A Guide to Marketing

A Guide to Marketing

When you have an effective marketing strategy in place your business is bound to be successful. When a business does not have a marketing strategy, it will fail to achieve the goals and objectives set out for it. Marketing is made up of various components that are important throughout each stage of a business’s endeavours whether it be long-term or short-term.

What is a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy is the business’s plan to gain leads and turn them into customers of the products or services the business provides. A marketing strategy consists of the business’s value proposition, key brand messaging, data on target customer demographics and other high-level elements. it is a combination of all aspects of the company’s journey and makes each department in the company visible. This allows the company to focus on the resources that are available and discover a solution to use them to the best of their ability so that the company can generate sales and increase its competitive advantage.

The Difference Between a Marketing Strategy and a Marketing Campaign

The main difference is that a marketing strategy framework is long-term and of more of a high level, overall strategic plan that is connected to the entire brand, and its goals. A marketing campaign is short-term initiatives set out to achieve a very specific goal. A marketing strategy should be used to help inform your marketing campaigns. A marketing strategy embodies the bigger picture and a marketing campaign describes the details for each specific project.

The Importance of a Repeatable Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy may require a few regular adjustments but it provides you with a template of where to start it and makes it easier to see similar or improved results from each campaign without having to create a brand new marketing strategy. It also stability and a sense of predictability within the marketing department.

The Importance of a Scalable Marketing Strategy

Once you have a effective marketing strategy in place that is repeatable, you can now also use it for scale. Which means that you can share it with another employee, team, or division of the business. By doing this, the entire company is able to adopt the same marketing strategy for all of the products and services you offer. This will create consistency and help to keep everyone on the same page. When you have an effective plan in place, that is both repeatable and scalable, you can put all your time into focusing on your efforts on improving the strategy rather than wasting a lot of time that you don’t have, worrying about what the strategy is going to be.

Target Market vs Target Audience

The target market is the general group of people who will use and consume the products or services you offer. These people may have similar demographic characteristics such as age, gender, income, and job. The target audience is whoever the business expects to purchase their product or service. The more refined your target audience is, the better your marketing strategy will be as you will be able to create all of the brand marketing content, messaging, and ads with them in mind. Through time, you will gather more insight and will gain a deeper understanding of what type of people your target audience are.

Audience Segmentation

Once you have established your general target market you have to divide them into different segments. Customer segments are made up of a number of subgroups of your overall audience and are defined by their similar needs and wants. Segments could be things such as:

  • Demographic
  • Geographic
  • Behavioural
  • Psychographic

SMART Marketing Objectives and Goals

The SMART method is a commonly used framework in marketing for successfully setting goals and objectives. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. You can ask yourself the following questions according to SMART Marketing goals:

  • Specific – What exactly do I want to achieve?
  • Measurable – How will I know when I’ve reached my goal?
  • Achievable – How can I achieve my goal and is it realistic?
  • Relevant – Is this goal worthwhile? Does it align with our organisational objectives?
  • Time-bound – When is the deadline?

What is a PEST Analysis?

PEST is an acronym that stands for Political, Economic, Social, and Technological analysis. PEST analysis is used to assess these four external factors in relation to your own business. If you want your marketing strategy to run smoothly and be successful, it is crucial to understand any opportunities and/or threats in both the current market and the wider environment. A PEST analysis will help you to better understand the market trends and conditions, as well as help to identify and find solutions to any constraints on your strategy.

  • Political factors – This is an analysis of how politics is affecting the business world.
  • Economic factors – These factors have a direct impact on how much money people have to spend, as well as the cost of products or services.
  • Social factors – The factors consists of all that a society believes; its customs, its practices, and the way it behaves.
  • Technological factors – Keeping up-to-date with with the all the latest technology so you can use it to the advantage of your business.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a basic yet effective technique used by businesses around the world in order to assess and adjust their current position before completing their strategy. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Your strengths and weaknesses are internal elements and are the things you have control over. Opportunities and threats are external elements that you cannot control such as the actions of your competitors or the condition of the market. Ask yourself these questions to conduct a SWOT analysis:

  • Strengths – What do I do well?
  • Weaknesses – Where do I need improvement?
  • Opportunities – What are my goals?
  • Threats – What obstacles do I face?

Your Brand Identity

Your brand identity is the entire experience your prospects and customers have with your company, product, or service. Some of the creative elements include things such as your logo, name, and colour scheme. The wider experience is made up of various elements such as:

  • All marketing materials and images such as web design, packaging, logo, graphics, flyers, business cards, etc.
  • The message you convey on your website, campaigns and advertisements
  • Your communication with your target market/audience
  • The way you treat your employees
  • They way your employees treat your customers.
  • The message your customers are giving out about you to other people.

The Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a product of a blend of multiple ideas. Neil Borden identified 12 variable marketing elements and they are:

  • Product planning
  • Pricing
  • Branding
  • Channels of distribution
  • Personal selling
  • Advertising
  • Promotions
  • Packaging
  • Display
  • Servicing
  • Physical handling
  • Fact-finding analysis

Later, a man named Jerome McCarthy took these 12 elements and put them into 4 different categories also know as the 4 Ps of Marketing.

