A marketing strategy is a must for all businesses, small or large.
A common misconception about marketing strategies is that they are only necessary when you have lots of money or tons of time on your hands—but this could not be further from the truth! If you want your company to succeed, investing in developing a sound marketing strategy is one of the most important things you can do.
A marketing strategy is a plan that sets out how you are going to advertise your product, brand or company.
It will help you drive your business forward by establishing a long-term plan that will help you grow and improve. It is a guide to help you make decisions, measure the success of your marketing activities, and set goals. The key to creating an effective SMB marketing strategy is to answer the following questions:
- What is my goal?
- How do I reach my audience?
- How do I stay on top of trends in my industry?
Consider the goals and objectives of your business.
The goals and objectives of your business will determine the marketing strategy you need.
- Goals are financial or non-financial, but they must be measurable. For example: “We want to increase sales by 15%” or “We want to grow our mailing list by 10% every month.”
- Objectives are the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals. For example: “We will advertise on Facebook” and “We will send two newsletters per month.”
Set clear KPI’s that your strategy needs to deliver against KPI’s:
KPIs —also known as key performance indicators—are measurable, tangible and achievable. They are the goals you need to achieve in order to increase revenue and profitability.
If you are developing a marketing strategy or plan, it is important that your KPIs are clear, concise and aligned with your business goals. You should also review them regularly so that they remain relevant.
Define your target audience.
One of the most important steps in building a comprehensive marketing strategy is to identify the different types of customers you want to attract. To do this, you will need to know who your ideal customer is and how they behave.
To get started, think about what demographics make up your typical customer base (age group, gender, race/ethnicity), psychographics (personality traits or interests) and behaviors (what they do). This can help you understand:
- Their needs and wants – why they buy from you in the first place;
- Their buying habits – how frequently they purchase from competitors;
- Their buying decision process – where they look for information before making a purchase decision;
- Their purchasing power – how much disposable income they have available each year
Identify the different ways to reach your target audience.
Once you have identified your target audience, the next step is to determine how you will reach them.
You will have many options for marketing in SMB, including social media, email marketing, content marketing, paid advertising and public relations.
Some of these methods may be more effective than others depending on your business goals and customer base. For example: if you are trying to reach a younger demographic through word-of-mouth referrals from their friends on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram (or even Snapchat), then promoting through those channels would likely be most effective. If instead your target audience is older individuals who read newspapers and magazines (and typically do not use social media) then paid advertising in print publications might be more appropriate.
Build an action plan for each of the elements in your SMB Marketing Strategy.
Now that you have defined the various elements of your SMB Marketing Strategy, it is time to build action plans for each element. An action plan is a plan that outlines the tasks needed to implement your marketing strategy. The purpose of an action plan is to make sure you do not miss any steps along the way and make sure that everyone involved in executing on the strategy is on the same page.
Action plans should include:
- An overview of what needs to be accomplished
- The specific steps needed to accomplish each goal (i.e., creating landing pages, writing blog posts)
- Who will be responsible for completing each task and when they’ll complete it (i.e., sales team member X will write one blog post per week)
Now you know how to build a comprehensive marketing strategy for your SMB. You can start working on it right now and make sure that your small business always has a competitive advantage over larger, more established competitors. Remember that building a marketing strategy is an ongoing process, so try not to be too rigid in terms of what you put into place at this stage of the game.