How to Create a Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business

By Scott Conlon

      Aug 8, 2015     Solutions    

You know you need to market your business but no matter what you do, none of it seems to work. You continue to spend money, but you don't see any results and no new faces come through the doors.

How best should you create a cost-effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

Far too often businesses create a marketing budget or run marketing campaigns without first having a solid strategy. Marketing managers and business owners are quick to boost a post on Facebook, place an ad in a local paper or magazine, and run deep discount deals on Groupon without having a goal other than "getting people to come to my business." It's time to take a new approach, a strategic approach, to growing your business.

Developing a marketing strategy is not as complex as you might believe. So, how do you do it?

#1) Business Analysis

Review the current state of your business.

  • Who are you customers?
  • Where are your customers spending most of their time?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Most importantly, where do you have the most opportunity?

Remember you may have different types of customers on different days and times of day. For example, if you are a bar, you might have business clientele for lunch time or happy hour and a younger customer base at night.

Many businesses attempt to draw customers in during their slower times, so let's rethink that. Why not focus instead on building your business during your busiest times to compensate for slower periods.

#2) Competitor Analysis

Research the competition, see what they're doing, what is or isn't working for them and what voids exist in the market.

Also, consider partnership opportunities. If your business is located in an entertainment or shopping district, the more businesses working and marketing together to bring people to the area, the better it may be for everyone as a whole.

#3) Customer Identification

You may have determined who your target audience is when conducting your business analysis, but now is the time to break it down further and gain an even better understanding of your customer.

  • Who are they?
  • What do they like?
  • Where do they live, work and play?

The more you know your customer, the better you can reach and serve them with the right products and services. Once you have a better understanding of your customer, you can optimize your marketing to target them directly rather than casting a net in hopes of catching the attention of the perfect customer for you.

#4) Channel Development

Now that you identified your target audiences, it's time to develop channels or mediums to reach those audiences. In a world where people are spending more time online than any other activity, most of your channels will likely be online.

You can reach an audience through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, You Tube), search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), email, text marketing, and web (special Interest, news and entertainment sites, Pandora, CNN, local sites, business directory profiles). You can even narrow it down to the days and times of day your audience will likely be on those mediums.

#5) Re-targeting and Multi-Channel

Now put everything together!

You are not going to just reach your audience once, you are going to reach them multiple times through multiple channels. Why? Create the buzz and put your brand in the top of mind of your customers and potential customers.

This may be the hardest part of building your marketing strategy because you want to ensure rules are in place so you do not annoy your audience. Determining the best re-targeting will depend on demographics, distance in relation to your business and the products or services your business provides.

#6) Budget

There are two ways to work with a marketing budget. If you are looking for faster growth, you should have a scaling budget that grows with your business and can be adjusted on a monthly or even weekly basis.

It's best to run this type of marketing budget for 90 days then slow your marketing efforts for a short period of time to re-calibrate and refocus based on results and performance. For businesses that wish to have a slower and steadier growth, cost-effective budgeting can run on a quarterly or annual basis.

#7) Performance Reporting

When your marketing spend is digital you can track and report the effectiveness of your campaigns. Reporting measures includes website analytics such as Google Analytics, social media insights and stats, email open and click reports, text message analytics, and more.

Consolidating the business data into one report makes reviewing campaign results easy and quick. You can also combine marketing data with sales and transaction data for a full company overview.

#8) Review and Revise

Once you have completed a strategic marketing campaign you should review and revise it as needed. Having a documented strategy helps you stay focused, on track and aids in gauging overall ROI of your marketing spend. These factors allow you to improve and further optimize your marketing efforts based on where you get the best value and the most response during your campaigns.

Stop Guessing -- Create a Professional, Powerful Marketing Strategy Today

Want professional marketing assistance to get your business on the right track? Contact us today for a free consultation. We'd love to help you put all of these best practices into play and create a strategic marketing plan for your business.