Marketing Strategies should be treated like a human being, or at least someone alive. It’s something that should constantly breathe — move, adapt and evolve. Gone are the days you make annual or multi-year plans that you set in stone, get funded, then execute. Well, you can still do that and make it serve as your blueprint. But the plan should be regularly checked if the results are within expectations. Timelines are much shorter now. Better competition can come up anytime regardless of your ability to catch up.
New competitors do not always mean you go back to the drawing board. They have yet to get traction to their intended audience and prove itself as a worthy product. Plus frequent changes mean you’ll never get to execute and forever stuck in the planning phase. At the very least you should be growing faster than the industry and competitors.
As an entrepreneur, sometimes you have this gut feeling you need to level up. With fresh resources, you’re ready for new investments and rapid expansion. Maybe a new trend seems to be evolving which threatens your business model. Or simply you have new product ideas that complement your current lineup. You think you need a new marketing strategy. But before tossing the old one in favour of a new plan, make sure you’ve covered the steps below.
1.Research, Research, and Research
There’s no shortcut to having a clear picture of your competitor and the industry. You just have to dig in. As Google is your friend, the meat is still consumer insight. They can be sourced through customer observation and participation in conferences. The intel shared by your network is priceless. There should be a steady stream of information coming even after you’ve completed the plan.
Industry trends and macroeconomic forecasts usually are available in prepared reports. If you need them as a basis for your strategy, they are likely available for purchase. Don’t sweat on this and buy prepared ones.
2. Review Your Brand and Marketing Strategy
Before you make any drastic decisions, review how the customers perceive your brand. How does it relate to your marketing tactics? Do your campaigns still impact brand perception compared to end-user comments?
An effective review of your strategy is by checking its alignment with the principles of modern marketing. Particularly focus on user experience. Catchy headlines with emotional impact do bring in initial sales. But if the customer did not maximise the benefits of your offering, they might see you as overpriced. This can hurt your brand and affect the sales of your future product releases. Do you actively educate your customers on how they can get more from what they purchased? Or you’re just too focused on telling them to buy your other items?
3. Set Financial Targets
Setting a financial forecast could be the trickiest part. It’s easy to pick a number you want and let it be the guide for your plan. The targets you set can be unrealistically high which makes everything you do a failure. Maybe too low that the growth was just organic and nothing related to your campaign. As a result, all your efforts and resources were wasted without you knowing it.
Financial targets set should be data-driven. They are balanced with planned expenditures to maximise the gains. You will eventually gain the experience to build a good one. If you think you don’t have the time to learn and do the spreadsheets, you are probably right. Better hire a financial forecast consultant to do the work. Spend the time instead on building and executing your marketing strategy. A professionally prepared forecast will be clear and easier to follow. It is also something that you can share with potential investors to fund your growth.
After you have done these steps, you’ll be in a better place to decide whether to tweak your current strategy or level up and go for a new one.
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