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Why a marketing strategy is crucial to your business

One of the key ways we achieve success in any business is by making people aware of the products and services we offer, and convincing them that our offering is better than that of our competitors.

How do we do that? For starters, by means of a cunning marketing strategy that’s systematically rolled out and carefully monitored. However, such strategies don’t just pop out of nowhere like the proverbial rabbit from the black top hat.

In the Age of Overload, it takes concentration, dedication and perspiration – usually partnered with a lot of experimentation to get your strategy pitch perfect.

The fact is that what works for one business also won’t necessarily work for another. A lot of people make the basic mistake of following trends. “Everyone’s on Instagram, so we must be too,” we tell ourselves. Every website has pop ups, cookies and virtual assistants. Everyone has their own app. So I need to get one – yesterday!”

Nope. You don’t necessarily need what everybody’s got. As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. And that’s what’s great about working with an agency like ours.

We assess your brand and tell you where the gaps are. We guide you towards distilling your brand essence and defining your goals – and we put that strategy in place and run it on your behalf.

Not because you can’t do it yourself. But because we have the time, resources and expertise to do so while you carry on managing other aspects of the business. It’s about being realistic and sensible.

The good news is that even before you go the agency route, there’s a lot you can do streamline the process. And while it may sound like Marketing 101, you’d be surprised by how many clients actually don’t do the most basic things to ensure marketing cohesion in their business. And usually this is due to lack of time and internal resources.

In our industry we often find that clients, especially those with small to medium businesses (SME’s), don’t plan for change or forthcoming product/service launches carefully enough.

There’s no long- term vision and everything get’s done last minute or in a panic. That’s pretty counterproductive.

Having goals and plans, in any industry, is always a good idea. That’s why you have a business, after all. To be successful, you have to be forward thinking and future aware. You want to see your business grow, flourish and prosper. You want to provide jobs and earn a respectable living. You may want to build a legacy. Maybe you’ve taken over the family business, or you’ve qualified in your profession or trade, or perhaps you’re a fast-thinking, creative-minded entrepreneur who’s seen a gap in the market.

Whatever the case, plans need to be made, strategies laid and budgets drawn up to get your business where it needs to be. When a business grows to fast, things fall by the wayside.

There’s a lot of scrabbling around and last-minute rushing to get any new business off the ground, when in fact, your yearly marketing plan already anticipate what lies ahead – by AT LEAST 12 months.

Yes, even if you are new to the game – in fact, especially then.

Obviously unexpected thing happen, which is fine because contingency plans can also be made. WE have to be adaptable even with a strategy in place. However, you do need a basic framework if you hope for any measure of consistent success.

Systems work. Planning works. Strategy works. So do it.

Here’s how you start:

1. Draw up a vision and mission statement of what you want to communicate to market about your business and brand ethos.

2. Draw up a list of priorities breaking down messaging according to urgency. For example: Do you need to tell your clients about a new product? Do you need to tell them about your expansion into a new area or a new market? Do you simply need to remind them that you are around still doing what you do best?

3. Create a year calendar. Diarise basic monthly promotions on a fixed schedule according to platform and with an allocated budget. Think about busy times in your business and plan to promote accordingly. Be visible. Provide what the market needs even before they need it. Be ready.

Get someone (internally or an outsourced contractor) to do an analysis of your market positioning vis-à-vis your biggest competitors.

4. Draw up your marketing budget and allocate spend. Rather work on fewer platforms and master your craft than spend on all platforms ‘for the sake of it.’ Yes Google adwords makes sense for most businesses but not for all. Especially not if it isn’t implemented correctly. So get someone who knows their stuff to help you choose where you need to be seen.

2019 is around the corner. So take these steps now. And we guarantee that next year you will grow. If you need proof in your pudding, utilise our analytical results reporting and see for yourself. Seeds become trees and trees, orchards with the right approach.

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