Whether you are a small business or a fortune 500 company you need a Marketing strategy. One would think that its common sense to have one, however many business owners fall into the trap of marketing and spending budget on advertising without a clear cut plan in place, and then they wonder why their marketing just doesn’t seem to be working.
Whilst marketing strategy and marketing plans go hand in hand. The one can’t come before the other.

Strategy first. Then plan it!
It is essential to sit down at the beginning of your year and ask not only what it is that you want to achieve that year but how does that fit in with your bigger picture in 5 /10 years.
Here are 5 questions you can ask to help you in defining your strategy:

1: YOUR GOAL: If you put your Marketing plan into place, what do you realistically want it to achieve at the end of the year? It is not good enough to say: ‘I want loads of customers’ Put a tangible figure in place. For example: I wish to have an increase of 10% in revenue month on month. Be realistic and honest with yourself. This will be related to the amount of marketing and advertising you do.

2: CURRENT MARKETING PLAN: What do you currently do in terms of marketing? Are you able to distinguish what works and what doesn’t? Where are you lacking? This is not about putting the plan in place, that comes later. It’s about looking at all your current marketing channels – Website, Newsletter, Twitter, Facebook etc and looking at where you are lacking or need to change.

3: DEFINE YOUR CUSTOMER: Who do you want to reach and is it clearly defined? This goes hand in hand with your business plan. When you started your business you had an idea what you wanted to do and who you wanted to reach. Make sure that customer is defined…..then finding ways to reach them is the easy part.

4: KNOW WHO YOU ARE: As per the point above. Know exactly what it is that you offer. Cut out the clutter and keep it simple. Diversifying can come later.

5: ALL ABOARD! Make sure that you and your team are all on board and agree with the strategy.
Marketing Strategy is not the sexy or fun part of marketing your business but it is definitely essential in making sure that your foundation is properly setup to make your business a success!