The 4 Ps and 7 Ps of Marketing

The 4 Ps of Marketing are :

  • Product – This is any goods or services you are selling
  • Place – The location of your product and where you’re going to sell it
  • Price – The price of your product and whether or not it is a good value for money
  • Promotion – The marketing tactics used to spread awareness about your product and how effective they are.

As time went by, it was decided that the 4 Ps of marketing needed an update and that is when the 7Ps of marketing came about. The three additional Ps are as follows:

  • Physical Evidence – Anything that proves your business is real and operating with the law
  • People – The people/staff who represent your brand
  • Processes – The steps taken to execute your product successfully

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is any form of marketing that involves an electronic device and all your companies efforts to market online. There are 5 Ds of digital marketing for you to consider and they are:

  • Digital devices: Smartphones, tablets, desktops, gaming devices, radios, televisions etc
  • Digital platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  • Digital media: Owned or paid-for communications channels such as emails, push notifications, in-app messages, search engines, online advertising, etc.
  • Digital data: Demographic, geographic, psychographic, or behavioural insights. This information is collected via digital channels such as social media, websites, Google Analytics, etc.
  • Digital technologies: Marketing technology companies use. This could mean hosting platforms, automation sites, mobile apps, in-store kiosks, etc.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising aspects of your website and content in order to increase the quality and quantity of targeted traffic your website receives and increase the exposure of your business which then leads to more sales of your product or service.

  • Quality: The amount of people visiting your site needs to be valuable and relevant. There is no point in attracting many viewers if they’re not going to purchase your product, enquire about your services or find value in your content.
  • Quantity: Once you have the right people coming to your website, you need to regularly and consistenly increase the number of unique page views you receive from the search engine results pages (SERPs).

How does SEO Work?

Websites and webpages are ranked by Google by 3 main factors:

  • Relevancy – This relates to the keywords used in your search. The search engine will rapidly explore the internet to find keywords that match or are related to your search
  • Authority – Search engines determine the authority of a website or piece of content based on authoritative indicators such as reviews, affiliate programs, and backlinks which are the number of other pages that link back to that page. The more backlinks a page has, the higher it will rank on Google
  • Usefulness – If Google does not see your content as useful or valuable then it won’t want to rank it highly. When content is useful it means that according to Google’s long-term Staff Software Engineer, Ryan Moulton, there has to be “a balance between popularity and quality”.

Paid Advertising

The digitalisation of most businesses, and the amount of current consumers and prospects that now reside online, means that paid, digital advertising has flourished. There are 5 main types of paid ads:

  • Display – This refers to all digital advertisements that use text, imagery, gifs, video, or any kind of rich media. The purpose of display ads is to create brand awareness and to motivate potential leads to ‘click’ by being prominent on a web page and aesthetically pleasing which demands the attention of viewers.
  • Search – The search ads that are featured on a “SERP” are based on a number of key components such as your keywords, your quality Score, your ad rank and how high your bid is per click.
  • Native Advertising – This is a form of paid, digital advertising where the ad itself is placed amongst content and blends in with the design of the page on which it sits. The aim is for it to look like natural content
  • Social Media – This technique can be seen through sponsored ads as well as posts shared by influencers or celebrities as paid partnerships
  • Remarketing – This is a promotional technique that’s purpose is to re-engage consumers who have shown an interest in a product or service somewhere on the internet.

Almost all of these paid ads use the ‘pay-per-click’ (PPC) approach.

Customer Retention

This is a process of dedicating specific resources to make sure that first-time clients return to your company to make another purchases, continue their subscription or even upgrade their service package. The ability of a business to keep its customers is measured over a predetermined period of time such as monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. Depending on what industry you operate within and the goods or services you offer, the tactics which your business uses to retain clients will be different. Ultimately, the goal of customer retention is to maximise the lifetime value and profitability of each customer.

Analysing Your Marketing Strategy

The final step after planning and implementing a marketing strategy is to measure its results. Today, we are lucky to have the huge advantage of having access to a wide variety of customer data and analytics that we can use to analyse marketing strategy performance and assist any future decisions. Observing your key performance indicators (KPIs) is an important part of your overall strategy as it allows marketers to be much more efficient and make better use of their marketing budget. It’s likely that your competitors are already leveraging their marketing analytics to learn and advance their business, so you and your business need to be doing the same to keep up-to-date. Businesses that use data to inform marketing and sales decisions see a 15-20% increase in marketing Return on investment (ROI)

The Most Important KPIs Marketers Need To Measure

As mentioned before, KPIs are key performance indicators and they are used to measure your business’s perfomance and marketing strategy. They are things such as:

  • Sales revenue
  • Cost per conversion (CPC)
  • Audience behaviours
  • Form conversion rates
  • Social media reach

Contact Shrike Marketing & Design today for any questions regarding your marketing strategy, we would be more than happy to help!