The Advantages of a Marketing Strategy
2020 has been an interesting year in marketing to say the least. Yes, we have all undeniably suffered under the conditions of the pandemic – but where there’s hardship there’s also opportunity to be found and many of us have been forced into new and exciting places.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same. While we have found creative new ways to communicate online, the role of the marketing strategy has changed little in its central value. Given this, it’s not surprising that many have come to realise how sorely they’ve underestimated the importance of the document. A marketing strategy is a roadmap, a blueprint which sets out what and how you’ll communicate with your audience over the coming year. Without a marketing strategy, businesses are engaging their customers with one hand tied behind their back. But more specifically than that, where is the value of working with a marketing strategy?
Oversee your business, sales and marketing together
We all like to think we see the big picture, but we’re usually standing to close to know what we’re looking at. The writing of a strategy puts everything into perspective – it’s the perfect opportunity to take a step back and have an objective look at your business, sales and marketing objectives. This is the time to really get into it and think:
- What are our strengths?
- What are our weaknesses?
- What do we do to improve?
A healthy dose of introspection is not only key to surviving in the business world but thriving.
Strategies your branding
There’s an impressive amount of variety in the ways in which people and businesses market their brands. Even just when taking a few minutes to explore this variety, it becomes quickly apparent that some marketing is organised whilst others take a more ad-hoc approach. Without a documented marketing strategy, it becomes near impossible to manage your branding activities in an organised fashion. The most successful marketing and branding campaigns involve an integrated campaign. Attempting to coordinate multiple channels to deliver branding communications without a strategy is almost certainly going to end up as an expensive waste of time. A strategy is researched and provides clarity around the execution of tactics to achieve the campaign’s ultimate objectives.
Plan the use of your resources
As business owners and employees, we’re all too aware of the limitations to our resources and expenditure. Yes, it would be nice for any small business owner to spend $1,000 a day on sponsored Facebook posts, but it’s just not feasible for most of us. A strategy crucially outlines the budgets for each and every marketing activity. It’s far too often we see small businesses managing their marketing without a strategy overspending on channels which aren’t producing the results they’re after.
A fundamental tenant of strategy is prioritising and assigning your resources. None of us have unlimited cash reserves; we’ve got to work with what we’ve got. A strategy lays it all out: here’s what I’ve got to work with, here’s where what we want to work on, here’s how much we’re putting into what. In this sense, a strategy is crucial to the organisation and administration of your resources. One single document can make every marketing decision and purchase easier for the next year – because you’ve already put the work into making the decision.
Business and marketing are all about planning. Speak to any marketing strategy consultant and they will tell you the same thing. 2020 has proven this to be the case in what can only be called a harsh reality check. As times have gotten tough, many businesses have divested from marketing and other divisions sometimes seen to be less essential. But because times have been tougher, the competition has been heightened. And this has left those companies using a marketing strategy with a clear-cut edge.