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How to Create an Effective Marketing Strategy for Your Business

Creating an effective marketing strategy helps attract new customers, retain existing ones, and build a strong brand identity. Every business has its own set of strengths that can be leveraged when developing a strategic plan — it’s important to use them effectively by identifying areas where you can create a point of difference from your competitors and add value for your customers. In this blog post, we'll explore four key elements that are essential to creating an effective marketing strategy then outline the steps needed to develop an effective marketing plan.

ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE MARKETING PLAN

  1. Exceptional Customer Service

When making a purchase, 64% of consumers believe the customer experience is more important than price. By improving the customer experience, brands can increase loyalty, customer satisfaction, traffic, and sales, as well as reduce churn. Create a customer experience that can’t be replicated by:

  • Keeping your word
  • Sending personalized communication
  • Offering incentives and rewards to loyal customers
  • Being responsive to customer inquiries and concerns
  • Personally calling a client to thank them for their business
  • Providing personalized service and attention to each customer
  • Encouraging customer feedback and using it to improve your products or services
  1. Out-of-the-Box Strategies

An out-of-the-box marketing strategy is one that uses creative and data-driven methods to increase your business' visibility.  Thinking creatively and coming up with innovative marketing ideas help you attract the attention of potential customers and stand out from your competitors. Some ways you might consider testing the marketing waters include:

  • Q&As: Having executives appear as guests to deliver their opinions on business news platforms
  • Creating a playlist: Giving a free music, movie, or podcast playlist that matches your brand value
  • Offering an exclusive release: Creating new, limited products and services that make consumers feel significant and special 
  • Influencer marketing: Partnering with social media influencers or celebrities to promote your products or services to their followers
  • Guerrilla marketing: Using outdoor, indoor, event ambush, or experiential guerrilla marketing tactics to increase brand awareness and sales
  1. Not Following the Crowd

Unique strategies require leaders who are confident enough to take calculated risks with their plans and be willing to adjust when  necessary. While it can be tempting to follow the latest trends or copy what your competitors are doing, this approach may not always be effective. Instead, focus on what sets your business apart and what makes you unique. Then differentiate yourself from the competition by:

  • Leveraging technology in unique ways
  • Offering a unique solution to a specific problem
  • Serving an underserved niche market or target audience
  • Exploring opportunities outside of the traditional market segmentation
  • Finding new sources of information to improve your product/service or connection to your target audience
  1. Trusting Your Instincts

While it's important to conduct market research and gather data to inform your decisions, it's also important to trust your intuition and make decisions based on your own experience and expertise. According to the Harvard Business Review, it's critical for executives and business owners to have well-honed business instincts. Trusting those instincts include:

  • Seeking input and feedback from trusted colleagues or mentors
  • Listening to your gut when making decisions about your marketing strategy
  • Staying true to your vision and values, even in the face of adversity or criticism

STEPS TO CREATE AN EFFECTIVE MARKETING PLAN

Before beginning this process, it's important to clearly understand what you hope to achieve and the strategies you will use to get there. Here are the steps you need to take once you've figured that out.

Identify your target audience 

Who is most likely to buy your products or services? Knowing who your customer base is will help you tailor your messaging accordingly. To research your target audience, consider conducting surveys or focus groups with existing customers and potential customers alike.

Determine your objectives 

What are the short-term or long-term goals you wish to accomplish? Are you looking to increase sales or market share? Grow brand awareness? Launch a new product or service? Once these objectives have been identified, create a timeline for when each goal should be achieved.

Create a budget and allocate funds appropriately 

Consider what resources you have available from within your organization to assist with certain projects and outsource where you need. Allocate funds within these categories according to what will best facilitate achieving each goal in the shortest amount of time possible while still considering ROI (return on investment).

Develop tactics that align with each goal in the plan

Tactics may include launching a website, utilizing social media platforms to engage potential customers, creating content such as blogs or videos related to the product or service offered by the business, starting email campaigns targeting existing and prospective customers alike, running ads, and many more options depending upon individual business needs.

Monitor progress and make changes if needed

Regularly track every campaign for success and make changes based on instinct, feedback from consumers, and data gathered from analytics tools. Communicate progress and challenges across departments and externally to stakeholders. An effective strategy is only as good as the implementation and adjustments made.

By providing exceptional customer service, using out-of-the-box strategies, not following the crowd, and trusting your instincts, you can create a marketing strategy that sets your business apart and drives growth and success. Identifying your target audience, determining your objectives, creating a budget, aligning tactics with goals, and making changing when needed helps to also ensure consistent planning and success.

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