Building an effective marketing strategy and plan

Our top tips for building an effective marketing strategy and plan in an increasingly technology led, mixed media world…

As technology races ahead creating exciting opportunities for marketing on a regional, national, and even global front, there are many basic stalwarts of marketing that seem to be overlooked in translation today. Lets take a look at the main fundamentals in creating a robust marketing plan that have stood the test of time and are still very much applicable today.

We have all been there… You have just had the ‘Eureka’ moment, and just what a brilliant idea! How could this not have been thought of before? Surely millions of people would just be desperate to have your new product or service?

Now your focus is leaving that job you hate and telling your ‘Boss’, just exactly what you think of them! Then the cold hard reality kicks in…

…just how do you go from here to being the successful owner of that business that has delivered your idea and your dream?

Here are our top-tips and thoughts to start, build your plan, and keep on the right path to marketing success.

Do the research and determine just ‘WHO ARE’ your Target Audience?

The most important basic of any marketing strategy and plan, is to find out just who are your target customers? Not just a case of simply ‘Alan down the road’, but an in-depth picture of who they are. What they aspire to be, what they consume on a daily basis, their home life and work life. Their education level, where they go on holiday, who they associate with, where do they meet up, what they do in their spare time, their family, the brands they wear and aspire to own. What they read, watch and listen to, and drive. Finally just what is the pain they experience that your product or service will solve for them?

Only by determining this in-depth clear picture and understanding of your target customers can you create, plan and execute a clear, engaging marketing strategy that will deliver results.

Be the solution to your Target Customer’s pain

By clearly understanding the pain that your target customers experience will enable you to create the marketing messages that will directly engage with them. Building a level of trust, empathy and attention. Making your brand, product or service stand out, grabbing their interest and creating a need and desire for your wares.

Create and document your plan

Following your research it is now important to document your plan. Not only to have a central source that can help alleviate any miscommunication between your internal teams, but also as a vehicle to refer back to when revisiting and evaluating the effectiveness of your initial marketing activity. As with all marketing there will be a period of delivery, after which always have a review where you can value your spend against the return this activity has brought.

In this plan define what are your marketing goals and your plan to achieve them? Asking questions about where any planned activity will be delivered is key. Is this a mix of traditional and digital channels for example; Press and Radio advertising to drive brand and product /service awareness, mixed with social media activity? Is your target customer easily found on Facebook? Would direct mail campaigns engage? Especially with a key message that drives to heart of the target customer with a clear call to action to push their response.

Content and its creation is still King!

Become the expert! Developing quality content should become your goal, as content marketing is now seen as the one of the core marketing ways to educate and engage your target audience.

Making it personal will also build that emotional connection to your brand, which even with recent massive technology advancements, any kind of human touch still counts for a great deal when creating marketing communications.

At first its creation can be expensive and very time consuming if created in-house, but when done correctly, and a plan set down for consistent delivery, it builds a channel of communication that for your target audience explains your values, what you offer and why they should buy from your business. All this WITHOUT directly selling to them!

Collaborations with social media influencers

Would the idea of collaborating with top influencers provide another direction to engage with your target audience? Today there are a large number of Instagram stars or influencers, who have direct access and influence over millions of their active and engaged followers. Would this be a route for brand awareness, and endorsement of your products and services?

Focus on and let Customers interact with and give you feedback

Wherever your customers are they will want to engage and interact with you and teams, to give their feedback, their opinions and even their complaints. Having a vehicle to quickly and easily allow this interaction will build stronger loyalty with your existing customers, which in turn will make them more likely to refer your brand, products or services to their friends and family.

We hope these thoughts and tips have given you some food for thought, when considering and creating a marketing strategy and plan of activity for your business.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For help with marketing, contact our expert* Phil on LinkedIn.

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.