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The Importance Of Having A Marketing Strategy

Strategic marketing is about the BIG picture. If you want to massively improve your results you need to think strategically.

A marketing strategy is a focused plan, which will usually be split into bite size chunks – monthly, quarterly and annual. It’s a flexible plan, which needs to be reviewed regularly.  You need to know what works and what doesn’t.  You need to know what needs fixing and what needs discarding.

Tactical marketing

Tactical marketing is how most small business owners market their services.  Often they will be looking for the one killer marketing tactic which will make them rich and successful.  Because they’re  thinking short term, looking for a quick fix, they usually have no overall marketing strategy or co-ordinated approach to the market. Decisions are made and actions taken in isolation, which don’t build upon other activities.

This may manifest itself by undertaking a particular piece of marketing – say direct mail or email marketing. If after one or two forays into the market they don’t get the result they were hoping for, they abandon it.

They would never think of developing a 6 month campaign with each communication building on the previous one, until they have constructed a compelling proposition which generates a fantastic response and earns them a load of money.

Instead they continue to produce ad hoc activity which fails to deliver the desired results and so is gently abandoned..

Marketing strategy first – marketing tactics second

If you want to start seeing some real, measurable progress, you need to know what your marketing strategy is.  Only then, can you possibly know what the correct tactics will be for what you want to achieve.  Otherwise, it’s like trying to plan a route somewhere, when you don’t have a destination!

Decide what you want to achieve and get specific.  This means putting some numbers together, such as your target turnover, profits, unit sales, client numbers etc.  Then, decide what resources you are prepared to invest to make this happen.  For example, how much time / money are you able to invest in your marketing?  Until you know exactly what your resources are, you cannot possibly select the correct marketing tactics for your overall strategy.

So, it’s strategy first, the overall big picture of how you’re going to approach your market, followed by your tactics which will enable you achieve your strategy.