Marketing is a fast-paced field and it is always evolving following the consumer and technology. This is why a good marketing strategy is important for every company.
The first step that comes before anything is planning. A good digital marketing strategy will help you hit your goals.
We will take you to a 10 step-by-step process to follow to come up with the best marketing strategy for your business.
What is marketing strategy?
Think of marketing strategy as a game plan for the business or organization. It is important to help a business or organization in general to achieve their goals and gain advantage in marketing by understanding the demands of customers.
A marketing strategy umbrella a big aspect of the company such as how a business places itself in regard to its creativity, strategic partners, media relations, marketing mix, and channels and techniques.
A company’s total strategy for reaching potential customers and converting them into customers of their goods or services is referred to as a marketing strategy. The value proposition of the organization, critical brand messages, information on target audience and consumer demographics, and other important components are also included.
Back in the murkier days of marketing, the broad marketing approach was what was referred to as “branding.” It is a useful review of the strategy’s core points, as well as some of the major objectives and approaches taken to accomplish them.
Difference between a marketing strategy and a tactic
Strategies are broader while tactics focus on the specifics. For instance, a company might have a content strategy for its social media platforms or for SEO, and then it might have particular methods (tactics) it uses for each channel.
This is the correct order:
General marketing plan -> Digital marketing plan -> Particular strategies
Importance of marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is not that stale old paper you put on the top shelf and ignore. Finding your company’s key goals and objectives, as well as strategies for achieving them, is a crucial task. That serves as a guide for everything you do to sell your good or service more effectively.
1. Define the value and offer of your brand
It is important that your brand strategy defines the business essence value and are aligned with the company’s prospect, current customer demand, the industry trends and the competitiveness of the environment.
These are some marketing strategies from data driven brands that has succeeded in doing marketing right:
AllBirds – Sustainable, transparent, and comfortable
AllBirds began in 2014 in Silicon Valley. It’s value rose to a $1.4B in 2018. Their aim is to create the most comfortable wear, from head to toe. Their main thing is that their products are sustainable, being made out of wool and bamboo. “Allbirds is on a mission to establish that comfort, good design, and sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” reads their mission statement. They became the pioneer in the market for sustainable footwear. It all began with the launch of Kickstarter.
Transparency, sustainability, and comfort are the company’s three guiding principles.
This is their order confirmation email:
You can sense the jest and quick vibe from their social media posts.
The company has greatly benefited from the idea of transparency. They pay close attention to detail and display the materials they utilize in inventive ways.
This really goes well with their general mission and brand value of sustainability.
Ultimately, Allbirds built a highly engaged online following that has contributed the most to the brand’s success thanks to its funny brand voice and outstanding brand values of sustainability and transparency. Yes, the product is really comfortable (the New York Times named it “the most comfortable sneaker in the world”), but Allbirds would not have been the market leader that it is today without a great brand and a focus on the user experience.
Casper – “here to awaken the potential of a well-rested world”
Casper mattress company has revolutionized the industry as they were the first direct-to-customer mattress company. They immediately grew to a $1.1B valuation in 2019.
The brand is all about dreaming big, innovation and bringing happiness to a tired industry.
Take a look at their email receipt for your purchase to see how they combine the brand value of “dreaming large” with a pun about sleeping.
This is another good email asking for feedback.
The strong branding has helped the company to launch a couple of other successful products such as a bedtime light that can change its light temperature and brightness automatically and it can also be controlled through an app. It is called Casper Glow.
Here is an easier way to understand brand value creation.
1.Consider the primary problems, demands, and frictions your brand is addressing.
2.Put it in a language with values.
3.Make sure it aligns with your principles and goals.
2. Identify customer pain points and expectations
Not meeting the customer need or not offering a solution for customer’s problem is a recipe for failure. These needs change over time, so it is important for the company to observe the demands and needs.
