Seven Flawless Marketing Essentials - Part Two: Developing a Strategy
When planning the marketing strategy for your organization, it is prudent to consider the following fact: the only function within a company that truly produces revenue is marketing. Traditionally, marketing is viewed as an expense that could potentially be minimized in order to save money, and perhaps a few headaches as well. The truth is that marketing is the only proven way to increase profits in such a fashion that you can simultaneously measure your return on investment. Manufacturing, administration, finance, IT and HR are all necessary parts of the machine, but are cost centers nonetheless.
Strategy is defined by having a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a specific objective.
Having the Right Plan in Place
This is essential if you are going to take your marketing department from costing money to making money. Data driven marketing strategy is defined by having a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a specific objective. In a marketing context, this should include setting goals, and agreeing on a plan with the sales team on how the marketing division will help them to reach their revenue objectives. Having committee meetings between marketing and sales will ensure that this culture is adopted within the company. It is only through this marriage of the two most crucial segments of business that true optimization of marketing efforts can be achieved.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What is the purpose of this marketing strategy?
What are some of the challenges that your organization has faced in the past?
What’s your ideal customer, and what is the best way to attract them?
Where do potential customers or clients search when they are looking for a company like yours?
How much time and money should you be investing in marketing?
Tailor the Strategy to Include your Goals
It is also critical to recognize that the strategy needs to coincide with an organization’s specific goals in order to be effective. These goals will of course vary widely from one business to the next. One very common marketing objective for businesses is to increase overall sales, but this is often expanded to include other goals, such as establishing better brand awareness, or to position oneself as a subject matter expert in a particular market. By defining these marketing targets more clearly you can easily integrate them into your overall strategy.