Getting started with Strategy
Strategy. Does the word fill you with dread or excitement?!
It’s a word that is synonymous with business but can get so confusing depending on who you talk to. Today, I’ll break down the basics of a good marketing strategy for your creative agency so you can see where you can do it yourself or where you can benefit from an expert boost.
Why do you need a marketing strategy?
At its core, a marketing strategy will be your north star for all your marketing efforts. It will help you understand your customers, competitors and marketplace so that you can target your efforts accordingly.
No one wants a scattergun approach. It’s a complete waste of time, resources and, more importantly, money!
Think of your marketing strategy as your master plan, where you can define and share what makes you unique to your ideal customers. Giving them a memorable, engaging and impactful impression of your business will get you better results.
Good and bad examples
There are so many examples of good and bad marketing strategies out there. The most famous successes and fuck ups tend to be the big brands. But by looking at their stories, you’ll be able to see what to apply and avoid in your marketing strategy, no matter the size of your business.
Data-driven….. Spotify are the masters at data-driven marketing campaigns and the biggest music streaming platform in the market.
Their marketing strategy has combined budget-friendly price plans, distribution across a range of platforms and a focus on user experience. They’ve also created outstanding campaigns that give users enough reason to share their playlists with others around them. As a result, more people download the app to see what Spotify will suggest to them.
Marketing strategy hint – Think about the data you can use to help you understand your customers and use that to create your pricing and promotion.
Brilliant basics……. Remember the Share a Coke campaign? Coca-Cola added personalised labels to their bottles with people’s names or titles like Mum, Dad, or Family. Making it personal for their customers achieved some fantastic results, including a 2% increase in soft drinks sales, over 500,000 photos shared and 25 million new followers on Facebook!
Marketing strategy hint – You might not have Coca-Cola’s budget, but you can think about how to make your marketing strategy personal to your customers.
Customer crash…. In 2019, Peloton released a Christmas advertisement featuring a husband giving his already slim wife a Peloton exercise bike as a gift. Peloton had utterly failed to understand its audience and the current market shift to body positivity. The advert bombed, as did their share value. Peloton’s value went down by $1.4m overnight!
Marketing strategy hint – Understand your customers and your market. Read the room people!
DIY or get the experts in?
So I guess the question on many founders’ lips will be, can I do this myself?
The short answer is yes, you can. Just bear in mind the resources and time that it will take to put together a strategy that will work for your business. Even a simple marketing strategy can take between four and eight weeks to create. More complex or more extensive strategies can take up to 12 weeks.
There are benefits to calling in the experts and getting support with your marketing strategy. An agency can offer an outside perspective, new ideas and insights into your business. They will help you create a robust strategy that can guide the rest of your marketing activities. You’ll then be able to focus on doing what you do best – running your business!
Whatever route you choose, developing a marketing strategy that gives all your marketing activity a purpose is essential to drive results.
Marketing strategy essentials
If you do decide to create your own marketing strategy, here are a few of the essential elements that I think you will need to include. (If at this point you feel you need a definition on what we think IS agency marketing, see this article here)
- Create a goal (or goals!)
Make it SMART.
Do you want to bring on two new clients per month for the next 12 months?
Or increase your revenue by 10% in the next two years?
Creating a goal gives your whole strategy a purpose, something to aim for, and a way to measure success.
- Identify your customers
Why do they buy from you? And what problem do you solve for them?
Knowing your audience and carrying out some research to make sure you really understand them is absolutely vital. So many companies throw out lots of marketing content without carrying out this step and then wonder why their messages don’t hit the mark.
- Know your position in the market
Who are your competitors? And what do you offer that is different from them?
Think about your tone of voice, your brand, the products and services that you deliver and your customer experience.
Again, research can really help you to understand how you can position yourself in your industry and become the first company that your customers think about when they are looking to buy.
- Choose your tactics… and choose wisely.
Not every piece of marketing is going to work for every customer. Whether your budget is showstopper or shoestring, you want to make sure you get a big bang for every buck.
It’s not always about going viral. You want to choose the right platform and create a message that will encourage your customers to take the action that you are guiding them towards. Consider if you are just creating awareness or want to drive people to purchase.
- Monitor, measure, and adapt.
Marketing is not painting by numbers! Where marketing impact can be measured, it should be. Make sure that you are using the metrics that matter to your business and are aligned with your goals.
Once you have the right measurements, you can adapt your marketing plan. Do less of the things that are not making a difference, and do more of the things that are getting you closer to achieving your goals.
And that’s a marketing strategy in a nutshell! At every stage, there are experts and agencies that can help you to build a marketing strategy for your business. From one specialist element to a full holistic approach, you can find an agency that is the right fit for you.
Keep watching my blog pages as I tackle more agency marketing topics! Get in touch to find out more