Unfortunately, most businesses today bypass the disciplined process of strategic planning which can set a clear light on quantifiable benchmarks for stakeholders, partners, and customers. Many times, management plans are just a combination of past business experiences, anecdotal market knowledge, and intuitive decision-making.
However, to succeed, every organization needs to invest in a comprehensive marketing strategy to grow and prosper.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all. And strategy is not just performing campaigns. A real strategy begins with auditing current efforts and using the findings to discover what pieces are working, what pieces are missing, and if you’re heading towards success. It then morphs into an approved roadmap that marries channels and tactics to technologies to achieve short and long-term goals.
The first step of any business strategy process is the discovery stage. This is where your team really begins to understand what you’re trying to accomplish, what’s necessary to get you there, and what to look at differently. The next stage is to identify areas to optimize and any new areas that you should focus on. This helps eliminate any potential missed opportunities. Formulating this type of cohesive strategy allows you to then reach your target audiences more effectively on the platforms they prefer. Between the 5,000 ads that the average person sees every day, it’s imperative to stand out. And if you aren’t reaching your customers where they are, another company will.
For many, marketing is a necessary but separate activity from the primary work of the business, a task added to the end of the business process to communicate the availability of products or services through advertising. In other words, marketing is a set of tactics that occur after everything else is complete.
But as marketers, it is our obligation to keep an eye on evolving consumer trends and the social, economic, and political factors that drive them. We are expected to be agile, which means that we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. The market is ever on the move, and you ought to move with it by keeping your ears on the ground. Revamping your marketing strategies will ensure that your marketing efforts are ahead of the curve, whether it’s automating communications, exploring new channels, or optimizing through emerging technologies.
It’s hard to believe that over 47% of marketers have no digital strategy at all, according to SmartInsights.
Yet creating one is a critical component in marketing, since most prospects are constantly connected via their smartphone, laptop, or desktop. A strong digital strategy has many benefits, it can help you leverage automation technologies, utilize predictive analytics, and increase customer lifetime value by understanding your customers way beyond just analytics. Designing a strategy usually begins with a complete Digital Transformation Analysis. So, whether it’s testing out new digital tools, targeting new audiences, or trying a new tactic—without a clear strategy, it won’t be a cohesive experience, and you won’t stand out from the crowd. It doesn’t matter if you have a digital marketing degree or tons of experience, without a clear strategy you will easily underestimate a lot of things.
In short, a solid strategy helps outline a clear path to strategic goals and establishes a unified vision that is aligned with every department.
To design one, you need to determine what success looks like and create your strategy around it to help you get there. One of the biggest benefits to a good strategy is the ability to track ROI, ensuring that you can support the operations behind your plans.
For example, you can avoid time and resource wasting, such as different parts of a marketing department purchasing different tools or using different agencies to accomplish similar marketing tasks. You can eliminate such costly duplication with an effective strategy. You can also avoid the risks that come with disintegration, this occurs when marketing is accomplished in silos. If your digital marketer sits in the IT department, it is a disaster just waiting to happen.
Not sure what your strategy should look like? Or maybe you don’t have the time or bandwidth? Connect with an Apex IT Theorem Marketing Acceleration Advisor. We’d be happy to discuss a customized ‘next level’ strategy with you and show you where you stand on our proprietary Capability Maturity Model (CMM).
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