Everyone loves killer creative. But creative on its own can only do so much. Having no end game in mind when crafting your creative results in lost conversions, missed opportunities, and tactics whose impact you just can't verify. No shark sets off into prey-filled waters without a plan, and neither should you. Here's why your company needs a strategic marketing plan - and how to build one.
Why A Toothsome Marketing Strategy Matters
In the past year, global marketing spending topped $2.1 trillion. Was it worth it? It depends. The companies who wrote blank checks to their creative teams with no accountability metrics attached probably didn't see anywhere near the same ROI as those who worked to ensure their creative was grounded in strategy. In fact, according to a Coschedule survey, marketers with a documented strategy are 313% more likely to report success - pointing to a pretty big gap between the purely creative marketers and those who work to achieve set outcomes.
Here's why strategic marketing will strike fear into the heart of your non-strategic competitors:
- It helps you direct your efforts - and your outcomes.
- It gives you a roadmap for integrating your efforts.
- It's great for prioritizing (and deprioritizing).
- It forces you to be accountable.
- It stops you from wasting time on meaningless or ineffective efforts.
Basically, if you want to take a bite out of your competitors' market share, you need to get strategic.
Sinking Your Teeth Into a Marketing Strategy
The whole idea of "strategy" can be intimidating, especially for those used to working in creative. But strategy just means building a campaign backed by research, goals, and analytics - basically it "grounds" you're creative in numbers and metrics, and makes it far easier to tell if you're doing a good job.
Here's how to develop a marketing strategy that blows the competition out of the water.
- Outline your objectives and set goals. Determine precisely what you're trying to achieve. Be sure to set SMART goals, i.e., goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, maybe your goal is to achieve XX% revenue growth or XX new customers within six months. Avoid non-specific goals such as "build brand recognition," as these are hard to define and measure.
- Define your audience. If your audience is everyone, you're doing it wrong. Each campaign should target a specific audience and should pay attention to buyer personas. This will not only help you design a relevant campaign but will also ensure that it reaches your audience where they're most likely to be found.
- Get your ducks in a row. A killer marketing strategy has plenty of moving pieces. Determine who's doing what, what resources need to be directed where, and when each deliverable needs to be completed. It's also vital to develop a "flow" for your campaign. How do the pieces fit together so that you're funneling prospects towards conversion?
- Measure, adjust, and repeat. It's impossible to know if you're meeting your goals if you're not measuring. Metrics such as KPIs, Cost per Win, Cost per Sale, Conversion Rates, and Customer Lifetime Value are all-powerful measures that can give you insight into how well your campaign is doing. If something isn't performing to your benchmarks, course correct, then relaunch. If your campaign is a success, you can always refine to get better and better results.
A killer marketing strategy separates the predators from the prey. By building your campaigns on top of a foundation of data, research, and accountability, you'll find yourself swimming at the top of the food chain - and ready to devour your competition. StellaPop builds strategies and tactics that "swim" with the biggest fish, let us build one for your business.