I hope the year has been good to you so far! But regardless of how your year has started, in this post I want to introduce a topic that could make all the difference to the rest of your year, ‘Marketing strategy’. Now bear with me, I know strategy isn’t the most riveting of business topics, but lack of strategy is one of the key reasons many businesses fail to grow – so address it we must.
Here’s the thing, when it comes to starting and growing a business most people understand that marketing is a crucial part of business success, and that’s spot on! But where most small businesses and start-ups miss the mark is where they start. Most begin with a website, social media or perhaps an event, without having a clear roadmap for success. They begin with action (short-term tactics) instead of a long-term plan (strategy). This amounts to putting the cart before the horse or as I often say:
Tactics without strategy is like building a house with no foundation.
Taking action without a plan may work in the short-term but it won’t be sufficient to build a business that has longevity and stands the test of time.
So here are 6 elements of a successful marketing strategy that will ensure any marketing activity you engage in actually leads you to success:
1. Vision and goals – Be crystal clear about why you’re in business and what you aim to achieve. All your marketing activity should stick to the story. Here’s what I mean, if your vision is to make bespoke footwear for high flying business women, having a Twitter account and tweeting every day will most likely not get you to that goal. Whereas having a Pinterest page with content specifically aimed at your target audience could help, because many high-income earning, professional women in their 30’s and 40’s use Pinterest. Think of your vision and goals as your filter for your decision making. If a particular course of action isn’t going to get you any closer to your vision and goals it should be dismissed immediately, no matter how popular a particular marketing activity is. Your vision and goals set your trajectory for success, so it should be the first thing you focus on.
2. Branding – branding isn’t just