Do You Have a Marketing Strategy and Plan for Your Business in 2018?

Do you have a marketing strategy and plan for your business?

Without a marketing strategy and plan, you can’t attain your business goals. It’s 101 for a business.

Whether you are a startup, entrepreneur, or business, preparing a strategy for the first time, or tweaking your existing plan, this is the first and most important piece of your roadmap to success.

A smart marketing plan begins with a smart strategy.

Your First Step – A Marketing Strategy:

You need to be focused. You need a clear message. You need a process.

A marketing strategy is the overarching, big picture plan, the high-level road map to help you attain your business goals. After all, you can’t get there if you don’t know where you’re going!

The goal of a marketing strategy is to dive deeply into your business, your sales process, your target market, your message and current marketing to understand your successes and pinpoint your challenges.

You need to clarify your goals and objectives that will deliver results.

You should identify your niche markets, core messaging, elevator pitch and mission, values and vision statement. This is the foundation of your marketing plan and makes up the specific mix of marketing activities that will drive revenue.

During your marketing strategy, you should assess the following:

– Organization Overview & Mission
– Current Messaging, Elevator Pitch, Value and Vision Statement
– Products and/or Services
– Goals & Success Metrics
– Brand Positioning
– Target Markets & Ideal Customer
– Marketing Audit: Marketing Budget, Advertising (print/online), E-mail, Seasonal Promotions/other
– Social Media Marketing Audit: Content Strategy (images, videos), Social Media Channels, Blogging
– Website Review & Assessment
– Competitor Site Review
– Search Engine Optimization

Your Second Step – A Detailed Marketing Plan:

You need to be seen. You need to be heard. You need to be found.

The next step is a to put together a detailed marketing plan from the information you gathered from your marketing strategy.

This is an in-depth marketing roadmap, infrastructure and plan that will be used for your marketing. It will include developing content, developing promotional offers, most effective social media channels to be active on, email marketing, building an email list, and budget for Facebook advertising.

This detailed Marketing Plan will help your business or organization become more structured, and is something you can implement straightaway in order to see success and become more profitable.

A marketing strategy and plan is the KEY to your success. Don’t procrastinate and start them today.

Strategic Customer Attraction Marketing Blueprint

With the ever changing face of the economy based on varying factors [such as government protectionism, automation of industries, downsizing of companies] the trend to more and more people choosing to start their own business for various reasons continue to rise. With that said – along with this trend there is an increasing need for structured marketing process and client acquisition processes and methodologies to be utilised within these businesses in order to transform a startup into a fully functional revenue generating entity.

It is often the case that many smaller businesses are product rather than market focussed. In many cases we find that there is no actual marketing department so to speak of and as a consequence the function of marketing within the company ends up being fulfilled ‘as and when’.

We can contrast this to what we find in any larger organisation or corporate; we find an actual marketing department, with qualified marketing professionals who are analysing the market, target customers and competition, they continually look for trends and movements in their chosen space in order to refine the marketing message and continually push the communication through the channels. This is to include the distribution channel [where appropriate], print media, radio, catalogues etc, etc and of course the use of digital marketing channels [social media, email marketing, video marketing, micro blogging and more].

The above is what leads to the typical ongoing market penetration that we see within these organisations leading to new products and services development a steady stream of new clients and the nurturing of existing clientele.

It is with the smaller organisation in mind, the solopreneur or work from home business owner that any strategic business attraction marketing blueprint is targeted towards. This is one or two steps down from making use of an in person consultant that will look to understand the business operations and put specific structures in place that when followed; will first provide a deeper understanding of the market place and target market clients but will also provide the foundation for providing the products and services that the intelligence directs the company towards producing.

It is recommended that organisations looking to add structure and processes to the marketing and client acquisition aspect of their businesses direct their energies to these main fundamentals.

  1. Client Strategy & Preparation
  2. Setting Up Key Business Processes & Systems
  3. Getting Clients While You Sleep
  4. Follow Up & Retention

1) Gaining a deeper understanding of the needs, desires and behaviour of the clients no matter what the industry will drive the decisions that are made in relation to the products and services that are developed and presented to the market space.

2) Key systems and processes such as continuous market intelligence related to pricing and customer behaviour can help to take the organisation to the next level and gain a significant competitive advantage over other companies supplying related or similar products and services.

3) The marketing process for bringing new prospects into the marketing funnel must be an ongoing activity; whilst focusing on servicing existing clients it is imperative that someone is taking care of make new clients aware of the needs that your organisation can fill.

4) Too often it is the failure to followup and keeping in touch that leads to the loss of valuable customers; depending on the business tools such as email marketing, videos, membership sites and print media may be used in order to stay at the top of the mind of the target customer.

Once the process has been developed it will then be a matter of refining it [say once a quarter] whilst some is taking care of the execution which will lead to new customers, sales and products and services leading to increased revenue generation.

Digital Marketing Degree at UofM Dearborn

I am currently enrolled as a student at the University of Michigan Dearborn College of Business. My majors are Digital Marketing and Information Technology Management. I think the weight of this duel degree will carry a special edge upon entering the business world. UofM Dearborn was one of the very first schools to offer this specialized degree in Digital Marketing. It is important to understand how this degree is different than a normal Marketing degree and the ramifications it will have for the business world.

Why is this degree so important? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the market research analysts and marketing specialists increase in number is at 32% expectancy during 2012-2022, surpassing the national average of merely 11% for other professions. This is clear evidence that not only will jobs in this field be available, but businesses will be actively seeking out candidates to fill these positions. Commonly, a business faces a dilemma when looking to hire digital marketers. They must either hire a person skilled in regular marketing that must be trained extensively or they must hire in a seasoned digital marketing veteran that requires a much higher salary. Businesses instead will now be looking to fill this void with students that have this pertinent degree.

More and more businesses are moving their marketing campaigns to focus heavily on their online platforms. The perks of marketing this way are more extensive than merely reaching a wider audience than other marketing means. Online marketing allows for real time analytics to be transferred back to the people running the campaign. This allows the business to alter and change their campaign as they see fit. Also, in this day and age information is king. Digital marketing allows for companies to collect their own information and data free of charge.

Here at the University of Michigan Dearborn, we have classes that focus mainly on digital marketing and are supplemented with traditional marketing courses. These classes range from learning how to rank a webpage on the first page of Google to processing and transposing data analytics in a meaningful way. The core classes required for the digital marketing major are as follows:

  • Digital Consumer Search and Marketing
  • Communications Strategy and New Media
  • Digital Analytics and Content
  • Marketing and Research
  • E-tailing and Retailing

From here a student must also choose two of the following classes:

  • Managing Electronic Commerce Systems
  • Understanding Consumers
  • Marketing Management
  • Global Marketing and Consumer Culture
  • Database Systems 1
  • Advanced Computer Applications

All of these requirements are in addition to the normal classes needed for a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.

The uses of this degree are endless. A person with this degree is equipped to handle social media pages, website management, content management, digital analytics, etc. With everything going digital these days, it only make sense that marketing will continue down this path too.