Hi and welcome to episode 23 of Startup Marketing. Today, we’re going to be talking about why it’s important to have a marketing strategy. Now, I’ve touched on this briefly in the past, but having a marketing strategy is critical to growing your business. Without a marketing strategy, you’ll be left rudderless in the open ocean. So, let’s dive in.
Your marketing strategy should always be tied to your business goals. I recommend setting one large goal for the year and having several key marketing strategies that will help you accomplish this goal. For example, I created a goal to sign one new marketing team with a specific hourly rate for about 30 hours of work/month by the end of 2020. This puts me in the running to hit my financial goal each month and I’ve got a handful of strategies to help get me there. So, you see, my business goal is driving my marketing strategies. They’re not two separate concepts, they’re really critical elements that are tied together.
First, Without a marketing strategy and plan in place, I’m not going to make positive improvements to my bottom line. So, if nothing else convinces you that you should have a strategy in place, I hope that generating more income will.
By having a marketing plan in place, I have actionable items at the ready for months when sales are down or expenses are up. Additional marketing and knowing how I can capture extra revenue, means I don’t have to scramble to think of what I need to do when these things happen. And they happen.
Second, A solid marketing plan is also going to help you identify gaps in the marketplace. For example, when I started Authentic, my sole focus was female entrepreneurs. Thanks to covid, I had to pivot my business model and incorporate more revenue streams. When I created my marketing plan, I had also identified that I could use the same process I teach entrepreneurs to help train marketing departments or corporate marketers; after all, that’s the environment where I created my process. There is a gap in that market; there are plenty of consultants, but not very many people who truly go in to coach and help set up the systems like I do. So, when the time came to shift and figure things out, I already knew where I wanted to turn.
Third, Having a marketing plan also allows me to allocate resources. Right now, the main resource I use is my own time. With a plan in place, I can work efficiently. I can also spend efficiently. Marketing can require you to invest your money as well as time. I can’t bootstrap everything and there are things like getting SEO work done on my website that cost me money. With a plan in place, I can prioritize my spending and budget appropriately. When I worked in the corporate world, it allowed me to determine where I was going to allocate my staff’s time and it allowed me to prepare a budget. This was critical when it came time for me to demonstrate the value that marketing was bringing to the organization and when I had to meet with various stakeholders within the company to explain why we could or couldn’t take on an initiative.
Fourth, having a marketing plan in place means I won’t be losing on to my competitors. While there’s plenty of the pie to go around, if I don’t know how I’m going to capture business (you know, market myself), then my dream clients or your dream customers are going to find someone else who IS marketing themselves. Marketing brings you and your business visibility. So, if you’re not creating and executing a marketing plan, someone else is gaining your business because they are.
And fifth, Lack of planning often means your execution is subpar. Have you ever heard the phrase “failing to plan is planning to fail”? This is totally appropriate here. You cannot successfully do anything in your business without proper planning. You might be able to get lucky sometimes and get a big win without it, but sustained success is critically linked to your marketing plan. When you’re executing and the bar is low, your competitors can easily fill in the gaps you’re leaving in the marketplace; which poses a bigger threat to you.
In the end, having a marketing strategy in place means that you will have a clear vision of how you’re going to accomplish your business goals, drive and increase revenue and stay ahead of your competitors. Without a marketing plan, you’ll be sitting rudderless in the open ocean with no way to get where you want to go.
If you don’t have a marketing plan in place and you need to get one created, download my free marketing strategy template or, my free marketing plan for small businesses at: getauthenticbranding.com/resources.
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Until next time!