Before I answer this key question, let’s first define what is a marketing strategy. I’m sure if you Google it, you’ll come up with lots of answers, but here’s my definition to throw into the mix.
A marketing strategy is a document that naturally follows on from the business strategy. The marketing strategy provides direction, focus and clarity on where a company should focus its efforts in order to achieve a set of stated objectives set out in the business strategy. It’s a map of the market, the customer and the places the business should be present in. The strategy precedes the marketing plan and as such should have a longer life span than the plan itself, but with the flexibility to be able to pivot should the need arise.
Okay, not the most succinct of descriptions but I think it captures the essence of what a marketing strategy is. Think of it as a roadmap to a destination, with the marketing plan the stops on the way and the mode of transport to get you there.
But, back to the original question – “Why is Marketing Strategy Important to Your Business?”. I thought i’d share a few of my ideas as to why you need a strategy, regardless of the size of your business or organisation.
It informs the decisions you make in your marketing plan
Without a strategy, making decisions about where to promote your business, to whom and with what message becomes very difficult. Your marketing strategy will define your customers, where to find them and the right message to talk to them, three critical elements that will save you both time and money.
A good strategy will give you an edge over your competition
Having a strategy won’t guarantee success, but it will nudge the odds in your favour. Why? Because much like an army preparing for battle or a football team preparing for a game, a strategy will give your team direction, clarity and focus. Each player (employee) will know their role, where they need to be, what they need to do and what success looks like. Also, they’ll know what to do if the shit hits the fan as they’ll be prepared for it!
Your strategy will pull together market data and customer insights into a single place
Your marketing strategy will force you to look at your market and industry, your competitors, your customers and the current economic and political climate. All crucial elements to understand when preparing your business for the future. How can you make informed decisions on your business without understanding the various forces pressing against it?
Your marketing strategy will identify opportunities
Going through the process of creating your strategy you will identify new opportunities for your business. This could be identifying a new market for one of your products, a new customer persona to target or identify a weakness in one of your competitors that you can exploit.
Hoping for the best isn’t a strategy!
“Hope is not a strategy” so says the famous quote.
So why do most businesses just rely on hope?
Hope that they will have enough customers. Hope that customers will come back and buy again. Hope that top salesperson Phil doesn’t get sick. Hope that the market doesn’t take a turn for the worse. Hope that one of the competitors doesn’t up their game. You get the idea!
Having a strategy means you are prepared for as many of the problems you might face in your business. It won’t be perfect, no strategy ever is, but it will provide you with cover against the bullets that will be fired at you in the normal cut and thrust of running a business.
I don’t have a strategy, whats the next step?
Well, lucky for you, I can help!
The next step is simple. It starts with a conversation. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a chat about how a strategy could help your business. No hard sell, just a conversation and maybe it might switch on a few light bulbs. What have you got to lose?