We get asked ALL THE TIME by prospective clients if they REALLY need a Marketing Strategy. After all, they only want to grow and promote Product/Service A so what do they need a comprehensive strategy for. Having a strategic plan for the next 12 months is just smart business and it doesn’t matter if you are a solopreneur or a Fortune 500 company – you need one.
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Spontaneity has its pluses – last minute road trip to the beach, AWESOME – throwing spaghetti at the wall to figure out your marketing strategy for the next year – not so awesome. A marketing strategy takes time, research, and planning to be effective. It takes creative visions, thinking outside the box at times, understanding your ideal client(s) and validating all that good stuff with in data and research.
The strategy also sets the objectives and timeline – putting those goals on paper and being accountable. However, a marketing strategy is fluid and can change as new opportunities present themselves or new challenges come into play. A Strategy is NOT meant to sit on the shelf until it’s past its expiration date. Tasks need to be assigned, executed, and measured!
This one is a big one, so pay attention! A marketing strategy also defines who your target audience is going to be. If you don’t know who that is – WE HAVE A PROBLEM! You can’t market to everyone – it’s just not possible. Targeting your audience is the only way that your marketing strategy is going to make any sort of impact. You can’t market Skinny Jeans on Snap Chat to 65-year-old men and expect to see results, right? If your goals aren’t aligned with your target audience, then you can’t expect to move that revenue needle.
You don’t build a house without a budget, set of plans, timelines, etc. So, why would you build a business and its success without a solid plan? It just doesn’t make sense! There are a lot of moving parts and the strategy keeps you organized, on track, and knowing what to do next. When you organize your strategy, you’re ensuring that you won’t miss important opportunities to convert leads.
It’s not just the marketing person’s job to make the strategy work. That’s right – it’s all hands on deck. If you want success, everyone must believe in the plan and work towards those goals. Sales, writers, designers, client facing staff – everyone needs to be on the same page and working that strategy.
A strategy also keeps your budget in check. Ever do a home remodel without a set budget – probably not. Same goes for the strategy. You estimate your costs and try to stick as close to them as possible to eliminate any surprises. This also goes for allocating resources too. You can make sure staff aren’t overworked while others are underworked.
At the end of the day, a marketing strategy will help you capitalize on your great ideas, stick to a budget, keep everyone accountable, and improve your ROI. Now let’s address the elephant in the room. A lot of people have no clue how much a strategy costs. It’s ok – be honest if you didn’t either.
Depending on your company size, the nature of your business, and what you are looking to accomplish in the next few years, you can expect to invest between $5,000 and $40,000. Now, those high-end ones usually include a business plan complete with a competitive analysis and a product gap analysis. If you are looking for just the basics like messaging, channels to market, ideal clients, and campaigns and initiatives to support your goals, that’s closer to the $5k price, and even lower for some smaller businesses.
Don’t look at the cost as an expense though. Because a good marketing strategy can earn you a significant return on investment. You never want to throw spaghetti at the wall and hope it sticks, you might as well just flush that money down the toilet.
Have questions about how a marketing strategy works, or want help putting one together – give us a call!