How to Create a Marketing Strategy

 

You spent hours coming up with a brilliant marketing campaign. You pat yourself on the back and say, "Yes, this is it!"

 

 

After about a week, you check on your progress only to see that your strategy failed to improve your business growth. Don't worry, this isn't the end of the road. When this happens, the best way to move forward is to revise how to create a marketing strategy.

 

Marketing is a competitive, fast-paced shark tank. You have to keep up with the trends and understand how to market your business before a bigger fish does. 

 

When you are trying to drive consumers toward your business, you need a powerful marketing strategy. Strategic planning begins with a well-informed, defined, and realistic approach. Consider your measurable marketing goals and outline the specific actions you need to hit the mark. 

 

It's easier said than done. We all have to start somewhere. This is why we are presenting a comprehensive guide to show you exactly what needs to be done. 

 

 

 

What Is Marketing Strategy?

There are sure-fire ways to receive dependable results that will dominate sales in your business market. It all begins with a clear, honest, and measurable marketing plan. 

 

When approaching the ins and outs on how to create a marketing strategy, do not cut corners. Some companies treat strategic marketing like a collateral expense. If they took a step back and look at the bigger picture, they would see that it is actually a vital revenue driver for consumer traffic.

 

If your marketing techniques hold no merit, you are failing to understand your target customers. That means someone else will reach your competition before you do. As a significant consequence, businesses fail to grow and budgets get cut just as the times get rough. 

 

To become a successful marketing strategist you have to know your clients, better than they know themselves. Learn how to create content that keeps your clients wanting more. Launch campaigns that touch their dopamine response and have them fall in love with your business. 

 

 

 

Keep Your Team in Mind

Remember, your marketing strategy will affect your business's success. Therefore, if you have a team consider consulting with them too. Getting your team's insight can help you understand which strategy will help your business thrive the best.

 

Your team members are just as invested in your business success as you are. Jumping off of each other's ideas, more often than not, leads to even greater ideas. It also has the potential to strengthen the bonds of your team.

 

You can have your marketing ideas discussed over a social gathering. It doesn't have to be a meeting in a board room, you can do that after the ideas are already in motion. To really get you and your team's creative juices flowing, discuss ideas over lunch or a barbeque! Make it fun and create equally fun marketing campaigns. 

 

 

 

How to Create a Marketing Strategy

Maybe you have some great ideas already, but now it is time to set those plans into motion. You need your idea to turn into a well-developed, comprehensive marketing strategy.

 

There are various ways to approach these strategies that will inspire you as you read this blog. To start, review the following outline as a strategic planning tool. 

 

  • Describe your business and its content
  • Elaborate your business position and its content's role in the market
  • Analyze your competition and your clientele
  • Identify marketing tactics you want to use
  • Build tactics to deliver your marketing plan and measure its outcome

 

Keep in mind, there is a difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan. In a marketing strategy, you set the general direction and objectives for your marketing. In a marketing plan, you outline the exact actions you want to take to execute your marketing strategy. 

 

Your marketing strategy could take years to develop. Though you should aim to release and achieve your marketing plan all within the present year.

 

 

 

What Are Successful Marketing Strategies?

A successful marketing strategy will do well in helping you realize your business goals. It will encourage you to focus on the performances needed to reach the right clientele. Most of all, it will maximize your marketing investment by improving your sales results.

 

There are seven simple steps to achieve the above:

 

  1. Develop business and marketing goals
  2. Make a marketing plan
  3. Set buyer personas
  4. Competitive Analysis 
  5. Select your tools
  6. Create your media campaigns
  7. Execute your strategy

 

 

 

Business Goals

First, identify your business goals. These goals might be increasing the reach of your products and services or selling more products from a favored supplier. Maybe even reaching a new customer division is your business goal. 

