Strategic Marketing: Why You Need Marketing Strategy to Succeed

March 19, 2024
Written by
Bailey Fortenbaugh
Published on
March 19, 2024

Marketing is thrown at business owners so often nowadays, it can start to feel like a baseless buzzword. That’s because, in a lot of cases, it is. Marketing itself isn’t always successful, especially if there’s no strategy behind it. 

That’s where strategic marketing comes in. It’s the backbone of effective promotion for your business, guiding you toward your goals and helping you adjust as you go with clear benchmarks and metrics. Without a clear strategy, your marketing efforts risk becoming disjointed, ineffective, and a potential black hole for your resources. 

In this post, we’ll look at why strategy plays a critical role in the success of your marketing campaigns, what happens when you embark on marketing without a strategy, and how you can develop a tailored strategy for your unique needs and goals as a business.

Why Strategy is Important in Marketing

At its core, strategy is about making informed choices. It involves understanding your market, identifying who you are talking to, and determining the best way to engage with them. A well-defined strategy considers all viable marketing channels, ensuring they work in tandem with each other to reach your audience at different points and ultimately create conversions. This cohesion comes from strategy and amplifies the effect of your marketing, making every dollar and hour spent count toward your goals.

But strategic marketing goes beyond just promotion. It’s about creating a narrative or story that resonates with your audience, differentiating yourself from your competitors, and building long-term relationships with your customers. It leverages market research, competitive analysis, and consumer behavior to inform decisions. This affects every aspect of marketing, from product design to pricing, promotion, and communication.

What Happens When You Market Without a Strategy

Venturing into any sort of marketing without any strategy is like setting sail without a map or compass. Without clear intention and direction, there are risks.

  1. Wasting Resources: Time, money, and effort may be wasted on efforts that don’t produce the results you’re looking for. 
  2. Diluting Your Brand Message: Inconsistent messages or content that conflicts with your brand can confuse customers and weaken your brand identity.
  3. Missing Opportunities: Without a strategic focus, you may miss out on opportunities to connect with potential customers or respond effectively to market changes.
  4. Reactivity Rather than Proactivity: Instead of preparing for changes and leading with innovation, you may find yourself reacting to competitors and market trends in a disjointed approach.
  5. Lack of Growth: Without strategies and growth metrics, you may not be able to spot areas for growth or improvement.

How Marketing with Strategy Enhances Marketing Tactics

A strategic approach enhances your campaigns by providing a framework that guides decision-making. It ensures that all decisions and tactics are aligned with your overall objectives, target audience needs, and brand values. This helps with multiple factors.

  1. Maximizing ROI: The basic goal of any marketing is to make more money in the long run than you spent on marketing in the first place. Strategy helps you do this and measure results.
  2. Enhancing Customer Engagement: Target communication that speaks directly to your audience drives conversions and committed brand followers.
  3. Building Brand Strength: Consistent, strategic marketing helps you build a strong and recognizable brand over time.

How to Develop a Marketing Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy that suits your business needs involves several key steps.

Define Your Goals

Everyone wants to make money, that’s why we invest in marketing. Be specific about exactly what you want to achieve and define smaller goals to help track your progress. Instead of deciding to increase your sales, set a goal to increase your sales by 15% over Q2. Set smaller goals that contribute to your main goal, like getting a 7% conversion rate on your ads or gaining 2,000 new Instagram followers. 

Specific goals that contain smaller, periodic goals help you spot shortcomings early, adjust, and measure your progress as you go.

Understand Your Market and Audience

You can make a lot of marketing decisions based on feelings and prior knowledge, but there is no substitute for in-depth, up-to-date research on your market and audience. Figure out where your customers are and how you can reach them. Look at trends in the market and determine how should conform and how you can set yourself apart.

For example, if you’re selling power washing services to homeowners, you will likely benefit more from a good Google Business Profile and PPC campaign than a social media presence. Look into the habits and interests of your target market and use that to decide where you will reach them.

Identify Your Unique Value Proposition

Everyone is the best. No brand or business is going to go out there and say they’re a mediocre choice compared to their services, and we all want to be number 1. Consumers are not always inclined to choose a brand just because they say they’re the best.

