In our first two blogs of this five-part series, we covered marketing philosophy and determining goals and objectives in a realistic, challenging and measurable way. In our third blog, we take a look at setting marketing strategies.
Step 3 – Set Marketing Strategies
A well-crafted marketing plan must start with focused goals and objectives to effectively move the business forward. Once determined, the next step in the process is developing sound strategies for achieving those goals and objectives.
Many times when companies go off the rails, it’s because they skipped strategy development and raced right toward tactics. They’ll go right into a series of what eventually becomes unrelated, uncoordinated marketing tactics. At the onset, tactics may “intuitively” appear to make sense, but their collective lack of strategic focus on the company’s goals creates a disjointed and often random marketing presence, resulting in Random Acts of Marketing Syndrome (RAMS).
RAMS is a disease that strikes thousands of companies every year who randomly deploy marketing tactics that have no strategic purpose or direction. RAMS is not discerning either. It strikes companies large and small, old and new. Are you wondering if your company is suffering from RAMS? Here are some symptoms to look for:
- There’s an empty file where your marketing plan should be
- Your blog is showcasing your latest post…from July 22, 2012
- You’re putting QR Codes on everything and you don’t have a mobile version of your website. BTW – if you are still using QR Codes, that’s a whole another issue.
- You have the unexplainable urge to spam random information about your company to every email address in your CRM database
- You don’t have a CRM database
Tactics are great and clearly an essential part of any marketing plan, but tactics without strategy are about as effective as a car without a steering wheel. Sure, you can step on the gas pedal and the car will move fast, but what are the chances it gets you where you want to go?
The confusion often lies when strategies and tactics are viewed as synonymous. Not the case. Strategies are things you need to do in order to accomplish your goals. If your goal dictates where you want the company to be, the strategy is the route you need to take to get there.
So if your goal is to increase revenue 12% in the next year, some sample strategies could be:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase hourly rates or pricing
- Increase overall sales volume
- Sell more higher-priced services and/or products
- Some combination some or all of the above
Come back next week for the fourth essential step for developing a strategic marketing plan, Determining Tactics. Afraid you may forget? Subscribe to our blog to get the latest posts delivered right your in box.
If you’d like to learn more about how to develop a strategic marketing plan, feel free to send us a message or give us a call at 440-449-6800.