What is a marketing strategy?

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Marketing can be the difference between success and failure for any business, especially for a startup. The goal of any marketing strategy is to help you with business growth and to build awareness of your company – your brand – which should, in turn, help you when it comes to generating new business. But hold on, what is a marketing strategy?

While many of the same principles of marketing strategy apply to startups as they do to more established businesses, in marketing your startup you’ll need to concentrate extra effort on building awareness of your brand and increasing its equity, as well as promoting your product or service.


How does a marketing strategy work?

When it comes to marketing your new business, success does not depend on the marketing alone. Without a good product or service and without planning your efforts will be in vain. Conversely, without the marketing itself, your product or service will not be known.

Your marketing strategy will help you to focus on what needs to happen to get your business and your product or service out into the world. It needs to be realistic and for this reason, it won’t be a quick document to produce.

Your marketing strategy should include:

Your objectives

What do you want to achieve from your marketing efforts? This will be very specific to your business circumstances and what you offer. It could include positioning your business in the marketplace, generating awareness of it, raising awareness of your product, etc.

The messages you wish to get across

What do you want people to take away from the marketing you’re doing? These should tie in with your objectives and will tell your audience why they should choose your business.

Your target audience

Who would you like to buy your product or service? It’s a good idea to drill down and be specific about your audience – profiling and segmenting them in terms of gender, age and geography, as well as thinking about their mindset and reasons to buy. As a startup, for instance, your initial communications may be targeted at investors rather than at consumers and you’ll need a two-pronged approach.

The media and tools you’ll use  

What channels will be best placed to communicate your messages to your target audience? These should include your website and general collateral as well as external communications tools such as digital and printed advertising, PR and events, radio and TV, and direct mail. It’s a good idea to review all media and, while some will be immediately discounted due to cost-effectiveness or compatibility with your audience, knowing what’s available and choosing an integrated approach can multiply the results for your campaign. You may look into:

Your schedule

What you’ll be using and when? Once you’ve chosen your media looking into when each element will go live for maximum impact is a good idea. This, along with all of your plan, can be tweaked over time as you test and learn from your decisions.

Your budget

How much your chosen approach will cost? This can also be broken down into manageable chunks as each stage of your campaign goes live.

Measuring return on your investment (ROI)

ROI is a measurement to help you make sure you’re getting value for your marketing spend. With the use of media codes, you can measure each element of your campaign to ensure you’re getting the results that you need, regularly checking these will help you to tweak your campaign to ensure you get the best return for your marketing money.


The detail

Once you’ve formed your new business and you’re ready to form the bones of what is your marketing strategy you’ll need to focus on each element of your plan. Our marketing experts have taken some of the legwork out of your research with our marketing guides.

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