In this day and age, your marketing strategy matters.
Few things are more confusing or mystifying to CEOs and business owners more than the idea of marketing strategy.
I think that’s due in part to simple misunderstanding by many who try to apply the concept, but it’s also due to the fact that marketing strategy is very malleable – that is to say, it can be many things.
A very solid way to define business strategy is the effective use of resources to reach stated objectives. Perhaps a more tangible way to define marketing strategy would be the effective use of resources to create and communicate a valuable and profitable difference in the marketplace.
Either way you can see there’s lots of room for interpretation.
But, rather than debate the proper way to define what marketing strategy is, I would like to share how to develop it, bring it to life and give it a voice. No matter how perfectly you state your marketing strategy, if it doesn’t live firmly in the tactics you employ to develop customers it’s all for naught.
There are three essential elements to making your marketing strategy more than a nice idea:
1. Determine a Core Point of Difference
This is how you state why someone should hire you as opposed to someone else who says they do what you do. It’s your unique value proposition and it must be developed with a narrowly defined ideal client in mind.
I’ve written about this idea frequently and suggest you download my free eBook on the topics of ideal client and on core difference to get very specific how to instructions on this element.
2. Create an Engagement Framework
Strategy based engagement thinking forces you to push your core marketing strategy into every marketing activity. I’ve developed a very powerful tool for building this kind of framework called The I.E.S. Marketing Touchpoints.
The I.E.S. Marketing Touchpoints is a concept that asks you to create processes, products, campaigns and engagement aimed at logically moving prospects and customers through three stages – Informing, Educating, and Selling. By viewing each of these stages as a place to reinforce your core difference as well as deliver key information, you create the kind of engagement that leads to your most profitable clients.
3. Map Content to Strategy
Once you develop your core difference and outline your I.E.S. Marketing Touchpoints it’s time to give your strategy voice. This is based done by mapping how you will communicate your core difference through content that creates awareness, educates, builds trust, engages and converts.
You won’t necessarily create every tactical element involved in implementing these three steps, but the planning process involved in fully developing your organization’s marketing strategy must consider these elements as three parts of the strategy puzzle.