategy is unique
Marketing strategies are not like a cookie cutter, and this is a problem that most people don’t understand. When you are creating a marketing campaign for your business, you cannot do what somebody else has done even if they’re in the same industry as you. The reason for that is every business has their own specialty.
Every company offers something unique. Identify what sets you apart from the competition. If you can’t pinpoint what makes you special, talk to your customers. Ask them why they choose to come to you. And then, build your marketing strategy centered around that.
Segment your target audience
The first thing to do in making a marketing strategy is defining your target customer. Don’t just define them in broad terms like for example ‘Hispanic, over 25 years and makes over 50,000 a year’, and then leave it at that. Break it further down and get as specific as you can.
Find out their favorite shows, find out where they watch them, find out if they like to shop online or in stores, and so on. Going deeper into their likes and dislikes will help you find them and maximize the value of your marketing dollars.
If for example, your target audience likes Project Runway, you can fit in ads in your advertising budget that advertise on TV during Project Runway breaks, in magazines that Project Runway fans read, and maybe websites that carry content that has to do with the show.
Find your medium
After you define the target market and who you’re going after, you need to figure out ways you can get to them. For example, through TV commercials, radio ads, web commercials, YouTube ads, billboards, etc.
Based on the customer profile you have built of your target, you will further define your tactics and the places you can communicate through. You may find out that all of your target customers are public transportation riders. So instead of advertising on TV, you can just advertise near the public transportation stations. And that will help you get your word across.
Create a convincing message
Your message is the most important part of your strategy. It should convey either
what you do better than everybody else does, or
the value you provide that no one else does.
A lot of times you’ll see marketing and advertising messages that are overly creative and entertaining, but six weeks later you won’t be recalling that ad, brand, product or service. Because while it was funny and exciting at the time, there was nothing there that made you go “Huh, I need that.”
Regardless of what anybody tells you, “I need that” is the basic crux of marketing. You have to get your target customer to say, “Huh, I need that” after listening to your message, building it up to “Huh, I want that,” and finally “Huh, I want that right now.” Once your potential customers are saying that, you know you’ve got an effective marketing strategy.