Let’s take Segway for example. It was a gadget that was supposed to make walking unnecessary. It featured a lithium battery, a top speed of 20 kilometres per hour, and gave you a geeky appearance. It was lauded as the invention that would render walking unnecessary, but it utterly tanked.
Sad to say, but the inventor of the invention actually perished after driving it off a cliff. Because people enjoy walking and running, the Segway had the challenge of not satisfying the needs of its target market and failing to pinpoint a problem area.
The different pain points of customers
The question that you need to ask yourself is, does your product help customer saves more money than the other alternatives? Is it cost-effective and if your product costs less than the alternatives, does the price difference really make an impact on the customer?
A good example to look at is Smartly, a brand that Target launched. They come put with hygiene products under RM10. That is approximately 70% less than other similar products.
Ask yourself, does your product make people’s life more convenient? Netflix for example became really famous as it is more convenient than its competitor, Blockbuster. Netflix worth is RM920 billion in 2020 while Blockbuster is out of business.
Another important component in relieving a customer’s pain point is service. The term “service” refers to the overall client experience and encompasses elements like ease of use, maintenance, warranty, customer service, and replacements. SolarCity, a provider of solar energy, is a fantastic illustration of this. Tesla bought SolarCity in 2016. Customers liked SolarCity’s solar panels because they had better warranties and upkeep on them, not because they were less expensive than those of the rival companies. This was one of the main factors that made SolarCity the biggest residential solar supplier in the country.
5 steps to identify your customer’s pain points
- Create a customer journey map
Determine what motivates your clients to purchase your goods and how they found your brick-and-mortar or internet store. This should incorporate the websites they went to, such as a search engine result, Facebook advertisement, social media post, email, and other online and offline media. Determine potential pain points at each level and learn why the consumer wants to use your product. This will also enable you to assess your marketing mix and determine whether any more channels are required.
- Survey your customers
This is to find your customer pain point. Getting feedback would be very useful. There are a lot of survey tools that can be used such as Typeform or SurveyMonkey.
- Read customer reviews
Looking at customer reviews of your products will tell you a lot about their preferences, expectations and pain points. Visual reviews—photos or videos that customers post along with their reviews—are particularly effective for eCommerce websites. Pixlee, Yotpo, or Loox are a few tools you can use to gather and present visual reviews.
- Discuss with the sales team
These people hear and respond to the customers the most, therefore they are the best to be asked about customer’s pain points. Try to gauge customers feedback from them.
- Study your competitors
Competitor analysis is important in any industry. Both Netflix and Apple came up with better products than what is already available. Analyse the competitor’s marketing mix, promotion and where they advertise their products. You can either strive to solve an already solved issue but in a better way or strive to solve an issue that has yet been tackled.
- Employ Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning (STP) framework
When you segment a market, you divide it into separate categories (or target market segments). In targeting, you choose which customer group to concentrate your marketing efforts on. In order to appeal to potential customers in your target market and try to persuade them to make a purchase choice, positioning entails the formulation of the brand position, the marketing mix, and other distinct marketing methods.
This framework aids in identifying the marketing channel type and to come up with strategies that is needed to market products to customers.
3. Find out market trends and competition
Competitive analysis is important in the marketing strategy plan creation as this is where you can see what differentiates your product from your competitors. This can be done through a SWOT analysis. If you skip this step, then it will be hard to come up with a product that has a unique value. This is how you do it:
Identify your competitors
Look at the companies that have similar products and offers similar services. Check out the contents they post, mentions in the news and their product reviews.
Categorize your competitors
Put them in three groups namely, primary, secondary and tertiary. You will be able to see which of them are actually your direct competition and who should be your main focus in your analysis.
Look at their social media and branding
By doing this, you will be able to understand how they position their brand and how you are different from them. Take a notice on their influencer marketing campaigns to understand what kind of image they are trying to push.
Site audit to look at different traffic sources and positioning
Check the keywords and traffic sources that each rival ranks for using a tool like Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, or Alexa. By doing this, you may learn exactly what the user searches for and what needs your competitors are addressing. For instance, you can find that a rival is utilizing a form of media or content or a traffic source that you haven’t yet extended into. Having this knowledge will be quite beneficial to your online marketing plan.
