What does a practical marketing strategy look like?

In a world of too much noise, a new approach is required. Instead of relying on more exposure to get the news out, more attention is needed on getting the right words across. Instead of just informing people more often about what makes us special, more granularity of detail is required to distinguish ourselves from others. Instead of broadcasting more conversations on social media platforms, fewer but richer conversations online would better resonate with people. In addition, it seems that listening more and speaking less would better help create this kind of content that people tend to forward to others. Marketing is the art and science of creating value by identifying and satisfying a target customer’s needs and wants. The science part is analytical and objective. It studies customer behaviour with techniques like usability labs, eye-tracking studies, and A/B testing. The art part is “softer” and more subjective and is concerned with branding and positioning.

But how can we do this seamlessly? It needs to be at the core of the organization’s decision-making process. Marketing is not just a set of tactics and promotional techniques. It’s a decision-making discipline that should move across the organization — from product development to sales and support to finance, human resources, training, and more.

Since the launch of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, a lot of marketers have been looking for easy shortcuts to attention. Clickbait headlines. ‘Content marketing.’ Digital advertising. These tactics have been so successful that marketers have been losing sight of what really drives growth. And in the process, they’ve been making their messages more and more shallow.

A practical marketing strategy is long-term thinking about how to build a business that delivers value to customers while continuing to create value for itself — and at the same time delivering profit to the owners. When we think about a marketing strategy most people focus on the monetary gains and how the business can generate income and spend very little time focusing on the value of the products and services delivered to customers.

The key to a successful marketing strategy is the value a customer receives from a business’s product or service. The value of your product or service is going to be delivered by each person in your business, whether it be the delivery person, the “I want to thank you for choosing us assistant” or the owner. I also mean that there is no such thing as a bad day because all days especially bad days are an opportunity to serve and build relationships with clients and customers.

We should not be concerned with how much money we earn from a product or service but should concentrate more on the results it has on the customer. That way we actually end up making more money because the value is guaranteed to the customer.

Now, let us get to it. How does a practical marketing strategy look like?

We need to define marketing objectives.

What do we want to achieve for the business with marketing? It is important to set out marketing objectives at the start of a product’s development because those objectives will shape the product, and be affected by it.

They are the foundation upon which all your activities are built. You can’t do anything without them. They establish what you will do, how you will do it, and why.

Marketing objectives must be customer-focused. They must also be measurable and achievable. And they must extend far enough into the future to be relevant to the life of the business as a whole.

A company can’t make a long-term success of marketing unless it has a clear idea of what its objectives are. The best strategy in the world won’t do a business any good if the marketing to bring it to fruition doesn’t take into account the actual needs and desires of its customers.

A good marketing objective is derived from what the customers want to get done. It makes no sense to sell something to a customer unless you know how it is going to help them meet their objective. Every business should be able to succinctly state its purpose thus: ‘Our purpose is to help our customers achieve their objectives.’ After that, every move the company makes must be subordinated to that principle.

Sit down with your team and brainstorm what your marketing objectives should be. Be cautious of not over glorifying internal needs and flag every silence on the desires of the customers and how you can help them achieve success.

What businesses focus on when developing marketing objectives:

  • How can we reach a wider audience and how much do we want to spend on paid ads so we can capture the market?
  • How do we tell prospects and the general public about our products and services? What innovative ways can we come up with to give us a good public image?
  • How do we generate leads and create a sales funnel to capture them and convert them to customers?
  • How do we set ourselves apart as pacesetters and experts in the industry?
  • Why do we want to spend it on marketing? What value do we get from it? How does it help us reach our other goals?

I find this the wrong approach to developing a marketing strategy especially if we need to focus on what really converts. 8 out of 10 companies will go with this approach, no wonder we don’t have many real successes. All we see is noise, noise, and more noise.

This is an excerpt from the 12 pages long book on “Practical Marketing Strategy” written by Edison Ade.

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Business Strategist, Building Products for companies using Web and Mobile technologies. Fractional CMO.