 

When you are setting these goals, you want to narrow your target as much as possible. That way you can fully measure the obstacles in your strategy. You can use the SMART method to help set your business goals:

 

  • Specific - understand exactly what you want to accomplish
  • Measurable - make concrete estimates that calculate your outcome
  • Attainable - make goals that are realistically in your reach and budget
  • Respective - create objectives that help you boost specific areas of your business
  • Timely - create objects that are attainable within the appropriate time frame

 

 

Marketing Goals

Use your business goals as a foundation to fix specific marketing goals. Let these goals stimulate your business and enable your success. 

 

Marketing goals involve clear objectives such as market development or market penetration. Driving sales for your current business products to existing clientele refers to market penetration. Encouraging sales for your current products to new customers refers to market development. 

 

Your marketing goals may take years to effectively attain, but they should have time frames for success. Make sure these time frames and your goals are practical. Measure every possible result and consumer response.

If your marketing strategy is a good one, you will not have to change your strategy from year to year.

 

Instead, you will simply update your strategy each year with cohesive revisions. However, if your products significantly change or your external market adjusts to a new competitor or technological advancement, you will need to modify your strategy accordingly. 

 

 

 

Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is a representation of the character that comes to mind when you think of the ideal customer. Having a grasp on your buyer persona brings forth a nearly tangible model for your target market. This tangible model will consequently include pertinent information regarding your customer association and psychographic.

 

Such information includes your target market's general age group, net worth, occupation, interests, and location. Insight into your buyer persona's general interests is also a critical factor. It allows you to create a campaign that will cater to those target interests. In return, you directly draw the ideal customers to your business!

 

As an example, try to think of what the buyer persona of a company like Barnes & Noble might be. Maybe they call her Intellectual Isabelle. A career woman in her mid-20s, who likes to relax by reading in her bubble bath. Perhaps Intellectual Isabelle also likes to drink coffee while she reads up in her studio apartment, in the big city. 

 

This detailed character creation immediately lets you consider successful campaign ideas. You now have a general idea as to what you would need to catch Intellectual Isabelle's attention. However, if you don't have a clue where to start with your buyer persona HubSpot can help you with that.

MCB has a splendid outline you can utilize to create your own buyer persona. It is an easy and entertaining process. The buyer personas you develop should be the root of your marketing techniques.

 

 

 

Competitive Analysis

To conduct a thorough competitive analysis, you need to research your market and profile your potential customers. After that, you can begin profiling your competitors as well.

 

Researching Your Market

An essential part of your marketing strategy, that helps you determine attainable business goals. You will have to gather your market's size, social trends, growth, and demographics. Also, be vigilant of changes to your market over time so that your strategy stays up-to-date. 

 

Profiling Your Potential Clientele

From your market research, you can make a profile of your potential clientele. You can recognize their needs and cater to those needs. It is similar to a buyer persona, except that you are not only considering your ideal customer. You are considering the general clientele for your business market.

Profiling points out buying patterns such as what, how, and where they spend their money. Staying informed on trends is also relevant here. You do not want to miss out on any new opportunities that will grab clientele. 

If you are trying to find new customers, try to make a strategy that will keep the rapport you have already built with your current ones. 

 

Profiling Your Competition

After profiling your potential customers, you likely already have some tactics in mind. That also means your competitors have thought of those tactics too. You will need to identify your competition's products and services, their pricing, and tactics.

Understanding their approach gives you a competitive advantage. It lets you see the contrast between their business and yours. How your business is unique to theirs, and how to market that difference.

It equally allows you to realize the strengths and weaknesses of your business strategy. 

 

 

 

Select Your Tools

Your business goals require you to utilize appropriate tools, not just plans or techniques, to execute them. Tools that analyze and measures the probability of acquiring your business goals. Google Analytics is an example of a good tool for assessing blogs and website performance. 

Below are some additional tools that are here to help you monitor and calculate your marketing success rates.

 

SEMRush

An excellent tool for content layouts, market research, social media strategy, and especially SEO audits. SEO audits is a big one because it is a critical factor in your website ranking. 

