Creating marketing strategies is not an easy process. It requires you to have both very formalized and informal skills, depending on what level of strategy you are creating.
Formalizing your strategic planning can be done through various tools and techniques. These include using structured business models and frameworks, such as those used in the field of marketing management.
When developing your own personal framework or toolset for strategizing, there are two main things that you should consider. First, how well this tool works with other similar tools. Second, if it’s intuitive and simple to use, which helps in making sure that people will actually use the tool.
This article will go over one such tool — the field of marketing management. If you are already familiar with this tool, then you know some of the basics about why and how it can be applied to marketing. For others, these concepts may be new so let me give a brief explanation first.
Marketing management as a field focuses on optimizing the market performance of a product or service via five basic steps: identify a need, determine appropriate alternatives, choose best, implement, monitor, evaluate, repeat.
These steps sound pretty straightforward, right? But like anything else, when implemented properly, they can produce amazing results! This brings us back to our initial topic, which is why having the knowledge of the fundamentals of marketing management is important.
A few years ago, there was an explosion of “novel” strategies that marketers were using to reach out to customers. Some of these strategies seemed more effective than others, but none have really took off as a clear winner.
That is, until now!
The latest trend in marketer innovation comes from the field of psychology. What we refer to as strategic frameworks come with educational materials and software programs designed to help you apply the concepts in the framework in any area of your life.
Strategic Frameworks are efficient way to organize and understand complex ideas or theories.
They work by laying out steps to consider next and supporting evidence before coming to conclusions. This makes it easier to process information, and put together pieces that are already connected.
A Strategic Framework for Marketing
Over the past year, several different marketing frameworks have emerged that can be applied to aid in formulating new business strategies or re-aligning current ones.
As we have seen, one of the biggest reasons why marketers find themselves without a clear strategy is because they are trying to do too many things at once. They try to be everywhere their business has a presence, all at the same time.
They also may not stick to their strategies due to changing trends or marketing philosophies that come and go.
By narrowing your focus, you can more effectively use your resources to achieve your overall goals. You will still keep up with what’s happening in the market, but you won’t waste energy focusing on activities that don’t contribute much towards your goal.
Here are some examples of ways to narrow your focus:
Targeting specific products instead of brands
Segmenting your audience so that only targeted messages reach them
Limiting yourself to certain channels (for example, instead of both social media and direct mail, you choose just one)
Having daily routines or practices that help you stay focused (like having breakfast before work)
This doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to doing only two things, though! Having a wide range of tools and experiences is good if it helps you connect with people and learn about new things.
But remember, take time to evaluate whether these things are truly helping you meet your long-term goals.
Being aware of your marketing strategies is one thing, actually executing them is another. Without connections, you would not have anywhere to focus your energy.
Business owners spend time thinking about their next move, but few take the necessary steps to make it happen. This is very common in marketers who start putting effort into something new and stop half way through.
It’s easy to get distracted by all of the other things that you need to do to keep up with your job – keeping in touch with friends, family, colleagues and so on.
These distractions can be tough to avoid if you don’t take time to maintain strong relationships.
But we’re telling you right now — investing in these relationships is an essential part of your career growth as a marketer.
And we’ll tell you how to invest in them properly.
As we mentioned before, knowing who your audience is can play an important role in marketing strategy formation. If you don’t know who your audience is yet, that's okay! There are many ways to find this out.
You could do some research and read through their documents or statements to see what they say about themselves. You could talk to people around you that know them well and get their input. Or you could just use your gut instinct and psychology to determine if there are any patterns with how they behave.
By using these different strategies, you'll be able to figure out who your audience is and what types of messages appeal to them.
A good way to test your marketing strategy is by looking at the comparisons of benchmarks. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most common is to evaluate its effectiveness in comparison to other strategies you have used in past years.
By comparing what works now with what worked before, you can determine if there are any changes needed or not. You may find that something you've been doing has slowed down the growth of your business, so it's time to look into why.
You could also find that some things you're using as parts of your campaign no longer work as well as they did, which again means it's time to find replacements.
A good way to test your marketing strategy is to put it into action! If you have an idea that seems sound, then try it out. You can do this by creating content using your current strategies as well as incorporating what new strategies you have tested.
By testing different approaches, you will find that some don’t work as well as others. This is okay! You will be able to identify which ones are less effective and drop them, or add in more of those things in your existing strategies.
You get to decide if your current strategies are working so there is no need to keep putting energy into things that aren’t changing anything. It is important to evaluate how successful your current tactics are though, as sometimes people make false assumptions about why their changes didn’t work.
For example, if your marketing strategies haven’t worked, maybe they were not implemented correctly. Make sure to consider cost effectiveness, engagement, etc. when evaluating whether or not your strategies worked.
The second key to marketing strategy formation is tracking your success. You will want to keep a constant eye on how well your strategies are working, as well as making changes when needed.
It’s easy to get distracted by all of the different tasks that must be done, so it's good to have a system where you can easily track your performance.
A simple way to do this is using numbers!
You can use analytical tools like spreadsheets or software to gather information about your business and compare it to past weeks, months, or years.
This helps you identify what works and doesn’t work in terms of revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, and more.
A well-crafted marketing strategy has a steady rhythm of activities that are organized into an easy to follow sequence called a launch. This is similar to what stage actors do before they hit their big break – the launch is when all the pieces come together.
Your launch should be designed with one goal in mind — to generate word of mouth about your product or service. By having this as your main focus, it can easily divert onto another track, but if you’re planning it right, you will know when it has its success.
You can use different strategies at your launch, from social media posts to advertisements, but none matter unless they create a continuous flow in conversations around your brand and products.