Almost every company conducts some kind of marketing activities (and if not, it definitely should). Without the right direction, however, they do not make much sense – then you certainly cannot count on obtaining the expected results, and moreover, it is much more difficult to find out where the mistake was made. Therefore, marketing activities should begin with defining their goals and strategies. What is this? How to do it?
What is a Marketing Strategy?
Every brand should have a marketing strategy, regardless of size. It is a document analyzing the current situation of the company, as well as defining the goals of marketing activities and how to achieve them. It should be quite extensive and indicate the direction of marketing activities to obtain the best possible results. It can be called a guide for the team that will coordinate all activities related to marketing.
More specifically, the marketing strategy should include:
– strengths and weaknesses of the company,
– the goals he wants to achieve,
– how to implement them,
– defining the target group,
– defining the competition, as well as what the company has an advantage over it,
– costs of marketing activities.
Importantly, a good marketing strategy should not only be applied on an ongoing basis, but also verified, updated or supplemented in accordance with the latest market realities, technological development, trends, etc. Thanks to this, it can support the company at every stage of its development and be a signpost for it. It is worth making efforts to create this document, because its professionalism and comprehensiveness will facilitate the management of the company’s activities.
Why is a marketing strategy created?
As already mentioned, the strategy is to determine the direction of
marketing activities undertaken by the company. Its main goal should
be to define how to conduct communication so that it is:
– better than the competition’s communication,
– adjusted to the needs, expectations and characteristics of the target group.
In addition, it is important to define the target itself, which will help to specify the actions.
The marketing strategy is created in order to avoid acting blindly and
incurring unnecessary costs on unsuccessful and not bringing the expected
results. It brings many
– allows you to focus on the possibilities to be used and avoid threats,
– enables the identification of tools that will prove useful in fighting competition,
– allows you to recognize the competitive advantage of your company’s product over other similar products,
– helps to save time and money, setting the direction for creating effective campaigns,
– supports effective communication of the company with customers and partners,
– helps to increase sales and maximize profits.
A well-structured document of this type and its enforcement should directly contribute to increasing sales, acquiring new contacts, gaining new customers and retaining those who have already used the company’s services, while increasing their satisfaction.
How to create a good marketing strategy?
Creating a good and complete marketing strategy is certainly not easy. It requires a lot of analysis and reflection, as well as consultation with specialists. The key is to understand your product (what you sell) and the target group (the type of people who may be interested in your offer). You should look at the company’s activities objectively, putting yourself in the position of a potential customer, which is not always easy. It is necessary to extract from the offer what makes it unique and better than the offers of the competition.
You need to consider, among other things:
– what is the purpose of the product or service (e.g. meets specific needs, solves problems, provides unique experiences, etc.),
– how and to what extent the product is better than the competitors’ proposal,
– how it can be useful for a potential client.
It is also important to define exactly who this potential customer is. If you sell children’s goods, your target will be young parents, if you produce shovels and rakes, you will target gardeners, garden enthusiasts or perhaps professional gardeners, orchardists or farmers, if you offer cosmetic treatments, you will be primarily interested in women above a certain age limit. You always need to know who to turn to in marketing communication and adjust its form, content and message to the requirements and needs of a given target group.
The target fragment of the marketing strategy should be as extensive as possible. It is not enough to generally define who is a potential customer of the company. You should also look at the interests, habits, needs or lifestyle of the target people, as well as how they communicate. The target group can also be divided into segments based on various criteria and choose the one that appears to be the most profitable.
Marketing goals – what is it?
Once you’ve dealt with analyzing your offer and its target group, it’s time
to define your company’s marketing goals. This is nothing more
than assumptions about what you want to achieve through your marketing
activities. You might think that
there is nothing easier – probably every business owner wants to achieve the
highest possible profit. However, for marketing
purposes, it is about specifics. They can be related to
different criteria. It is important,
however, that they are specified in a fairly precise manner so that it is
possible to determine whether or not they have been achieved. Marketing goals may
include, for example:
– increasing sales,
– increasing awareness,
– acquiring a partner or sponsor,
– number of visits to the website,
– increasing the brand’s reputation (e.g. being perceived as an expert in a given field).
It is also very important to determine the scale of the expected effect and the time frame for achieving it. Marketing goals should certainly not be confused with a vision or wishes. They must be real, feasible and measurable!
