EM360 Digital Blog

04 Dec 2015

Why You Need a Marketing Strategy

A mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy is your guide to suc­cess­ful­ly pro­mot­ing and grow­ing your busi­ness. A good mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy will help you answer key ques­tions about your busi­ness: How will you posi­tion your com­pa­ny in the mar­ket? How will you dif­fer­en­ti­ate from your com­peti­tors? How will you reach your cus­tomers? What are your sales goals? Where will you adver­tise? All of these are impor­tant ques­tions that as a busi­ness own­er, you need to be able to answer.

Beyond that, how­ev­er, a good mar­ket­ing plan can help you to ensure that you’re using your resources most effec­tive­ly. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant if you devel­op an online mar­ket­ing plan, which I always rec­om­mend. Rather than just jump­ing into social media or start­ing a blog, an online mar­ket­ing plan helps you to align your online activ­i­ties with your busi­ness goals. And in the end, isn’t that what you want? Here are just a few rea­sons why a mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy is good for your busi­ness.

You will not know your mar­ket

Cus­tomer demand for online ser­vices may be under­es­ti­mat­ed if you haven’t researched your online mar­ket. More impor­tant­ly you won’t under­stand your online mar­ket­place: the dynam­ics will be dif­fer­ent to tra­di­tion­al chan­nels with dif­fer­ent types of cus­tomer pro­file and behav­ior, com­peti­tors, propo­si­tions and options for mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Exist­ing and start-up com­peti­tors will gain the mar­ket

If you’re not devot­ing enough resources to dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and have no clear­ly defined strat­e­gy, your com­peti­tor is like­ly to have you for break­fast!

You have no clear direc­tion

Com­pa­nies with­out a dig­i­tal strat­e­gy do not have clear goals for what they want to achieve online; in terms of gain­ing new cus­tomers or build­ing loy­al rela­tion­ships with exist­ing ones. If you don’t have strate­gic goals you’re prob­a­bly not uti­liz­ing enough resources to meet those goals, and more than like­ly not eval­u­at­ing through ana­lyt­ics whether you’re achiev­ing those goals.

You have no val­ue online

A clear­ly defined online cus­tomer val­ue will help you dif­fer­en­ti­ate your online ser­vices, encour­ag­ing exist­ing and new cus­tomers to engage ini­tial­ly and stay loy­al.

You’re not inte­grat­ed

It is com­mon for dig­i­tal media to be com­plet­ed in silos, whether that’s a spe­cial­ist dig­i­tal mar­keter in IT or an out­sourced dig­i­tal agency. It’s eas­i­er that way to pack­age dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing into a con­ve­nient chunk. But of course it’s less effec­tive. Every­one agrees that dig­i­tal media works best when inte­grat­ed with tra­di­tion­al media and response chan­nels.

Dig­i­tal doesn’t have enough people/budget

Insuf­fi­cient resources will be devot­ed to both plan­ning and exe­cut­ing e-mar­ket­ing and there is like­ly to be a lack of spe­cif­ic spe­cial­ist e-mar­ket­ing skills which will make it dif­fi­cult to respond to com­pe­ti­tion time­ly and appro­pri­ate­ly.

You’re dupli­cat­ing efforts

Even if you do have suf­fi­cient resources it may be wast­ed. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly the case in larg­er com­pa­nies where you see dif­fer­ent parts of the mar­ket­ing orga­ni­za­tion pur­chas­ing dif­fer­ent tools or using dif­fer­ent agen­cies for per­form­ing sim­i­lar online mar­ket­ing tasks.

You will not know your online cus­tomers well enough

Google Ana­lyt­ics and sim­i­lar will only tell you vol­umes not sen­ti­ment. You need to use oth­er forms of web­site tools to iden­ti­fy your weak points and then strength­en them.

You are hav­ing a hard time catch­ing up or stay­ing ahead

If you look at the top online brands like Tesco, Ama­zon, Dell, Google, they are all dynam­ic approach­es to gain and keep their online audi­ences.

You’re not opti­miz­ing

Every com­pa­ny with a web­site will have ana­lyt­ics, but many senior man­agers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strat­e­gy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to con­tin­u­ous improve­ment of the key aspects like social media mar­ket­ing, search mar­ket­ing, site user expe­ri­ence, and  email mar­ket­ing.

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