Effective marketing has the power to increase competitiveness and even change the game. As a marketing and sales consultancy, we have five top tips for creating an effective marketing strategy that unlocks real value for any business.
Creating an effective marketing strategy
A good marketing strategy responds to an existing or latent demand, seeks to increase business competitiveness and can be implemented. The last point sounds obvious, but a crucial part of marketing effectiveness comes down to executing the strategy with rigour and discipline. So it needs to be practical.
If you're due to review your marketing strategy or about to create one for the first time, we recommend focussing on these key areas:
1. Be informed by fact
Incorrect assumptions are a danger that can create false meaning, magnify error and fuel poor decisions. Therefore, be sure that there is valuable data available. Where data isn’t available, there is no room for blind optimism.
We recommend reviewing these key data points to inform your marketing strategy:
- Total revenue and gross profit - e.g. total unit sales, total sale value
- Revenue and gross profit by product or service
- Sales trends over time - which areas of the business are growing and retracting?
- Sales conversion rates - how long does it take to make the sale?
- Website traffic - how many website sessions did you get over the last year and all time?
- Conversion rates - how many visitors became a contact/ how many became a customer?
- What is your email audience size? - how much did it grow last year?
- What is your social audience size? - how much did it grow last year?
- How engaged is your audience? - what is the level of engagement by channel?
- What campaigns did you run last year and how did they perform?
2. Be informed by customer insight
Understanding your customers and prospects is empowering and liberating. If you haven't done so already, it's a good idea to survey your customer base and talk to your sales and customer service teams to gather rich data about your customers and find out:
- What defines them?
- What drives their lives or their work?
- How do they buy your category?
- What are the most potent drivers of choice?
3. View strategy through a market context
Consider the impact your strategy will have on the market as a whole. For example, will this strategy disrupt the market by creating a new customer experience or a unique competitive proposition that will be difficult for your competitors to match?
4. Understand business limitations
Your business’s ability to implement the strategy is the most significant barrier to success.
- What are the capacity and capability limitations of your people?
- What are your financial impacts and restraints?
- Are your existing systems up to the task?
5. Understand the whole of business impacts
Despite departmental divisions in function and areas of expertise, your business is ultimately a single organism with interconnecting parts. For example, what impact will a marketing strategy have on your sales, logistics and finance? How will the change be managed?
Tools that help define an effective strategy
There are many well researched and documented tools for the development and assessment of strategy. As a minimum, the analysis that informs your strategy should include a SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis
Strengths and Weaknesses ruthlessly examine your business from an internal perspective. Opportunities and Threats define external openings and forces on your business.
Other supporting models that help articulate your business strategy for business-wide consumption include:
A strategy map or strategy matrix
This is a single-page summary of your strategy which helps to describe how every person in your organisation contributes to implementing your business strategy and achieving your business objectives.
This can be segmented by:
- Or by your business department
Key success formula
Often expressed as an equation, your business success formula seeks to summarise the most important things that will drive business success. A straightforward example could look like this:
Market preference + customer satisfaction + staff engagement + operational excellence
= business success
About Poignand Consulting
Poignand Consulting is a strategic marketing and sales enablement consultancy that exists to unlock customer value for your business. We do this by helping enrich the customer experience at every point of contact – from the first seed of awareness, to enquiry, purchase, and the post-sale relationship.
It pays to step back and assess this from time to time. Help is available. If you would like to review your current marketing effectiveness, we would be happy to arrange an obligation-free chat.