How to Write a Marketing Strategy
9 Easy Steps to Developing a Marketing Strategy that Drives Business Results
Write a marketing strategy that will drive business results by following these nine straightforward steps.
By developing a marketing strategy which is carefully thought through and aligns with business goals, you will see a significantly higher return on investment from your marketing efforts.
1. Research Your Target Market
All good marketing strategies begin by really understanding your market, your competition and your customers. Follow the steps in this article on putting together your marketing research plan to evaluate your market size and trends and your competitors and potential partners. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can also be a useful tool.
2. Assess Your Competition
You cannot effectively position your product or service without doing a thorough competitive analysis. Use the steps recommended in this article on competitive marketing strategy to identify and assess your competition.
3. Get to Know Your Target Customer
It is important to have a really detailed picture of your ideal target customer: those customers who will generate you the best long-term business value. This competitive marketing strategy article provides some steps to follow to put together a target customer profile for your product or service.
4. Describe Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Once you know your target customer, and the specific pain points that your product or service addresses, then you can articulate your Unique Selling Proposition or USP. Basically, your USP should be a concise description of the ways in which your product or service is the best at solving that pain point, articulated in terms of customer benefits.
5. Define Your Marketing Goals
You can’t write a marketing strategy or plan until you know what the goal of your marketing efforts is. Are you trying to increase revenue from existing customers? Are you seeking new prospects? Is your goal to grow market share, increase revenue, increase customer lifetime value, or something else?
6. Identify Your Marketing Strategies
You are now ready to write the marketing strategies. These are basically the rules that will guide your tactical marketing decisions. For example, if your target customers rely heavily on the advice of a particularly influential company or figure, then an important strategy might be to execute some joint marketing activities with that influencer. Come up with a list of 3-5 key marketing strategies. Each strategy should support your marketing goal, drive home your USP, and address your target customer's pain point.
7. Define Your Marketing Mix
Defining the marketing mix involves making decisions about pricing, promotion, product positioning, and place (or distribution/delivery channels). Take a look at this article about developing your marketing mix strategy, and use your marketing goal and marketing strategies in that decision process.
8. Write down Your Marketing Plan
The final step in the process is to write down your marketing plan, which will become a written record of the steps above, and identify the key marketing activities you plan to drive over the next 6 to 18 months. This article goes over how to write your marketing plan.
9. Review Marketing Results & Re-assess Your Plan
Your marketing plan is not a static document. You should measure results from your marketing activities, and re-assess your plan on at least a quarterly basis.