Have you hit a plateau in your marketing efforts? You’re definitely not growing your business. Or maybe your business is falling short of your competitors and they are squeezing you out of the market. Whatever the case, it’s time for a marketing strategy change. Changing things up shouldn’t happen on a whim, and it should be a slow and steady process that you work through, otherwise you will likely find yourself in the same place six months from now, needing another big change.
The need for a marketing strategy change can be triggered by a number of different factors such as industry developments, audience needs, market trends, a change in service offerings, etc. As a business owner, you should be reviewing your marketing strategy at least on a quarterly basis to make sure you are staying on top of things.
Step 1: Identify gaps
Gaps are where there is a need that is not being met. You might be surprised at what you are missing if you aren’t listening intently to your audience. Here are some common gaps:
- Lack of customer engagement
- Slow customer service response times
- Lack of product education
- Missing skill set on your team to get the job done
- Misaligned strategy and goals
Be honest with yourself about what is working and what isn’t. It makes it easier to identify these areas if you look at the data related to all aspects of your marketing. These are some common data touch points:
- Social media engagement
- Website traffic
- Conversion rate (those who go from browsing to a sale)
Once you have identified where your marketing gaps are, figure out the solutions necessary to fill those gaps and let that be the foundation of your new marketing strategy.
Step 2: Set objectives
Your marketing strategy should fit within the bigger picture of your overall business strategy. Set your marketing objectives with this in mind so your marketing strategy will help you achieve your overall business objectives.
As you are setting your marketing strategy objectives, make sure that they are quantifiable, so you can measure your progress. You should also identify both short-term and long-term objectives.
Step 3: Set milestones
After setting both short-term and long-term objectives as well as identifying your tactical changes to your marketing strategy, build out a timeline to help you implement and track your success. You can always tweak the timeline as necessary, but it will keep you and your team on track. Be sure to include things like major deliverables, growth targets, and strategic decision deadlines.
Step 4: Execute and let it breathe
The hardest part about starting something new is waiting to see if it will work after you set it in motion. Depending on your goals (short-term vs. long-term), your strategy can take up to 6 months to see full results. Adjust your expectations and don’t start messing with your new strategy unless you know something isn’t working. In these cases, make sure you figure out why it isn’t working before creating a solution.
If you are ready to change up your marketing strategy, it’s important to realize that you likely have a good base to work from already. Don’t throw out your current marketing strategy, figure out how you can tweak it or build on it to make it better.
Candace Huntly is Founder and Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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