Marketing strategy for 2019: Planning ahead

Creating a marketing strategy is important; it helps you to decide where to allocate budget and to determine if your campaigns have met their objectives.

A marketing strategy needn’t take weeks though; if you’re time poor a simple assessment of your business and targets can prove invaluable. Here are our marketing experts’ tips on what to consider:

Current performance

Assess current marketing performance, but also current business performance as a whole. Think about business direction and where you’d like to be in a year vs where you are now and how your marketing can help you achieve this. If your business is new to marketing, it’s best to think of realistic short term objectives that you can see results from relatively quickly so you can test mediums and campaigns. Business objectives can change according to budgets and industry factors so your marketing strategy should be flexible too.

Achievable objectives

Be sure to outline your marketing objectives – and make them measurable! Ask yourself if they’re realistic relative to what you’re going to spend and the channels you’ll be using. The planning of your campaigns should be dictated by what you want to achieve so you can reach your goals. This will also help you to determine whether your efforts were a success post campaign.

Audience research

It’s no secret that a crucial part of any business plan is to know who your audience is. What you may not know about them is what their wider interests are, and what marketing channels they respond best to. While a certain element of this may involve trial and error, researching how your competitors communicate can help you to determine what works best. If you need to be able to drill down in to your audience by company or job title for example, some platforms will be more suitable than others. Refresh your knowledge before creating your marketing strategy.

Customer journey

Think about what you know about the customer journey. What’s right for a customer who’s only just heard of your brand will be different to one who’s aware of what you offer. No marketing strategy should be complete without consistently analysing your customer behaviour.

Return on investment

Decide what you’d like to invest in your marketing strategy and consider what return you’ll be expecting. Measuring your return on investment can help you decide where budget is best spent. It’s important not to pluck ‘ideal’ figures out without careful consideration of what similar campaigns have achieved. In order to properly measure your ROI, you’ll need to consider how much things actually cost versus how much you’d like them to cost before you start your marketing efforts.

Prioritise your marketing strategy

Unless you have unlimited funds, you’ll need to be aware of how much your marketing efforts will cost. If you find your marketing strategy doesn’t fit within your budget, prioritise in order of effectiveness. If you know something works, it may be better to invest in developing that area rather than trying something new.

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