Having a well-defined strategy and clear objectives for your business is crucial. The overarching business strategy and objectives impact every aspect of your organization and form the foundation of your marketing strategy.
However, whether it’s due to lack of resources or time, you might sometimes find that your organization puts together a marketing strategy that overlooks key aspects. Not addressing these can significantly impact marketing return on investment (ROI). To ensure you cover all elements of marketing strategy development, we examine some important steps that get overlooked and how you can address them.
Marketing frameworks or models are useful tools that can help structure thinking and planning as you develop your strategy. Creating a framework is critical to establishing a solid marketing strategy and having a foundation to build upon. In addition, a framework can be exactly what your organization needs to go from a “tactical” to a “strategic” approach. There are various types of frameworks and models that have been templatized for marketers to use and even build off to create their own. For example, Porter’s 5 Forces can be used to understand your organization’s place in your industry and highlights threats of new entries and substitutions as well as the powers of both suppliers and buyers. Understanding these aspects of your place in an industry can inform your marketing strategy. If Porter’s model doesn’t suit your needs, consider these other marketing models to get you started in the right direction. You can use models to assist in understanding your brand positioning, customer lifetime value and more. One framework will not determine your marketing strategy but ensuring that you use frameworks that are useful and relevant is important.
Assess Your Current Approach
Another key area is reviewing your current approach to identify strengths and opportunities. Charting the overarching strategy that your company employs today can be helpful to articulate future goals. Questions you should answer include:
- Are you focused on being a low-cost provider to attract customers or on value-added differentiation that customers are willing to pay a premium for?
- Is your product or service focused on a narrow set of industries and companies or a broad range of sectors and organizations?
- Do market conditions and data affirm that the strategy you employ today is sound or is a shift warranted?
- Do you have clear short, mid and long-term business goals?
Define your ideal customer profiles and buyer personas by creating composite, fictional representations of your ideal buyers. These are determined by analysis of real customer data. Having data insights are key to developing accurate and relevant buyer personas. Effective personas include details on a range of characteristics that span each persona’s goals, challenges, needs, behaviors, skills, responsibilities and pain points. Understanding the characteristics of your buyer personas will be crucial in the messaging that will be delivered to them in various pieces of content.
These profiles or personas should instill a clear image of who your ideal customers are and what makes them tick. Effective personas include vivid detail on a range of characteristics that span each persona’s goals, challenges, needs, behaviors, likes/dislikes, skills, responsibilities and pain points.
Evaluate Current Market Position
Examining your current position in the market provides details as to where it is that you’ll find your ideal buyers. Clearly determining key buyer persona characteristics can be useful when understanding your current market position. Key persona characteristics include expected firmographic characteristics such as annual revenue ranges, number of employees and primary industry as well as also other influential data points such as installed technology or if the organization is a public or private company.
Here are some key steps to take to help you determine your market position:
- Conduct a market analysis by gathering industry research and reports to get a better idea of what your position looks like and establish a reasonable estimate of your market share. However, don’t solely rely on this data, as it should primarily be used to give a brief overview of where your organization is at.
- Follow up with another analysis approach which relies on analyzing your organization’s own data by examining your current pricing strategy to make an appropriate estimation on how large your customer base can be.
- Research the competition to determine how much market share they currently take up in your industry and identify who are the biggest players leading charge.
With a well-articulated strategy, clearly defined buyer personas and an understanding of your position in the market and industry, you’re in a great position to generate more qualified leads and drive revenue.