Now is the time to develop your 2015 marketing strategy so it is ready for implementation in the New Year.
Effective marketing starts with a well-informed marketing strategy. A good marketing strategy helps you define your vision, mission and business goals, and outlines the steps you need to take to achieve these goals.
Your marketing strategy is a wide-reaching and comprehensive strategic planning tool that:
- describes your business, products and services
- explains the position and role of your products and services in the market
- profiles your customers and your competition
- identifies the marketing tactics you will use
- allows you to build a marketing plan and measure its effectiveness
At William Joseph, we use a simple but effective four-phase strategic thinking model that allows us to deliver a comprehensive set of marketing recommendations.
The first phase involves a significant amount of time and effort researching and analyzing information about your industry, organization, products, sales channels and competitors. We begin by considering two sides of the marketing coin: brand and tactical. Brand thinking defines what your organization does for whom and why. Tactical thinking determines how and when to communicate with your audiences.
The most important aspect of this phase is to understand the client’s current situation from both a brand and a tactical standpoint, and understand the implications to the Marketing Communications Strategy.
The Brand Phase is where the road map for brand evolution is set. The Brand Definition is comprised of written and visual elements.
You need to articulate your story before you start drawing pictures. By being able to describe your organization through the types of language you use, the attributes you are built upon, your overall brand essence, the key messages that describe you and the position statement that defines you, we are able to clearly articulate your brand from a written perspective.
The imagery and visual tone surrounding a brand are incredibly important as they are the elements that most directly impact the audience through marketing communications efforts. A picture is worth a thousand words, speaking volumes about what a brand represents through the thoughtful choice of colour palettes, font families, graphical treatments and layout styles.
These elements are commonly referred to as the “Look and Feel” of the brand, and are often represented through a Mood Board. A Mood Board is intended to inspire the overarching mood that will lead to more specific decisions during the implementation of specific marketing materials.
Now that we have a full understanding of your goals and objectives, have the necessary research complete and brand developed, we are able to develop strategies and tactics to achieve the desired outcomes.
Strategies and tactics indicate how goals and objectives will be set. Strategies are broad. For instance, implement a social media strategy. Tactics are more specific and indicate the individual tasks to achieve the strategies. For instance, set up a Twitter account.
Each strategy and tactic that is recommended will be accompanied by a detailed rationale, pricing estimates and recommendations on timing, messaging, media mix and measurement techniques.
Implementation and Measurement: Once you have the plan in place you need to build the necessary tools and implement that tactics. Be sure to use qualitative and quantitative measurement to track the success of each initiative and the overall success of the campaign.
In conclusion, the primary principle of marketing is relatively simple: it’s the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers for the purpose of selling; it is a critical business function for attracting and retaining customers.
That said, the successful development and management of marketing is quite complex. This set of initiatives includes capturing marketing insights, connecting with customers, building strong brands, shaping the market offerings, delivering and communicating value, creating long-term growth, and developing marketing strategies and plans.