You may be thinking that coming up with a marketing strategy for your business or organization is a daunting task. Yes, that’s true, but you can take smaller steps to help strategize and come up with a plan that will make sense for you. These steps are meant to serve as a guide to help you stay on track and keep focus towards your goals and objectives, utilize the right messaging, hit your target audience, and manage specific tools and tactics to promote your business or organization. Follow along with these six steps and see where your business fits in.
Step 1: What is your situational analysis?
Where is your business currently? Do an audit of your marketing and communications efforts. Everything from your brand and logo, to your messaging, marketing collateral, website, social media, advertising, and public relations. This will help you see where your strengths and weaknesses may be and areas where you can improve and grow.
Also, identify what your core challenges are. In order for your business to realize success based on strategies you come up with, you must remedy issues brought to light in this process.
Step 2: Identify your primary stakeholders and target audience.
Who are you trying to reach as a customer base? Figure out if you are reaching other businesses, consumers, or groups of people that fit within a certain demographic or geographic region. This will help you target your tools and tactics so that you are not wasting advertising and marketing dollars on consumers who will likely not interact with your business.
Let’s think about it like this. Say I own a brewery in Palm Springs, California (I wish…). Should I advertise on Facebook and Instagram? Probably. However, I should target my audience to ages 21+, who have shown an interest in beer, who live in or around Palm Springs, or are potentially traveling to Palm Springs. The 17-year-old girl in Florida posting selfies probably isn’t my target audience. (Check back for a later blog post about how to choose your target audience for paid social media advertising.)
Step 3: Create your goals and objectives.
Categorize your goals and objectives for different segments of your business. This could include your marketing efforts, social media, staffing, etc. Start broad and then get narrow. The goals are related to an overarching theme, meaning to express the endpoints to which the effort is directed and are broad statements. The objectives listed under each goal are meant to present specific, measurable and timely terms that can be documented and observed through performance measurements.
Back to ‘my brewery.’ Goal 1 could include establishing my brewery as a great place to hang out and enjoy a quality beer in a cool taproom. The objectives might include “increase sales at the brewery by 30% over the course of the next 6 months,” “increase my Facebook followers by 100 people in 3 months,” or “get involved in the local chamber of commerce in 2019 and attend at least one convention and visitors bureau membership meeting per month.” All of these objectives relate back to the goal of establishing my brewery as a great place to hang out and enjoy a quality beer in a cool taproom.