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What is a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is a document that details how you’ll achieve your business goals using marketing. 

Marketing can be highly effective at growing businesses, but for best results you need to approach it strategically. Jumping in and creating adverts on social media channels can be counter intuitive if you don’t know what you want to achieve with them. Creating a strategy means you can be sure all your activity is working towards your overall goals.

What’s in a marketing strategy?

Below we’ve detailed the sections that would normally make up a marketing strategy, along with an example. 

Summary/Background

This describes the current situation as it stands before the strategy was implemented. 

Goals

These are the goals that the business wants to achieve with the help of marketing. 

For example, this might be to increase online sales. 

Objectives

Next, add the specific objectives that the marketing plan will look to achieve to meet the goal. Ideally these should be SMART (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to your goal and time-bound).

So, continuing with the above example, you might set the following marketing objectives:

  • Increase website visitors by 10% month on month.
  • Grow email marketing list to 10,000 by May 2017.
  • Increase conversion rate by 2% by May 2017.

Tactics 

The next section of the marketing strategy is normally the most in depth, and details the marketing tactics you’ll use to achieve each of your objectives. For instance, the objectives above might be achieved through…

Increase website visitors by 10% month on month.

Grow email marketing list to 10,000 by March 2017.

  • Place more prominent sign up boxes on the website with an incentive for signing up (free delivery code).
  • Run a competition whereby visitors have to sign up to the email newsletter to enter.
  • Ask customers in-store if they’d like to sign up to email newsletter.

Increase conversion rate by 2%.

  • Improve product descriptions and take higher quality product pictures.
  • Review purchase process and remove any glitches. 
  • Implement a reminder email for abandoned baskets.

Other sections

Although the above are the core sections that make up a marketing strategy, some other sections you may want to include are:

  • SWOT or competitor analysis. This can help identify specific areas to improve or concentrate on.
  • Messaging. What messages do you want your marketing activity to get across?
  • Target audience. Personas or audience profiles to detail exactly who you’re targeting.
  • Budget. The budget you have to work with for your marketing activity.

Once the strategy is completed, you’ll then need to develop an activity plan that details exactly which tactics you’ll use and when to action them. At Cognique, we prefer to plan for 90 days; at the end of this period we’ll review the success of the previous quarter and use what we’ve learnt to improve the subsequent marketing plan.

Looking for help developing a marketing strategy? Get in touch for a free marketing review.

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