No matter what business you’re in, implementing a strategic marketing plan can boost your sales, drive your website traffic, or grow your brand’s social media presence. Without a strategic marketing plan, all your marketing efforts (and money) are spent hoping for a marketing win while you miss opportunities for consistent growth and leave your brand subject to threats that can damage your image.
Your brand isn’t the same as it was a year ago and your marketing plan should grow and evolve with your business. If you’re ready for a refresh, here are the first steps to developing a strategic marketing plan:
Analyze your current marketing situation
While your current marketing plan may be working just fine, there’s always room for improvement. Get objective about your marketing situation, even if that means being critical of your own work.
If you’re struggling to analyze your marketing objectively, try making a list of your brand’s:
Strengths: How is your marketing successful?
Weaknesses: Where is your marketing not getting results?
Opportunities: What opportunities can your brand take advantage of?
Threats: What outside influences may hurt your brand?
Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your brand while opportunities and threats are external. Understanding your current marketing situation will help you move forward with a strategy.
Set a goal
Your goal should focus on your weaknesses or address an upcoming opportunity or threat and have a great impact on your brand. Your goals will drive all your marketing efforts and give each step of your marketing plan a concrete purpose, so make sure you set a goal that’s:
For example: Increase our website conversion rate from 13% to 17% within the next 6 months.
Not: Get more followers on Instagram.
Conduct market research
Market research is an opportunity to learn more about your audience, your competitors, and the trends that can affect your brand’s success. Tailor your market research to your goals — use it to find what type of content, products, or information is most and least successful amongst your target audience. Then, you can use that data to influence your marketing strategy.
Develop a tactic
Now that you have a specific goal, an understanding of your current marketing plan, and data from your market research, you’re ready to develop a strategic marketing tactic.
Developing a smart, effective, and budget-friendly marketing tactic can be overwhelming. Depending on your goals, your tactic may mean focusing on a new audience, exploring a new topic, or rebranding your business altogether. Your new marketing plan should include specific actions you’ll take, a timeline, and a budget.
Assign roles and responsibilities
Executing a marketing plan is no easy task and the more help you have, the better. Including your team in your marketing strategy will lead to more ideas, more content, and more confidence in your brand’s future. Your coworkers are your greatest brand ambassadors so their buy-in to your brand and your goals is essential for success.
Strategic marketing is a continuous process that requires consistent effort.
The job isn’t done with a website refresh, new social media content, or a catchy new advertisement. For long-term success and brand growth, you need to track your data and monitor your feedback, all while continuously adjusting your marketing plan based on the information you receive.
If all of this sounds like too much to handle on your own, it might be time to ask for help. Hoyden offers project-based, month-to-month, and consulting services to help you develop and implement a personalized marketing strategy based on your brand, your goals, and your budget.