What should be in a marketing strategy?

05/10/2016

It is all too easy to dive into promoting something, without having thought it through properly or having a proper strategy in place.

In fact, it is vital to work out in advance what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to get there. Done correctly, it can save you time, money and a lot of potential grief – because you won’t end up going in the wrong direction or doing things which were never going to work.

A good marketing strategy can start to take shape by answering a few simple questions:

  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • Who are we trying to engage with, and how?
  • How do we know if we’re succeeding?
  • Are we clear what we want to say?
  • How does this fit in with our overall priorities?

Knowing the answers to these questions increases the chances of success. A written strategy can then be produced using this simple structure:

  • Introduction – set the context, including your challenges.
  • Aims and objectives – what do you want to achieve? Your objectives should be specific and measurable.
  • Narrative – what you want to say.
  • Audiences and channels – the people you want to reach and the ways you can do it.
  • Tactics – the specific things you will do to achieve your objectives, including the available resources (time and money).
  • Evaluation – the ways you will measure progress (eg sales numbers, new leads generated, media coverage, growth in your social media following).

A good strategy can be produced on just a few sides of A4. Going through the process of working out these issues will provide you with a clear rationale for your plans.