SEO stands for search engine optimization. On SEMRush you can assess website ranking daily, search countless keywords, and source ideas. You can even perform a competitive analysis to reveal the SEO tactics of your competitors.

Their prices start at $99.95/month. 

 

Crazy Egg

Curious what visitors are most attracted to on your content page?

With Crazy Egg, you can see visual "attention hotspots" on your website. It colors areas on your site that are attracting the most attention. This is a great way to know if your customers are looking where you intended. Such information can also find optimal placements for your "add to cart" buttons.

Their prices start at $24/month.

 

Trello

Trello keeps your business team connected. You can use Trello to communicate and stay informed on your team's tasks. As your team members complete their projects, Trello actively reports their progress. 

Their prices start at $9.99/month.

 

 

 

Create Your Campaign

If you followed all the previous steps, you are finally ready to create your campaign. There are 7 Ps you should keep in mind when developing your promotion. You can use the 7 Ps in any order or combination you feel would be most effective. 

 

These Ps are subject to your external and internal marketing settings. When you decide to integrate these individual techniques, you can call it a "tactical marketing mix".

The 7 Ps are:

 

  1. Product - what you are selling and the key features plus benefits your clients crave or require
  2. Price - your pricing system and how it will affect your consumers
  3. Promotion - the advertisements you employ so that your clients are aware of your business content
  4. Place - this is where your business content will be visible, created, and distributed
  5. People - the people who work for your business including yourself
  6. Process - what process it takes to deliver your business products and services to the clientele
  7. Physical evidence - Everything your clients perceive when engaging with your business

 

On top of the 7 Ps, there are tangible campaign ads you can create. One that you should pay attention to is the whitepaper. 

 

 

Whitepaper

Do not confuse whitepaper as a product pitch. A whitepaper is defined by Investopedia as "an informational document issued by a company." This informational document is used to highlight or promote the qualities of goods and services. 

It can take a few hours or a few weeks to make a decent whitepaper. A whitepaper has a thoughtful and sincere tone, unlike a blog or ebook. Perhaps due to all the heavy research that goes into making a whitepaper.

 

 

 

Execute Your Strategy

Now you can set your vision into motion. Put all the pieces you have been comprehensively planning, all together. Determine the strategy you want to proceed with.

 

Produce a document that is a map of the steps that will help your campaign succeed. This is known as a strategy document. Your strategy document has to at least be written for a campaign that will run for 12 months. 12 months is the standard for a strategy document. 

 

Your business is original, and you want your strategy to be just as unique. This strategy document needs to represent your business while targeting your buyer personas. If you integrate all the tools, techniques, and analysis you can not go wrong. 

 

The integration of your marketing plan should include various strategies that you will execute. Not a single combination, but several attempts you will try over the course of your document's timeline. This is necessary to meet the needs of more than one target customer, to keep your current clientele, and to further your revenue.

 

Go ahead and execute your strategy now, make it splash! However, there is always more you can learn to improve your impact. Fortunately, if you read on this additional information is provided for you.

 

 

 

Different Types of Marketing

You now know how to create a marketing strategy, but do you know that there different types of marketing? There is inbound or outbound marketing you can take into account before proceeding with your strategy.

Inbound marketing is about producing content that nails your target clientele. The content should also represent your business, therefore you are not just attracting your target customer. You are attracting the appropriate customer for your business. 

 

With the right audience, you will have a much higher advantage as you execute your strategy. To turn strangers into dedicated clientele. It just as well makes the work for marketing, sales, and service smoother. Since it should all be rather synchronized with your business.

 

Outbound marketing is known as a more traditional method. It is a method that reaches far and wide. Consisting of emails to your purchased lists, outsourced telemarketing, and promotions. Other things you might consider with outbound marketing are seminar series and trade shows.

