We all know that we need a marketing strategy but I recently discovered that even people who turn up for a marketing strategy workshop aren’t very confident about what marketing strategy means.
If you are following this thread then you will know that we have already provided a definition of marketing, which is the investment that you make in generating leads, which we have also defined. So perhaps it is the strategy part that is so confusing? the dictionary provides this definition;
Strategy. noun. a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.
So that seems simple enough, marketing is about generating leads and strategy is the plan of action designed to achieve that. A successful marketing strategy will generate the required number of leads and a really successful marketing strategy will be concerned with the quality of those leads. If you have the right quantity and quality of leads the sales will follow and if you have sales of the right quantity and quality you will be in charge of your business and your business will rock.
So that couldn’t be more simple, all you need to take charge of your business is a fantastic marketing strategy but we need to remember that our businesses exist in the real world and right now we are trading through particularly challenging times with resources in short supply. By resources I don’t just mean money, I mean all of the resources that we need to be successful in our sales and marketing including energy, confidence, skills, time, motivation, creativity and support. So a good marketing strategy will take account of your starting point, what it is that you want to achieve, the opportunities available to you and the resources that you have to get you there.
Resources are key because there are legions of advertising, search marketing, exhibition and marketing sales people all desperate to help themselves to your limited resources with fantastic offers, promises and last minute deals. Quite simply, if you don’t have a strategy for keeping your resources you will lose them.
The greatest challenge in developing a marketing strategy is that it requires you to step away from the daily grind of bringing in the cash, which is the life blood of your business, and invest time and energy in looking at the bigger picture, which is terrifying at the best of times.
Once you have a marketing strategy it needs to be documented into a marketing plan. Next week we will be looking at why a marketing plan is necessary, what a marketing plan should contain and how to go about taking the lid off the spaghetti jar without getting into a horrible mess.
So next week, if you haven’t got a blogging clue about creating a marketing plan.