4. Propose your value
You need to decide what you want to deliver and who is your target.
This is the first direct interaction that potential consumers and prospects have with your brand, and it has the greatest potential to influence how they view it.
Make sure you deliver what you advertise you would.
This are some of the examples:
MR DIY– buy things at low prices
IKEA – Brand values and design
IKEA’s trademark is humble, simple and functional which makes it easy for people to recognize their products.
5. Find out your target audience
The way your brand is presented and the language you use depends on who is your target audience.
Check out this model to map the target audience group that you have and then prioritize them accordingly.
The first-tier target audience needs to have a good market potential so it would not be hard to get them to buy your product.
Next, define your personas by asking who is your most ideal customer and target customer.
Use these questions to define your personas:
1.Who is my persona, the gender, age? Adding a picture and a name helps with visualisations.
2.The initial state of mind of my persona?
3.What different stages did they go through before making a purchase?
Each of the stages represents a psychological state of mind that people go through before reaching to a certain decision.
Find out what a buyer goes through for each stage:
1.What goals does your persona have? What is their intention?
2.What steps do they take at this point? They look for information somewhere, where? With whom do they converse?
3.At each stage of the customer journey, how would you characterize the client’s experience?
4.What are your goals for each of their stages of decision-making?
5. What steps can you take to accomplish these goals?
6. Determine collaborators and partners
This could help you reach your ideal customer. There could already be an existing community online where your customers frequent a lot. You might need to work with a distributor or with a marketing partner to reach them.
Working with the right people can really benefit you. Aside from revenue sharing or affiliate program, it can also be done through social networking.
7. Pick a message and creative of your brand
Businesses who cannot afford digital marketing specialist, usually opt for freelancers or digital agencies.
Your responsibility moving forward will be to protect your brand’s values and strategy through the messaging, the creative you produce, and the many strategies you employ.
In order for the service provider, you chose to effectively adapt your strategy to the marketing communications you will actually have with your potential clients, make sure they are in alignment with your brand and the numerous marketing methods you intend to use.
These following two brands are good at staying true to their brand through their messaging:
National Geographic – creating “wow” and “wonder” through visual
They make sure that the language used on the ads are aligned with the brand value.
8. Define your marketing channels
The digital marketing campaign will differ depending on where it is done. It is your task to pick one that will serve you best. Some of the main marketing channels are:
Social media has become very prevalent in digital marketing. It will help you get more traffic from the people searching. While a Facebook ad is utilized for the final stage, or the conversion stage, of the marketing funnel, organic social media is used for the awareness stage, or the lead generation stage.
Different types of companies suit different social media channel. For example:
Visual eCommerce – Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter
B2B companies – LinkedIn, Instagram, ProductHunt, Angellist
B2C companies – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
Writing content-heavy companies – Medium, Quora, Reddit
GenZ-focused companies – Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok
On social media platforms, ads are growing more and more popular as a result of recent algorithm adjustments that favor them more and reduce organic reach. You must now use bought media to get anywhere since that is how social media platforms monetize their services.
•For each channel and type of campaign you are running, create a lookalike audience.
•Arrange your campaigns according to the marketing funnel (top, middle, and bottom)
•Match your copy and designs to the people you want to reach.
•Use Facebook, Pinterest, and Google to retarget your audience and website traffic.
Each advertisement needs careful strategic planning to ensure that the messaging and creatives are appropriate for the target market groups in order to assist draw in new leads and keep existing clients.
According to studies, for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, companies make $5.20. Additionally, 49% of consumers rely on influencer advice when making purchases. That is a lot!
Influencer marketing is not the same as user posted image. It is called paid media similar to ad campaign. Earned media is user-generated content.
Influencer marketing tips:
•Choose influencers based on the audience they have and how engaged they are (not the size of their following)
•Run giveaway events with influencer groups.
