Approaching a new financial business year, it’s important to look back on the past year and think about what you learnt and what you can do to improve on for the following year. If you’re anything like us here at unbiased.co.uk around mid-January you’ve probably all given up on going to the gym, you’re stuffing your face with the mountain of chocolate and Christmas Cake you’ve got left over from the festivities and desperately regretting doing dry January. But don't worry help is at hand to get you back on track.
As its #backtothefutureday I thought I’d have a look at last year’s predictions for 2015/2016. Laura McLellan from Gartner for Marketing Leaders in 2014 wrote about her 5 predictions for marketing in 2016.
- Customer experience will be the battle ground for marketers to compete on
- How Marketers use customer data will determine their level of success – see our blog on 5 tips to make data work for you, to find out how you can maximise your success
- Digital commerce will be inextricably linked with marketing
- Marketing will set the strategy for not just marketing technology but for all customer-facing technology
- Marketing innovation will come out of the closest
What I see from the above is that the strength of marketing, and it’s increased presence in the overall success of your business.
McLellan states that nearly 50% of marketers are now responsible for the “4 P’s” of marketing – Price, Product, Place and Promotion and this number continues to grow. Often have alongside this, marketers have a significant role in strategic planning and major investment decisions. This is why I believe the marketing strategy is so important in a business. So spend some time on it. Here are just a few reasons why it’s so important.
- Gives you focus and direction
- SWOT analysis provides you with a holistic view of the market (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
- Shows you how to fight your competition
- Focuses the resources on investing in the right initiatives to get the business growing
- Differentiates you from the competition – or shows you how you can
- Translates your vision, mission and objectives into initiatives/messaging
- Foundation for all your communications – internal and external
- Increases sales and profit
- Creates consumer preference for the brand.
So how do you write a marketing strategy? Here are a few tips on what to include. Remember to take some time developing this, as everything you do going forward will need to refer back to this. It is the corner stone of your business plans going forward.
- Understand your target audience – demographics, interests, wants/needs
- Look at your competition – what are they doing, where are they in the market, how do you stack up?
- What’s in your product portfolio? How are your products performing? (Boston matrix is a good tool here)
- Think about what your USP is. What differentiates you from the market?
- Looking at your product portfolio and your competition – where do you sit in the market? Is it where you want to be? Because if it isn’t – look at where you want to be and align your “4 P’s” to that
- Think about distribution – this comes from knowing your audience. Where are your customers going to buy from you?
- What do you want to say about your business – what is the messages you want to get out. This is again, where the work understanding your target audience is so important
Once you have this – your messaging and promotional plans become so much clearer.