Planning an effective marketing strategy for your company is something that is easy to think about and harder to do. However, many people don't understand the importance of developing a strategy before they begin marketing themselves. Instead of blindly feeling your way through marketing and advertising, create a strong and effective strategy beforehand that will serve as a firm guideline throughout the marketing process.
1. Conduct Market Research
Market research is one of the most integral parts of the planning process for developing a marketing strategy because it essentially lays the foundation for your strategy. If you conduct poor or little research, your strategy will likely not be successful. When conducting market research, you should do your due diligence by performing interviews, administering surveys and questionnaires, and identifying the target audience and finding out what it is that they want, don't care about or don't want in a product suited for their demographic.
2. Determine a Budget
Your next step is to determine a budget for your marketing strategy. What can you realistically afford? Be sure to include line items for each marketing tactic so you can project your overall expenses. Don't blindly throw money at marketing tactics that you aren't even really sure will work in the first place. On the other side of the coin, don't expect marketing and advertising your company to be a cheap venture. Advertising and marketing can be expensive, but then again, it can also produce great returns.
3. Create Promotional Items
When you’re itemizing expenses, be sure to include a line item for promotional items in your budget. Promotional items such as personalized lunch bags have been proven time and again to be effective marketing tools to get the word out about your company. Additionally, they double as stylish items that can actually be used by your customers in practical ways – thereby doubling your chances of exposure for your brand!
4. Create a Schedule
Next you will need to outline a schedule for when certain things will take place in your marketing strategy. This timeline should include costs of various implementations, as well as information pertaining to who is in charge of them and other details. This is a good time to use a spreadsheet to plug in all the details such as who, what, when, where and how.
5. Monitor the Success
Once your marketing strategy has been set in motion, you should closely monitor and measure results. If something doesn't seem to be working, analyze and determine why it's not working and then either discontinue the practice or make an effort to fix the problem. Always determine why it's not working first.