•Run Instagram stories because they can be clicked.
•Investigate your competitors’ use of influencers across all the necessary platforms.
•Utilize YouTube influencers to produce videos promoting your goods or services.
•Determine which of your influencers performs better by using actual facts.
ROI emails remains as the highest in all different digital marketing channels and platforms. According to studies, email marketing offers a fantastic return of RM200 for every RM4.75 invested.
Email marketing tips:
•Utilize earned media or UGC in your promotions.
•Create email flows and campaigns (cart abandonment flow, welcome flow, sunset flow)
•Create instructional campaigns rather than only sending out regular product marketing
•To more effectively match your campaigns with your audience, A/B test various copies and formats based on your data
This kind of marketing works best when it is combined with emails. The email is sent first, followed with a push notification as a reminder for your customer to check out the deal of the day.
Compared to emails, push notifications have a click-through rate that is 7 times greater.
Chatbots and messaging
Text messages has turn into its own marketing channel. Without involving a human, you may build up automated messages and flows that are sent to customers or even a chatbot that can guide them from product discovery to purchase. You can send people a product promotion, a cart abandonment flow, or a content promotion through this channel.
Chatbot messages, which receive open rates of over 80% and click through rates of over 50%, offer an extra and very effective approach to supplement and improve the efficacy of your email marketing, according to Social Media Today.
Search Engine Optimization
It entails improving a website’s content so that search engines can more easily identify and display it. More new ways than ever before exist to appear on search engine results pages, including in the pictures section as movies, quotes, products, how-tos, Q&As, and much more. Any website can benefit from the massive amounts of focused, high-quality traffic that SEO can send its way.
•Find the terms and queries that bring in the most traffic using Google Search Console data.
•Utilize a service like Ahrefs or Moz to optimize your on-page content.
•Create a thorough backlink strategy based on competitor information and industry standards.
Use content to reach your ideal consumer persona, attract new clients, and astonish and keep your current clientele. Brands must provide unique content for each stage of their marketing or sales funnel in order to employ content marketing effectively.
Content marketing tips:
•Create lengthy blog content to increase visitors from organic search
•For visitors in the middle of the sales funnel, publish comparison and shopping recommendations.
•Use user-generated content (UGC), video, and longer post descriptions on social media to communicate your narrative.
Public Relations (PR)
One of the best growth techniques for enhancing your brand’s reputation and growing your online presence is public relations.
9. Allocate a budget and select a strategy for each channel
Identify your business goals
SMART goals will be helpful for this. It stands for:
Specific – what you want to achieve
Measurable – goals that can be measured
Achievable – do not overreach
Relevant – goals to that targets specific aspects of marketing
Time bound – give a time frame
Conduct market research
Obtain data on your market, including its size, growth, social trends, search trends, and demographics. Find out what is doable and practical, what media, content types, and channels are used to reach your target audience, and which ones you should incorporate into your marketing mix. To aid in your investigation, you can perform a SWOT analysis or a PEST analysis.
A PESTEL study is a marketing framework or management technique that aids firms in identifying the key external factors that have the most impact on their operations and assist them improve their competitiveness. Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal is referred to as PESTEL. For instance, legal considerations might include a new rule that severely restricts a company’s capacity to market its goods in a specific area. Political issues could include additional tariffs, trade restrictions, or tax laws. Weather, seasonality, and even natural disasters are examples of environmental influences.
Align your strategy with the type of client you want
Make sure your plan fits with the client personas you defined at the beginning of this process by going back to them. Consider the trends and the kinds of clients you will be able to attract, and make adjustments as necessary.
10. Analyse the results
After testing something, you must evaluate the findings and carry on testing. Every part of marketing depends on data, and the finest form of data to have comes from testing marketing strategies. Smart marketing executives use data to refine and improve their growth strategy over time.
You can also divide tasks among team members!
It’s time to get out there and really crush it now that you know how to create the ideal marketing strategy for your company or startup.