What Is A Marketing Strategy and Why Do You Need One?

What Is A Marketing Strategy and Why Do You Need One?

Think you’re a pro but then realise you’re not?

Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when something looks easy, so you give it a try? Maybe a couple of times… But after a few embarrassing attempts, it turns out to be incredibly challenging and in the end, quite frustrating? It was a bit like that for me with surfing. My brothers made it look super easy. It took me weeks to even stay on the board!

Managing your digital marketing can often feel like that if you are a small business owner, at second stage growth in your new business, or have been in business for a long time and are just not familiar with the new methods of online marketing now available.

The Big Problem

The biggest problem with your marketing is not necessarily your budget. I would almost guarantee if you are not achieving any results, the problem is that you don’t have a plan. You don’t have a marketing strategy. You’ve be throwing up marketing messages all over the place and no one (including you) knows what the hell is going on.

When you don’t have a strategy, you have no idea what you should be posting on which platform, what message you should be communicating, who your target audience is, what your competitors are doing, and how to reach your goals.

Been there? It’s pretty normal. You’re not alone. In fact, I estimate that almost half of small-medium businesses are without a clear strategy today.

Cheap solutions

The next big issue appears if or when you decide to outsource your marketing to someone cheap who promises to manage your marketing for you. This is quite common when it comes to social media marketing – there are a lot of people advertising their services who know little more than you do, but they will throw up pretty pictures to keep you happy and take your money.

It might feel like your marketing frustration is dealt with, but in this instance, you definitely get what you pay for. I have worked with quite a few businesses who have had VA’s or freelancers in the past working for them, who have no clear focus on your brand purpose or vision, and the same old issue continues – no plan, no focus, no real desire to make a big difference to your business, no strategy… and yep – no results.

Blinkers-on Services (one service only)

Or the next issue is you get someone who just sells you one thing – like Facebook ads. Or Google ads. And still no luck. Why doesn’t this work? It again has a lot to do with your overall marketing strategy. Blinkers-on and no vision, no purpose, no plan. These services are fantastic when working in with the bigger picture. They can give you short-term boosts, but rarely long-term brand reputation and sustainable influence.

Impact at Every Point

Customer touch points are a massive part of any marketing strategy. This means that at each point of the customer journey, prospects are getting a clear message from you that will eventually lead them to becoming a customer. One day they might click through to your website. The next they might see a post on Facebook. Then they might read an online review about your business. Each point is either making or breaking the effects on their end decision.

Even though most people like to think they can do a Facebook campaign for a week and get massive conversions by the minute, in most instances long term success and sustainable business growth comes through having a consistent, effective marketing strategy in place that covers all the customer touch points.

The Marketing Machine

A marketing strategy is like a massive machine – all the parts need to work together to give you long-term, sustainable business growth. When your website is fully functioning for conversion success, and your social media channels are regularly hitting your target market with the right messages, and your email marketing is engaging and warming your leads, and your brand is being used both offline and online appropriately, this is when the frustration will subside and you can see momentum start to happen.

I have a story I tell people about going to field days as a child and being given a magnet for the local plumber. As kids we loved collecting all the little bits and pieces the local businesses would give away.

We would get home and stick the magnet to the fridge (we had lots of stuff on our fridge in those days, so it came in handy), and every day we would see the magnet when we needed a feed. Rarely did we take much notice. But the interesting thing I realised is that every day the name and the brand image of that plumber was subconsciously sinking into my memory. The day the tap broke and we needed a plumber, who do you think we called?

Having a solid, long-term marketing strategy is as effective as this fridge magnet from the local plumber. Perhaps people are not looking for your product or service straight away. But by following a plan and being consistent about it, guaranteed when they do come to the point in their life where you fit right in, you’ll be the first person they call.

Looking like a Pro

A digital audit is the best place to start if you feel as though you have lost direction. Following this, an appropriate strategy can be established that pulls together everything you have been doing, as well as giving you a detailed outline of what needs to happen for success and growth. Once you know where you are, where you need to be and have a plan to get there, the process will become much easier and you’ll look like a pro in no time. (I still can’t surf well though lol).