The First Step in Your Marketing Strategy: What Should You Prioritise?

Mar 18, 2024
News & Updates

How to create a strategy that is right for YOUR business and true to your values.

When it comes to marketing strategy, it’s important to establish a strong foundation to build upon. This foundation begins with the first step of your strategy. But what should that first step be? With the many moving parts involved in marketing, determining the answer may feel overwhelming. We get it. That's precisely why we've curated these valuable insights to assist you in prioritising the initial step of your marketing strategy. In the first instalment of our two-part series, we're here to provide you with the necessary guidance to kickstart your journey!

Step 1: Identify your business goals

Aligning your marketing strategy with your business goals is paramount for long-term success. By considering your objectives for the next 12 months to 10 years, you can create a comprehensive plan that effectively promotes your products or services. Understanding your business goals allows you to tailor your marketing efforts towards reaching the right audience, maximising your return on investment (ROI), and ultimately driving growth. 

By integrating your business goals into your marketing strategy, you ensure that all your marketing initiatives are aligned with your overall vision, creating a cohesive and impactful approach that propels your business forward.

Step 2: Get clear on your vision, mission and values

Getting clear on your vision, mission, and values is crucial for business growth and establishing a marketing strategy. Your vision represents the ultimate destination you want to reach, providing a sense of purpose and direction. A well-defined mission outlines the actions and strategies you will undertake to achieve that vision. Lastly, your values are guiding principles that shape your decisions and behaviours. By aligning your vision, mission, and values, you can create a solid foundation for success and make meaningful progress towards your goals.

Step 3: Lock in your brand voice and look

Having a consistent brand look and voice is a crucial element of a successful marketing strategy. It helps to establish a strong and recognisable identity for your brand, making it easier for customers to identify and connect with your products or services. Consistency in branding creates a sense of trust and reliability, as it shows that your brand is committed to delivering a consistent experience to your audience. A cohesive brand look and voice also help to differentiate your brand from competitors, enabling you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. By maintaining a consistent brand look and voice, you can effectively communicate your brand values, build brand loyalty, and ultimately drive business growth.

Step 4: Research Your Ideal Customer/Audience

Your customers are the backbone of your business, and getting to know them is the first step to building a successful marketing strategy. Who are they? What drives them to make purchases? Understanding your audience allows you to create more targeted messaging and better align your products or services to their needs.

Begin by creating buyer personas, which are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer. Identify their age, gender, income, location, personal interests, and purchasing behaviours. Additionally, use data analytics tools to track customer behaviours and gather insights.

Step 5: Analyse Your Market & Competition

The next step is to analyse your market and competition. This includes examining market trends, identifying leaders and disruptors in your industry, and understanding your competition's strategies. This step is particularly crucial because the information gathered can help inform your own marketing decisions.

Start by researching market trends and conducting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) for your business. Identify what sets your brand apart from your competitors, then use that information to create strategies that highlight your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses.

Step 6: Audit Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats (SWOT)

Conducting a SWOT analysis is crucial to understanding your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It gives you a comprehensive understanding of your organisation, products, and services, which helps guide your marketing strategy.

In addition to examining your own strengths and weaknesses, consider external factors that may affect your business. This includes the political and economic environment, market competition and consumer behaviour. Evaluating your business through a SWOT analysis allows you to identify potential opportunities for growth and address possible threats.

Step 7: Research Your Distribution & Promotion Tactics

Distribution and promotion tactics are at the core of any marketing campaign. It’s important to understand the best ways to reach your target audience.

Research various channels that have proven to be effective in your industry. This includes social media, email marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising. Additionally, consider your budget, audience demographics, and industry trends. Once you have gathered this information, you can adjust your distribution strategy to focus on the tactics that will work best for your business.

Step 8: Know Your Financials

It goes without saying that a successful marketing campaign requires financial resources. Before developing a marketing strategy, factor in your budget, revenue, and the return on investment (ROI) you’re looking for. A solid understanding of your financials ensures that your marketing goals align realistically with your business’s budget and that your investment is deployed in the most effective way possible.

Developing a marketing plan takes significant effort but the benefits are exhaustive. Breaking it down into strategic and practical steps can give business owners a clear path towards success. Be smart about the process, be patient, and stay organised. Do proper research and audit before developing your marketing strategy. It is important to stay flexible as market trends change. Above all, always try to get to know your potential and existing customers. Building lasting relationships with them is the foundation for any company's long-term success.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our series out in April! 

If you would like help to develop your marketing strategy, get in touch with with senior strategy team at Blue Clay Creatives, we love to help businesses thrive!