How to define marketing goals?
Still not sure how to define marketing goals for your business? The so-called a SMART model that sets a very helpful framework. Each of the letters of the SMART abbreviation defines in this case the feature that the marketing goal should meet. What is it about?
– S (Specific) – specific, specific.
The point is that the goal should be detailed enough to be related to real
threats or opportunities. An example would be “getting 1000 new
customers” (instead of getting more customers).
– M (Measurable) – measurable. The target must have an attribute that allows it to be measured or counted and checked that it has been achieved within the required range. Therefore, most often goals contain numerical data, as in the example above, or also percentages.
– A (Attainable) – achievable. Only work towards goals that are challenging but achievable. “Taking over the world” is not a realistic goal, but being number 1 in the industry in terms of sales is.
– R (Relevant) – important for a given business and related to the overall action strategy. The goal should be consistent with the entire marketing strategy, the realities of the industry, the needs of the target group, etc.
– T (Time-bound) – defined in time. There should be specific dates by which the target should be achieved. Only in this way will you check whether you have succeeded. By setting a time frame for yourself, you will also get more motivation to act. Otherwise, you can put things off “for sometime”.
In general, marketing goals can be divided into several groups. It is worth setting
yourself at least a few tasks from each group. We distinguish mainly:
– strategic goals – aimed at increasing sales, revenues or market share, as well as creating and implementing an action plan for the next few years;
– tactical goals – used separately for each product according to the market situation, for example, increasing brand awareness, acquiring sales leads, improving customer service quality, increasing the number of returning customers, etc .;
– operational goals – related to the development of the marketing program, are the most specific, for example, to acquire a certain number of customers or sell a specific number of products.
In addition, a division into qualitative and quantitative goals as well as short-term and long-term goals can be distinguished.
Examples of marketing goals
What can your marketing goals look like? In line with the above principles,
examples of well-defined goals include:
– achieving a specific turnover in a specific tax year (or an increase in relation to the previous year expressed as a percentage),
– introducing a new product to the market (specifying the so-called deadline, i.e. the date on which the goal can be achieved at the latest),
– acquiring a specific number of new customers,
– acquiring a specific number of returning customers,
– increasing the number of points of sale by a certain value,
– increasing the number of inquiries by a specific value,
– increasing the inflow of foreign orders by a certain value,
– increase in market share by a certain value,
– achieving a specific sales volume,
– improving the quality of customer service by a specific indicator,
– reducing the rate of abandoned carts in the online store by a certain value,
– Increase of Open Rate newsletters by a certain number.
Various tools help to measure marketing goals. It is also worth using the so-called Key Performance Indicators (KPI), i.e. key performance indicators that allow you to measure the progress of given processes.
What are marketing indicators and why should you measure them?
KPIs are measures that allow you to evaluate the activities carried out by a given company. Thanks to them, it is possible to check whether the solutions implemented so far bring results. Thus, you can locate and fix problems and modify certain aspects of the strategy to increase its effectiveness. Currently, entrepreneurs have access to many methods of measuring their effectiveness in the field of marketing, which turns out to be extremely helpful. However, it is worth remembering that usually it is not worth monitoring the status of all indicators, because there are simply too many of them and they can cause information chaos. So what is worth paying special attention to?
– Traffic on the website – more people reaching
it, more potential customers. You can also check who the visitors are and where
they come from, and thus better adjust its structure and content to their
– Conversion Rate – If more traffic doesn’t translate into more orders or inquiries, something is wrong. Perhaps potential customers are not finding what they are looking for or are facing technical problems.
– Proportion of sales leads to customers – if not much of the so-called sales leads become clients, it also heralds some problems, e.g. in the area of customer service.
– Cost of acquiring a lead – it is also worth checking how much time and money should be spent to get a single lead. This may indicate insufficient effectiveness of the activities carried out.
– Lead revenue in relation to the source – it is also good to know what revenue each obtained lead brings and compare it with the costs. This indicator will also help you determine which lead source is the most profitable.
– Social media reach and user engagement – this is a good method of checking your brand position and influence, among other things.
These are just a few examples of important data that allow you to check how the implemented solutions in the field of marketing work and to what extent the goals included in the marketing strategy are being achieved. The premise is simple – set goals and start achieving them by monitoring your progress on an ongoing basis. In practice, however, it is difficult. That is why there are not many really good marketing specialists!