This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.
Anita Campbell serves as CEO of Anita Campbell Associates Ltd, a woman-owned consulting firm helping companies and organizations reach the small business market. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication. She hosts Small Business Trends Radio, where she interviews other small business experts.
What is a Marketing Strategy and How Do I Get One 5
A lot of things in business sound more intimidating than they are. If you jump right in and “do” they become much easier.
Creating a marketing strategy is one of those things. A marketing strategy is nothing more than planning out how you intend to use marketing to achieve your business goals. You start by identifying the overall goals for your business. Then you break it down into marketing activities to support the business goals.
Here’s an example: let’s say one of your business goals for the year is to increase renewal business from existing customers by 15%. To develop your marketing strategy, think about the marketing efforts it would take to get more customers to renew. Maybe that involves a customer appreciation program to reach out to every existing customer personally at least 120 days before their contract comes due. Or maybe it involves creating and communicating a special pricing plan, designed to secure early renewals and lock in a longer renewal term. These and other types of marketing approaches will directly help increase renewals. Therefore, they become your marketing strategy.
Once you have decided up on a broad strategy to achieve your business goals, you break your strategy down into smaller chunks of activity (such as milestones and tactics). Breaking it down into smaller activities and next steps is important if you want to achieve the strategy. Nothing spells death to a strategy faster than staying broad and vague.
Some people go to great lengths to define terms like “strategy,” “objectives,” and “tactics.” For most of us in small businesses, we don’t need to get obsessive about the strategy process. For most of us it’s more important to just dig in and start working on marketing strategy, and not make it too complicated or intimidating for our staffs.