The 4 Essential Steps of Building an Effective Marketing Strategy

Yes, you really need one. Here's why:

Coordinating brand activities in the absence of a clear strategy is sort of like giving a goldfish a bath. Sure, the goldfish will survive but time, effort and resources will be forever sunk – and without any meaningful results. An effective marketing strategy is realistic, scalable and measurable. It will guide and inform future marketing initiatives and provide benchmarks for goal setting. Best of all, marketing strategies save time and money by directing resources toward the brand activities that advance the overall business objectives.

46% of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy, and 16% do have a strategy but haven’t put it into effect yet.

(Smart Insights)

Building a Marketing Strategy in Four Steps

Step 1: Get to know your target audience.

The first step in building your marketing strategy is to know who it is you’re marketing to. Doing so ensures that your marketing efforts are focused, and as a result, you’ll be getting the return on investment that you’re after.

One common way to go about this is to create a buyer persona. By creating a buyer persona, you can be sure that you’re marketing to people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Otherwise your marketing strategy is pretty much the equivalent of a man on a box yelling through a megaphone at random people on the street.

Think about what you’d like your ideal customer to look like. Start getting granular and create a list of demographics that your customer falls into. Responsive Inbound Marketing recommends these major questions you should ask yourself about your target customer when outlining a buyer persona: