If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to plan your marketing activities well into the future. Studies show that 538 percent of marketers who create and document their strategy are likely to be more successful than those who don’t. That’s huge. So, you really should think about creating and executing a marketing plan if you haven’t yet.

In this post, I’ll discuss how to create a successful marketing strategy for this year, specifically what questions you need to answer when creating your plan. Whether you’ve just started your business or you want to revamp your existing plan, this article will help you achieve success!

What is a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is a plan that outlines how your business will create and disseminate promotional messages. It should include both short-term and long-term objectives and strategies for achieving them. The plan should also consider the content and channels to distribute it as well as how to evaluate success.

The importance of having a marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is important because it helps you achieve your objectives by ensuring that all messages are aligned to your overall business plan. If you do not have a marketing strategy, you may produce content that does not resonate with your target audience or that will not achieve success.

Questions to ask yourself before creating a marketing strategy

Now that you understand the importance of having a marketing strategy, let’s discuss what questions you need to answer to help you develop a good strategy that will help you meet your business objectives.

Question 1: Who is my target audience?

Every successful marketing strategy starts with defining its target audience. Yes, you heard that right! The strategy doesn’t come first, your customers do!  For example, if you own a marketing agency targeting small business owners, your target audience could be people who are aged 24 to 55 and make an income of above $50,000. 

If you don’t get your target audience right, your whole marketing plan can fail, even if you are offering the best products in the market. That’s because your whole plan will be targeted at customers who don’t need your product or service.  Here are some factors that you need to consider when identifying your target audience:

  • Demographics: Including age, gender, income, education level, etc.
  • Geographic location: Where your target audience lives and works
  • Behaviors: Including their needs and interests.

Question 2: What are the best ways to reach my audience?

Now that you understand who your target audience is,  you need to think about how you will disseminate your messages to reach them. Using multiple channels hoping that some of them will reach your target audience, does not work in most cases.

 There are many ways that you can use to communicate with them, what you select will depend on the needs of your audience. Here are some suggestions:-

  • Email marketing: You can effectively reach your target audience using email. Use catchy subject lines that will encourage them to open their emails and add links to your content.
  • Social media: If you would like to share your content with a large audience, then you might want to consider social media. You should, however, post your content to the right platform. For example, you can use Linkedin for B2B or Facebook for B2C.
  • Advertising: To reach your audience quickly and easily, consider using paid-for advertising. Select channels that appeal to your target audience to help you achieve your goals.

Question 3: What sets me apart?

It is also important to identify the unique aspect of your business and communicate it to your target audience. Customers are overwhelmed with competing messages from different businesses and they would want to quickly understand what makes your business different from the others. Some unique aspects that set businesses apart include:-

  • HubSpot -” There’s a better way to grow”
  • Target – “Expect more. Pay less.”
  • Zapier – “Connect your apps and automate workflows”

Good luck!

Now that you understand the importance of a marketing strategy and what questions you need to answer when creating one, it is time to get started! Begin by auditing your content to determine what needs to be changed. Then develop a strategy to disseminate your messages to your audience.  Hopefully, by answering these questions you will be able to create a marketing plan that will help you achieve your business goals and effectively reach your target audience.