Marketing in South Africa has changed significantly over the past decade, from printed ads in newspapers for local businesses to digital campaigns targeted at a national audience. As we’re halfway through the year 2023, it’s clear that businesses need to create a comprehensive marketing strategy if they want to keep their doors open next year!
If you’re a business owner, or a marketing member of staff, this article is for you. Here we’ll explain the eight steps to creating a marketing strategy in 2023.
What Is A Marketing Strategy?
Before we ramble on about the steps of a strategy, it’s worth taking a moment to explain what we mean by “marketing strategy”. A marketing strategy is an integrated plan that outlines how you’ll promote your products or services through marketing tools to reach your target audience. Think about this as your ‘map’ to success in the marketing world.
Types Of Marketing Strategies
Just like with maps, there are a few different types of marketing. Here are a few types of marketing strategy examples;
Digital Marketing Strategy
A digital marketing strategy focuses on using digital platforms to achieve your goals. It’s typically used by businesses that want to reach customers through the Internet or mobile devices. If you want to know more about this strategy, view this digital marketing strategy example rundown by Starbright.
Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is one of today’s most effective forms of online advertising. A content marketing strategy involves creating content that educates, informs, or entertains your target audience in order to drive conversions. Content writing can be anything from blog posts about your products to customer reviews, white papers, or even viral videos.
Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is an excellent way to connect with potential customers. An email marketing strategy includes:
- Sending out customised emails to existing contacts.
- Crafting targeted campaigns based on customer interests.
- Creating automated emails that are triggered by certain behaviour from the recipient.
These are just a few of the types of strategies available. Before you choose a strategy for your business needs, four pillars must be in order before you move forward.
What Are The Four Pillars Of A Marketing Strategy?
There are four very important pillars that need to be included in a marketing strategy framework:
- Price: This is how much you’ll charge for your products or services.
- Product: Your product offering should meet the needs of the customers in order to be successful.
- Place: Where will customers access your goods? Will it be through a physical store, online channels, or both?
- Promotion: What methods of promotion will you use to reach potential customers?
These four marketing strategy pillars are the basis upon which you will build your marketing plan. Remember to include the following marketing components as well!
Marketing Strategy Components
The components listed below, together with the four pillars, will ultimately create a strong marketing strategy.
The marketing components include:
- Marketing goals: What goals do you want to achieve with your campaigns?
- Marketing budget: How much money will you need to spend on your marketing efforts?
- A competitive analysis: What are your competitors doing? What can you learn from them?
- Segmentation, targeting and positioning: Are you targeting the right audience?
- Content creation plan: What type of content will you create to attract and engage your audience?
- Metrics and KPIs: What metrics can you measure to track your performance?
With the pillars and components by your side, it’s time to create the actual strategy.
8 Steps To Create A Marketing Strategy
In this section, we’ll go into the details of each step. If you’re curious about what an effective marketing strategy looks like in practice, keep on reading!
Step 1: Set up a marketing plan
The terms marketing plan and marketing strategy can be quite confusing as they are often used interchangeably. However, a marketing plan is a plan that companies use to organise and execute the marketing strategy. It is the backbone of your marketing ideas.
Step 2: Conduct market research
This is where your competitor analysis component can help. Market research is the process of understanding the market environment, trends, consumer behaviour and your competitors. This data can help your marketing strategy by providing you with insights into what works and where the opportunities for growth exist.
Step 3: Create a snapshot of your ideal customer
A snapshot of your ideal customer is an essential piece of information to include in your marketing strategy. A customer profile will help you segment and target the right audiences with the right messages.
You should create a detailed description of who your ideal customers are based on demographic, psychographic and behavioural data.
If you want to sell, for example, baby clothes, your ideal customer could be a young mother living in an urban area who likes to keep up with the trends. Your customer snapshot would include her age, purchasing habits, lifestyle and interests.
Step 4: Draw a customer journey map
Now that you know who your ideal customer is, it’s time to create a customer journey map. A customer journey map helps you understand the customer’s entire experience. It starts at the awareness stage and goes all the way through to purchase.
Mapping out the customer journey helps you identify opportunities to strengthen your customer engagement. For example, if there is a gap between steps in the journey, you could send an email or offer a discount code.
Step 5: Write down the goals you want to achieve
If an explorer goes into the wilderness without a goal in mind, there is a good chance that they will get lost. The same applies to marketing strategies – you must have goals and objectives before starting the process.
You should set realistic and achievable goals that are based on your customer’s characteristics, your budget and any other resources available. Moreover, make sure you set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).
Step 6: Select tools to help you stay on track
To keep track of your goals, you should select the right tools to help you stay on track. Many different software programs are available for marketers, but it’s important to choose one that integrates with your existing systems.
Tools like Trello or Asana can be used as a centralised hub for collaboration and project management. There are also social media management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social that can help you manage multiple accounts.
Step 7: Plan your campaigns
Now that you have identified your goals and selected the right tools, it’s time to plan campaigns. Before launching any campaign, make sure you are familiar with the channels available and what kind of content may perform best.
Social media is always a good place to start! Social media marketing campaigns are not only great for brand awareness, but it’s also a powerful tool to generate leads and drive conversions.
Make sure you create an editorial calendar that outlines the types of content being posted, when it will be posted, who it’s intended for and how your audience will benefit from it.
Step 8: Evaluate & adjust the strategy
The final step is to evaluate and adjust. You should do this on a regular basis so you can understand what’s working, what’s not working and how you can improve your approach.
If you’re doing a digital marketing strategy, you can use Google Analytics to measure website traffic, organic searches, bounce rates and conversions.
By understanding the numbers and insights from your campaigns, you’ll be able to make adjustments easily and decide which strategies are worth continuing or need more improvements.
Resources To Create A Marketing Strategy
Creating a marketing strategy can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of resources and tools available that can help make the process easier and more efficient.
You can use a marketing strategy template. These are usually found online for free or can be purchased from digital marketers. These templates provide an easy way to create an outline and set realistic goals.
You could also work with a digital marketing agency like Starbright, which specialises in creating strategies for businesses of all sizes. They’ll have the expertise and resources to help you build a plan that works for your business.
Start Creating Today!
A marketing strategy in 2023 is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. It enables you to create a plan that’s tailored to your goals and objectives so that you can reach your target audience with the right message at the right time.
By following the eight steps we outlined above, plus utilising resources like templates and digital marketing agencies, you should be able to create an effective marketing strategy for your business in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is a marketing strategy example?
A marketing strategy example would be developing a content-focused campaign to promote a product or service. This type of plan would involve creating content such as blog posts, videos, infographics and social media posts that target the ideal customer/client.
2. Why is a marketing strategy important?
A strategy is essential because it provides a framework for developing and executing campaigns that will reach the right people in the right places. It also helps to ensure that all of your efforts are aligned with overall business goals and objectives.
3. How often should I review my marketing strategy?
It’s important to regularly review and evaluate your marketing strategies to ensure that they are still meeting your goals. You should aim for at least once a month to ensure that your campaigns are still on track.