 

In comparison to inbound marketing, outbound is pricier with a low ROI. Outbound marketing is also becoming less effective over time as people tend to block out these methods. No one wants spam calls, after all, do you?

 

 

 

You Are a Client Too

Putting yourself in your client's shoes is a process that many companies overlook. You do not want your marketing strategy to be an interruption, annoyance, or disturbance. Think about what strategies have drawn you in because you're not just a business. You are a client too.

 

Try to make a list of all of your favorite companies. The stores you visit often, the places you like to give your business to. Be the client, you are the client. This can shift your whole approach and give it a whole new meaning. 

 

Being relatable is key. People are drawn to businesses marketing their interests and look for things that relate to them. If you can relate to your clients with sincerity, there is little room for failure.

 

There is little room for failure because of simple karma. If you treat your clients the way you want to be treated, they have no reason not to love your business. When you think of how to create a marketing strategy for your business, think about what strategies worked on you!

 

Ask yourself these questions, if you haven't already.

 

  • What campaigns forced a positive reaction from you?
  • What caught your eye?
  • What do you like about their products?
  • Does their customer service keep you coming back, or make you hesitate to do so?

 

 

 

Your Brand Story

Whether you realize it or not, every brand has a story. You have a story behind your business offers. This all goes back to being relatable and captivating your clients.

 

There is an engagement strategy that centers around increasing communication. You can get your brand story out to your target customer by listing the channels you want to use. These channels should have the intention of reaching your target market.

 

The channels you choose can be offline or digital. The goal is to have a powerful presence that engages potential buyers.

 

 

 

Using Social Media

Social media marketing only becomes more relevant every year. There is no doubt we are progressing toward a less traditional market. The digital era is not going away.

With social media marketing, you need to think about what your customers find valuable. Post and share content, videos, and images that will have potential clients visiting your profile. It also ties into your SEO strategy. 

 

Social media accounts pop up on search engines like Google and Yahoo. Having active business profiles on social media increases relevancy on several high-traffic platforms. Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. 

 

If you have a personal social media account you're naturally active with, once again be the client. Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Recall what your screen habits are, and the advertisements on the news feed that has you "like" or "follow".

 

Social media marketing is free. You can pay for promotions for your business profile, but even that doesn't cost much! It is also an opportunity to make your brand feel more authentic. Really post your brand personality.

 

 

 

Industry Events

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, industry events are few to come by. Networking is difficult when tradeshows are all online. Yet, tradeshows remain as a vital business-to-business (B2B) networking strategy.

 

Trade shows are generally private events, that are not open to the public. It allows companies to strengthen or create relationships with potential partners. Along with potential industry prospects and customers. 

Industry prospects refer to the trends in the market and business opportunities. You also receive insight into what your competition might be offering in the market. 

 

Though approaching industry events are substantially different online, the benefits are the same! 

 

 

 

Examples

Hopefully, now you have a real feel for what creating a marketing strategy entails. It is a lot of information to take in, but do not worry, take your time to process. In the meantime, gloss over the following examples and be inspired.

 

 

Sephora

Sephora understands how to make waves and draw in their target audience. This company centers its market around high-quality skincare and beauty products. Similar to Ulta Beauty. The competition is fierce in cosmetic sales, so Sephora has to stay on top of their A-game. 

 

Their buyer persona consists of women, but not simply all women. Sephora strives to bring in women who are willing to pay moderate to high prices for quality products. Quality products that aim to make women feel confident and radiant. 

 

Sephora personalizes the beauty experience for every client. They have an interactive video application their customers can enjoy. The video application lets prospective buyers try on the make-up digitally before purchasing. It is a unique marketing strategy that makes Sephora really stand out from the rest.

Even online, Sephora delivers on meeting its client's core needs. Thanks to thorough research and analysis Sephora found ways to alleviate their client concerns.

 

 

GoPro

Constant product reviews are being conducted on social media around quality imaging. In the digital era, having a high-quality camera to capture social media audiences is in high demand. GoPro tossed traditional cameras to let them sink into the water and made a product that rides tidal waves!

