In today’s world of instant gratification, it is more important than ever to have a comprehensive marketing plan with a solid marketing strategy for your small business. It is no longer good enough, when it comes to marketing and advertising, to try a little of this and a little of that and sit back and hope for good results.
It has become exceedingly difficult for small, local businesses to compete with big box stores and chains but it is not impossible. It simply requires research and analysis to create a solid marketing strategy and then diligence and consistency to make it happen.
Before we go to much further, let’s look at what the term marketing strategy means.
Marketing Strategy – According to Wikipedia, a marketing strategy is a process that allows a business with limited resources to create a plan to concentrate those limited resources on marketing avenues that will increase sales and create a competitive advantage without breaking the bank.
Marketing strategy creation is a complex process. This process begins with research. Researching who your target customers are. Learning their wants, needs, behaviors, and more. There are many steps involved in this ongoing process and it can be quite overwhelming for small business owners whose time and energy is already stretched to the max. To learn more about strategic marketing plans, contact Carmik Design.
Now that we know what a strategic marketing plan is, let’s take a look at a few reasons your small business needs one.
1. To Establish Your Brand
One of the most important parts of a marketing strategy is to create a well- defined, clear picture of your company, your products, your brand, your mission, message, etc. Ideally, this should be done before your business is already established, though that doesn’t always happen.
Even if your business is already established, take a look at your logo, motto, and mission statement to see if they are in line with the message you want your brand to portray. Do any of these need modified to better portray your brand message? It’s possible, you may not have any of these things yet, in which case, you will need to create them, keeping your brand message in mind.
2. To Reach Your Target Customers
Once your target customers have been defined, determine their habits and routines, needs and wants, etc. This critical knowledge will help you determine which marketing avenues will best reach your target customers.
It is impossible to know which marketing avenues will be most successful for your business without knowing the demographics, patterns and habits of your target customers. This information is crucial to creating an effective comprehensive marketing plan and will save you time and money in the long run.
3. To Establish Clear Goals with Measurable Results
Without a strategy when it comes to marketing, a company could easily waste a lot of money on marketing avenues that may not be successful. Instead of stabbing in the dark and hoping for success, a marketing strategy will give you clear goals with ways to measure the results.
Set intervals to review analytics to determine which parts of your strategy have been working, which parts have not, and then make adjustments accordingly.
4. To Ensure Your Time and Marketing Dollars Are Well-Spent
As a small business owner, your time and money are likely to already be spread thin. The last thing you want to do is spend more time and money you don’t have without knowing whether it will be effective.
Once you have a marketing plan with specific goals and steps to accomplish them, you’ll be able to allocate a specific amount of time and money toward each task, knowing your business will reap the benefits.
5. To Increase Sales
This may seem like a no-brainer but having an established, clear direction for your marketing time and budget and following it consistently will increase sales. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight, which is the biggest reason small businesses begin to neglect their marketing.
It takes time, diligence, and consistency but creating and following an effective marketing strategy will result in business growth.
Marketing Strategy: The Bottom Line
It is worth noting that a marketing strategy is ever-evolving. It isn’t a “one and done” process. As society and technology evolve, so must marketing strategy. There is no cut and dry, “Do this and you are guaranteed success” strategy when it comes to marketing.
There are some guidelines and best practices to follow but there is a good bit of trial and error involved, as well. For this reason, it is important to use analytics to measure results and track success, adjusting marketing strategy as needed, based on the results.
Sound a bit overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Give Carmik Design a call for a free consultation, today!