The best strategy? Have a foolproof one. Here’s how.
We all know the old saying: Fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s true for so many aspects of life, but maybe none more so than marketing. Having a rock solid marketing strategy is essential. (This is not the place to throw sh*t against the wall and see what sticks. Because more often than not, you’ll end up with a pile of you-know-what on the floor.) Your strategy could cover anything from a ten-year vision for growing your business to outlining how to shift sales on one product over the next three weeks. Regardless, you need one. A really good one.
Some insight into insights.
You’re already determined to improve—because if you weren’t, you would have stopped reading by now. So, hooray for that. No doubt you’ve also come up with some creative visions or abstract ideas about how your strategy might go. Excellent. Allowing your imagination to run wild is a fun place to start, but it’s also essential to ground your ideas in data and research. Market research is what results in actionable consumer insights. And these insights will be the foundation for your marketing plan.
They’re especially powerful when you factor in what you already know:
- Historically slow times of year
- Geographic location of your customers
- Reasons why you currently are (or are not) gaining customers
- Overall industry averages
Now, if you’re suddenly worried about having to shell out countless sums to hire professional market researchers, take a breath. Research is no longer a daunting, expensive undertaking—at least, it doesn’t have to be. These days, you have a lot of amazing tools at your disposal and many of them are extremely affordable, if not free. These tools can help your company become truly ‘Customer Centric,’ allowing you to directly align your products and services with the wants and needs of your most valuable customers. At this point, your marketing strategy will basically write itself. (Okay, maybe it’s not quite that simple, but armed with this information, you will be well on your way.)
It all starts here.
The fact of the matter is that without diligent and extensive research, a strategy will be largely guesswork. The insights gleaned from research efforts are the key to crafting can’t-miss marketing messages.