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.