A well-thought out marketing strategy is central to the success of any business. How do you find new customers and how do new customers find you? How do you retain, engage and grow your relationship with your existing customers? Is your brand punching its weight in your market? Are you watching the horizon for new trends while keeping an eye on the bottom line today?
At the outset, a robust marketing strategy is based on one key principle. Knowledge. Your strategy must be based on detailed knowledge and rigorous analysis of the business environment and changes in your market place. It also must take account of the strategies of your competitors. Knowing your target markets – who they are and who they aren’t is key to gaining focus too. Finally a well-developed marketing strategy must take account of the particular attributes of your own business, your particular skills and competencies and it also must recognise any particular deficiencies or gaps in your business.
At StepChange, we place enormous store on helping you gain this all-important picture of your business and your operating environment. Once we help you to do this, we can then help you to understand where it is that you want to take your business and what the best positioning is for your business in the market. What do you stand for? What makes you unique? Why will customers buy from you rather than a competitor?
Once you’ve got your positioning clear, we then help you to identify your actual marketing objectives to ensure you can achieve this desired positioning. Once the objectives are clear, we then help you to identify the best set of marketing activities to achieve those objectives.
However, while this is all well and good, at the end of the day it has to bring your somewhere. It has to bring you results. The great American industrialist John Wanamaker once said, “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted … I just don’t know which half!” This is thankfully not the case any more. Today marketing activities have a wide range of metrics available to them. Sometimes they can be measured by a direct sales result, sometimes by other measures. Every activity should have a target return and a measured outcome. Otherwise how will you know whether to repeat the activity or not? At StepChange we work with our clients to identify not only the right activities to deliver, but also the right measures to determine the success of your activities.
Finally we help you turn this into a living and breathing plan. This is not an annual exercise and forgotten for 11 months of the year! Your marketing plan must be a constant source of reference and used consistently to review, track and measure progress. We will give you a framework to make this a core element of your overall reporting structure.
So if you would like help with your marketing strategy, please give us a call!