Ideas & Insights
Our blog is where we share our ideas and insights into the digital world.
It’s a well-known fact that every business hoping to attract and retain customers needs marketing. You need a web presence, email campaign, SEO and printed material and so much more that it’s hard to keep on top of it. To bring all this together, you need a plan. What most businesses do not realise (and this applies equally to small and large organisations) is the need for an effective marketing strategy to ensure that all cogs in the marketing machine function as necessary.
While you probably already have a definition of a “typical” customer, it may be that your customers do not see it the same way. Your appeal might be broader or narrower than you think. After a while, you will come to understand who really uses your services and why. By having a marketing strategy and keeping it updated regularly, it will help you to keep on top of the customers you have and understand why they choose to use your products or services. When you know your audience, your marketing strategy will show you the types of customer who might exist on the periphery. How do you reach out to them?
A solid marketing strategy should contain details of the methods and tools that you use for your customer outreach. This is not only about to whom you reach out, but when and which methods to use for each type of customer demographic. Over time, this strategy will highlight where your business succeeds and where it fails in its marketing programme. Does method A work with customer group X but method B will never work? A marketing strategy should include details on tracking information about your customer demographics, and what and how to adjust if any element of your marketing fails to work as planned. This way, you can adjust accordingly.
We discussed above that your perception of your typical customer may differ from the customer’s perception of the typical customer. Similarly, a marketing strategy will help you define and understand what your customer perceives about your business – again, this may differ from the perception that you have of your business. Also, this part of the strategy will help you discover the needs of your target customer and how you are fulfilling them at present. Where are the gaps in the market and are you capable of filling them (thereby taking potential leads away from competitors)?
A business strategy is used to define your direction, policy and planning. This is also the case with your marketing strategy as it will help you to determine where and how to allocate a marketing budget (and how to break it down). It will also streamline your efforts to concentrate in the right areas and at the right time and improve teamwork when employees know what they can achieve and what they are trying to achieve. The marketing strategy is an important document that helps you take control of important areas such as brand positioning, goal-setting, outreach strategy and monitoring performance of each of these areas.