What does it take to develop an effective marketing strategy?

What does it take to develop an effective marketing strategy?

Marketing strategies mean so many things to so many different people, that there is no standard code - or is there? While I have been using the same marketing strategy format for the past 20 years, I am always alarmed when I see a sales person write up a marketing 'to do list' and proclaim that this is in fact their marketing strategy. Likewise, when an entrepreneur hires a college graduate who writes up a marketing strategy based on the format that they learnt at college, which is out-dated, lacking in relevance and most likely not something that the student has had the ability to actually learn in-depth.

There are some impressive marketing strategy firms in the world today; McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and believe it or not, Marketing Eye. We sit next to the big buys for one valid reason, and that is our ability to stay relevant, and use technology to power the performance of a marketing strategy.

We use people to conduct powerful marketing workshops where we discuss everything from the company's business and sales objectives to marketing and the tactics required to achieve those goals. Rather than take notes, we input this data into a marketing technology platform, Robotic Marketer, which then does the hard work. The technology deep dives into big data, understands the market, analyses your competitors across all areas of marketing, and uses this data to develop a predictive marketing activation plan that aligns your business goals, with your budget and resources, along with your KPI's and expected ROI.

Like any great marketing team, we still use humans to go through the marketing strategy and add the final touches, but hard work and the knowledge that we don't have access to, is done by smart marketing technology.

What it takes to develop a marketing strategy is simple:

The right people

Stakeholders that are influenced by the outcomes of the marketing strategy. In most companies, large and small, it is the marketers or support staff, management team including sales managers and their direct reports, and your finance person. Together they ensure that the marketing workshop facilitates a firm direction for the company going forward and provides the invaluable buy-in required to have everyone take ownership of the marketing strategy once it is completed.

Technology

Robotic Marketer is the only marketing strategy development technology in the world today. It is cost effective, fast and accurate. It takes the information you put into it and turns it into a 40 page, in-depth marketing strategy that your company can implement internally or with third-parties. 

Project Management Tool

It doesn't matter which project management tool you use, but it is important that you use a tool that everyone has access to and that you can delegate work and deadlines to appropriately skilled personnel. 

Creative Team

Marketing cannot be done solely by marketers. You need to have qualified people doing the various roles that impact marketing from graphic design, web development, public relations and search engine optimisation. Most marketers are competent content writers and have the ability to write brochures, case studies, white papers, email marketing campaigns, blogs and so on. It's the other things that they try their hat in, but usually fail at, that can really diminish your marketing efforts.

Accountability

If the marketing strategy sits in your inbox and no-one does anything with it - it is useless. This is a common failure many businesses make and then at the end of the financial year, they wonder why they haven't achieved the goals that they set in place. All areas of marketing come with action, and people need to take ownership of the area in which they are responsible for. 

Weekly Meetings

To ensure that you stay on track and adapt any campaign that isn't working, it is imperative to put in place weekly meetings. It should be easy to print out from your CRM system and Project Management tools exactly where everyone should be at, so this meeting should be fast and efficient - but it is important.

Sales and Marketing Working Together

Through the entire process of implementing a marketing strategy, sales and marketing needs to work together collaboratively. That means that marketing needs to give sales every opportunity to succeed. There is no point in each department working in silos. The most effective sales outcomes derive from businesses that have both teams working in synergy.

Data Analytics

Understand your data and have someone responsible for keeping an eye on how your marketing performance is tracking. If you are losing visitors to your website, you know that you need to change something about your business marketing efforts. If something is working, then perhaps your run the campaign again or use it for another area of your business. 

Your marketing plan needs to be robust, scalable, integrated and focused on your customers and not you. To be effective you need the right people in place, a positive can-do attitude amongst your team and a desire to take your business to the next level. After that, the sky really is the limit.


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