You can still tell people that you’re the best choice, but tell them why first. Back to our power washing examples, “Free power washing estimates” or “Fast, budget-friendly power washing near you” sounds a lot better than “Best powerwashers in Cleveland.” Get specific and tell people why you’re number 1. You have to give them something of value for them to choose you first.

Create Content, Adhere to Your Brand

When it’s time to start designing, creating, and writing your marketing material, stay true to your brand. Colors, fonts, language, imagery, and more all play a part in upholding your brand image. It can be tempting to try new colors or switch up the way your brand sounds through copywriting, but be careful with this! When in doubt, adhere to your brand standards.

We say this because trustworthy brands are consistent in every form of marketing they create. Coca-Cola would never release an ad using purple cans on a lime green background, even if it “makes it pop.” Your brand standards should guide every marketing decision you make to maintain consistency.

Run Your Campaign, Measure Your Results

Using the goals and metrics you already determined, keep track of your campaigns and their performance as you go. Never “set it and forget it.” Check-in with your marketing projects often, look for things that may not be working or could use adjustments, and adapt.

If your social media posts aren’t garnering attention or engagement a few weeks into your social media marketing campaign, take a look at your material and assess what can be improved. Maybe you notice that posts featuring employees and faces perform better than graphics. Maybe you have more success with video content rather than images. 

You can apply this to nearly any marketing tactic. Check-in, A/B test, and adapt accordingly.

How an Agency Can Help You Develop a Sound Marketing Strategy

Good marketing requires knowledge, time, money, and resources. As a business owner, it can be hard to get all of these things together while maintaining the normal operations of your business. Luckily, there are a few perks to hiring an agency rather than delving into marketing all on your own:

Agencies Come with Built-In Experience and Resources

You know those Farmer’s Insurance commercials that say “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”? That could be a slogan for lots of marketing agencies. Agencies and their teams have likely navigated marketing in a variety of industries, putting out lots of fires and knowing how to do so efficiently. An agency has the experience to help you solve problems and come up with creative solutions quickly.

They also come with resources. Take research for example. An agency will likely have market research available to them through prior experience and software subscriptions. You can absolutely gather these things for yourself, but an agency already has these available. Other elements like design software, exclusive marketing tools, and industry connections also come with hiring an agency.

An Agency is Often Cheaper than an Employee or In-House Team

Every business needs employees once they reach a certain size, but they aren’t cheap. Salaries, benefits, vacation… the list goes on in terms of what comes with hiring one or multiple employees. 

As an example, let’s say you hire a marketing professional at $50k a year. That person may be a professional with experience, but they’re still one person with limited time and resources to contribute to your business. With an agency, you are hiring an entire team of professionals with knowledge and resources at a fraction of the cost. They will be more efficient, more experienced, and less expensive than hiring an in-house employee, let alone a team.

An Agency Lets You Utilize Specialized Skills

Agencies are typically made up of a team of people, all with different specialized skills. Instead of undertaking marketing yourself and having to play the role of web developer, graphic designer, media buyer, and Google Ads expert all by yourself, an agency has dedicated people for each of these specific niches and more.

In short, there’s no learning curve required from you and less room for error. An agency gives you everything you need from the jump, and you don’t have to spend weeks or months trying to master different marketing skills, platforms, and software (or pay someone to learn it).

Marketing Strategy - Final Thoughts

To conclude, if you’re marketing without a strategy, you’re doing it wrong. Instead of throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, use these tips above to go into your next marketing campaign with a solid strategy and plan so that you can succeed. And if all of these tips seem overwhelming or confusing, we’ve got good news.

We’re Frank, a full-service marketing, branding, and advertising agency located in Oklahoma City that works with clients in a variety of industries nationwide. If you’re interested in strategic marketing but don’t know where to start, let us help you. Get in touch with us and tell us a little bit about what you’re looking for, or give us a call to learn more about us and how we can help. Check out some of our work while you’re here, and check out our About page to learn more about our team.

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