 

GoPro has built a large audience of over 6 million dedicated followers.  That is on Instagram, alone. Their marketing strategy focused on user-generated content or UGC. Meaning that they wanted their product users to be a part of their business growth in more than just revenue. 

 

People quickly became actively involved just as GoPro intended. GoPro continues to share videos created by their consumers all over their social media profiles. These high-definition videos have requirements, such as creativity and a highlight of GoPro's logo. 

 

You might not have a GoPro product, but you can use their example when it comes to any product. Even if you are selling incredible hairbrushes, you can have your willing buyers take quality videos or photos. Set requirements that center around your marketing goals, and share them on your business profiles. 

 

 

Target

Target uses paid media to promote its content. They pay Twitter to make shopping extremely accessible through their advertisements. With in-app purchasing, customers only need to click on the Target Twitter post to shop.

 

Twitter is not the only platform that is improving in-app purchases and boosting sales and exposure. There are several social media channels at your convenience. If you can afford the reasonable pricing, utilize social media channels as a serious tool.

 

 

Toms

Toms caters to an audience that prefers affordable, comfortable, yet stylish shoes. This company looks for ways to make a social impact such as their "One for One" Program. This program allows buyers to feel good about their purchase in more ways than just aesthetic or comfort.

 

In the "One for One" Program, Toms donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every customer purchase. You have probably seen similar strategies used in many marketing strategies. It is an expensive strategy that is effective if it fits your budget!

 

 

Better Me, Better World

Philips is a renowned brand that inspired other brands when they began their Better Me, Better World Campaign. With this noble marketing strategy, customers helped the Philips Foundation support healthcare on a global level. In return, customers received special benefits.

 

To get the word out, Philips made use of the digital press, channels, media, streams, blogs, and more. If you are trying to make a profound impact with your marketing technique, you need as much exposure as possible. Garner the support, because most people will not hesitate to join the cause.

 

 

 

Webinars

If you need more advice outside the form of an informative blog, look to MCB. MCB provides countless web seminars that can give you further insight on how to create a marketing strategy.

 

There are endless ways to approach a marketing strategy other than the methods demonstrated on this blog. Webinars are a good way to explore these approaches in a different way. They are a valuable tool for introducing new customers to your brand. 

 

Once you have built an engaging webinar and advertised it, be prepared to host it. Make the session interactive, memorable and informative.

 

 

 

 

Tutorials

You can easily make video tutorials with your business team. Make it fun, engaging, and natural. If you do not show how much your love your own products, potential buyers will be less inclined to show interest. 

 

Step-by-step tutorials are great because who wants to read a manual? It provides important instructions for your product that your consumers will appreciate. Also, keep in mind that potential buyers will use your tutorials as a product review! 

 

Make sure you are making the best tutorial you possibly can to represent your product. In business marketing, the first impression is everything. With video tutorials, you can boost your visibility and stay relevant to the trends.

 

Learn to get comfortable with the camera, or hire someone who is. Video tutorials will make or break your product. Ensure that you are selling as you are teaching!

 

 

 

Review Your Content

Do not get so caught up with progressing your content, that you forget to review it. You will want to take a look at all of your old products and marketing strategies. Review what worked and didn't work, sold and didn't sell.

You do not have to throw a product or idea simply because it didn't make any waves.

 

Standing out from the competition is harder than ever, but if you have an original product that didn't work try upgrading it. You might get better results just by sprucing up failed marketing strategies too.

 

If your business has been around for a long time, it can take a long time to implement this strategy. It takes months, but you never know if you had a diamond that needed polishing until you look again.

 

 

 

Ebook Marketing

Aside from a whitepaper, that was touched on earlier, you can try ebooks. Written content has to be amazing to stand out today. You want to try every marketing strategy you can.

