Developing a Marketing Strategy
Continuation from Marketing Basics #1
As you all know, Marketing can be enjoyable and rewarding; but reaching the fun part will require investment in your guides (Marketing Strategies, Goals, Objectives & Tactics).
A solid starting point is vital; having a map to success and a checklist for your goals is highly recommended.
This is the very first step in creating a logical Marketing plan, so ask as many questions as you can! You may see this as insignificant or just avoid it all together and go straight into business, however once you have dedicated time on this task you will find yourself getting to grips with your marketing fundamentals. Surprisingly you will see how enlightening it is to conduct this exercise!
Action point: To achieve anything strategically, ask yourself as many “What? Who? Where? When? Why? and How?” questions as you can. This will help you understand some of your marketing fundamentals.
- What am I aiming for?
- What opportunity am I trying to take advantage of?
- What am I attempting to accomplish?
- What is the market like?
- What is my value proposition?
- What am I willing to risk?
- What is the smartest method of funding?
- What technology can I harness?
- Who is impacted by what I’m doing?
- Who is my market?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- Who else is doing what I’m doing?
- Who is my competition?
- Who is my role model?
- Where will my activities be conducted?
- Where will my business be located?
- Where is the market?
- Where is my supply chain?
- Where can I get money from?
- Why am I starting a business?
- Why am I doing this over something else?
- Why is this going to be a benefit for people?
- Why am I better than other people doing the same thing?
- How much am I willing to invest (financially)?
- How much effort am I able to devote?
- How committed am I?
- How much power do my customers have?
- How much power do my suppliers have?
- How much power do my competitors have?
- How will I understand success?
- How big am I thinking?
Once you understand, “and have written down”, what you fundamentally want and what it will really take to succeed in your business, you can then start looking at marketing strategies and tactical moves that will effectively and efficiently allow you to achieve your goals and objectives.
To sum it up, let me just remind you that you are only ‘questions’ away from a well-developed and innovative Marketing plan!
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Goals Vs Objectives
Now that we have moved passed the first step, Questions, let’s get into the second element you will need to get to grips with: Your goals and objectives. To get a good understanding of what this implies, let’s look at the following explanations.
In all its simplicity, a Goal is a long term target or aim that you would like to achieve and accomplish i.e. a strategy. Whereas an Objective is a solid attainment that is achieved by following a number of steps or procedures, i.e. a plan.
A primary difference between Goals and Objectives, that should be noted, is that Objectives are very concrete, whereas goals are less structured.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Strategising Vs Planning
Now that you understand the terminology behind the scenes, we can start working out the difference between strategies and plans. In a way, it’s easy to say they are the same thing, but in actual fact they are very different. What links them however is that they are both components of the overall map that should be followed for success.
To decipher what marketing strategy and planning actually mean let’s look at the root of the words themselves.
Strategy: This is a word that originates from the Greek language (στρατηγία) and signifies generalship, the art of war and troop leading, command. Essentially it’s a plan but of the highest level, that is used to achieve goals under conditions of uncertainty.
A good way to understand this is to keep it simple, and think of a marketing strategy as the achievable goals you place your self. Goals, like “Increasing visibility and awareness by 25%.” “Doubling sales form your online furniture shop, within 5 months.”
Regardless of the strategy and goals, its significant to be clear on what you want and the vision you are aiming to achieve. Your goals inevitably and ultimately should be deployed as a benchmarking tool that can be used to understand success and progress.
Plan: Unlike strategy, a plan is a composition of procedures that diagram the steps (tactics), timing and resources that will be utilised in achieving objectives.
The plan for marketing will compose the bulk of our efforts, and will be used to achieve the goals that we have set out through our marketing strategy. Within the plan we will have a deep and thought out accumulation of all the tactics we will utilise to achieve objective success and inevitable victory of our goals.
“One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Takeouts and Plan of Action
So far so good? Well I am here to let you know that your marketing strategy and plan, may sound like a tedious academic task, but if you invest some time and give it some thought, it will guide you purposely through the rest of your business activities. It can be as simple as brainstorming by yourself and putting it in a notebook or as complicated as endless board meetings consisting of focus groups and what not. Whatever the case is, once it’s organised and a draft has been generated, then you can start planning out the entertaining, fun and sexy activities that give marketing its good name.
As this series goes on, you’ll learn more about the different marketing tools at your disposal and incorporate the ones that work best for your needs.
Trust us when we say, marketing is fun and simple if you just take the time to think it through.