 

The more reach and content you have available, the better. Blogs are one matter, but ebooks reach out to other clientele. 

 

There may be less research involved with making an ebook, in comparison to a whitepaper. Yet, you will want this to be a team effort. You need ebooks that are written professionally, full of credibility, and interesting to your target audience. 

 

 

 

Entertainment Branding

Who doesn't love to be entertained? Even if you do not spend a lot of time indulging in entertainment, your prospective clients most certainly do.

 

A few brands have begun noticing this and integrated advertising into entertainment. It doesn't even feel like advertising. The trick is to provide entertainment through social media shares while simultaneously building brand affinity. 

 

If you are creative enough, you can incorporate this tactic into any strategy. Think of podcasts, DIY videos, and even tutorials. The best part is that it is fun and adds personality to your business brand. Bring your values to life, then gather a like-minded audience.

 

Do not aim for perfect here, aim for what is real. Go for the heartstrings or the dopamine. Whatever represents you and your brand best, but keep a down-to-Earth feel.

 

Video and audio entertainment are not your only outlets for this form of branding. You can make memes too. I know, it sounds unprofessional to consider.

 

Be careful in how you approach entertainment branding. Make sure your video, audio, or even memes are receiving a positive response. The internet is great at misconstruing and spiraling out of proportion.

Run your ideas with family, friends, and your business team. After you make the video, audio or image make sure you run it through them again. If you get one negative feedback, imagine how that could negatively impact your whole brand on the internet. 

 

 

 

Be Responsive

Clients and potential opportunities want to connect with your brand. They expect a timely response, they need instant gratification to feel that you really care. If they have questions, it is generally in need of an immediate response. 

 

The channels where you will most likely succeed in this are your social media platforms. Instant messaging apps like Kik and WhatsApp used to be popular, but Instagram and Twitter are in for the long haul. Facebook is not one you want to overlook either. 

 

If you do not have the budget to hire a lot of customer service reps, this may seem impossible. You're already busy running your business, how are you going to be available 24/7 to answer simple questions?

Rest easy, because chatbots are great too.

 

Chatbots are useful as a customer service alternative. They provide immediate responses to your customers and prospects. Chatbots are also affordable.

 

Live representatives can not be replaced by chatbots completely. There are critical situations that warrant a more interactive response. However, they are a worthy investment to chalk up as you consider your strategy. 

Don't have any coding experience? No worries, here is a helpful link with tools that do not require any experience to get started.

 

 

 

Whitepaper

This was mentioned earlier in this blog, however, let's touch on it again. A whitepaper is different from a blog or an ebook. White papers are informative documents that are also authoritative. 

 

Extensive research is necessary when writing a whitepaper. It argues for an exact solution or a recommendation for a product or service. They centralize on data and heavy business texts. Generally, formal tones are the goal and it draws in a new audience to your market.

 

Do not put sales pitches into your whitepaper, you want to highlight your expertise. Not your business.

Hubspot has a great outline on how you can write a whitepaper.

 

 

 

MCB's Hubspot Academy

Your business will thrive if your marketing strategy is comprehensive, inspiring, and captivating.

 

There are infinite creative ways to approach diverse marketing techniques. Blogs, ebooks, and whitepapers are useful text tools. While videos, images, and podcasts are very engaging tools for your business exposure. 

Buyer personas should always align with your business content, and you need to be transparent with your business persona as well.

 

Humanize your business with relatable approaches. Be responsive and measure attainable goals. Always keep your competitive analysis up-to-date, as well as the business trends. 

Finding how to create a marketing strategy is only the surface of business marketing.

 

To navigate the waters of the highly competitive business market strategy is crucial, but not everything. 

Hubspot is there to provide expertise on marketing strategies and give you the tools you need to be successful.

 

Check out our blogs and learn how to utilize Hubspot's service software to grow your business. Visit our Hubspot Academy today

Martin Mensbo Christiansen
Marketing Manager