Are you ignoring the value of marketing strategy?
In a recent study, marketing pros ranked the skills they feel businesses value the most. The bottom of the list was a surprise: marketing strategy.
How is it possible strategy — the plan that makes marketing work — ranks as less valuable to businesses than tools and tactics? It could be a can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees situation. Businesses could be more concerned with the tactics contained within the strategy because that’s the daily work of a marketing department. Perhaps some businesses aren’t concerned with strategy because what they’ve been doing seems to work well enough. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as they say.
Either way, we’re here to take a stand. Marketing strategy isn’t just valuable. It’s essential. And we’ll even tell you why — and how an agency partner like Lessing-Flynn can help you leverage strategy to drive results.
Strategy aligns your team and keeps everyone on track.
A good marketing strategy is like a well-drawn map. It shows you where you’re going and how you’ll get there. After all, you can take a lot of different roads and end up at the same destination. But wouldn’t you rather get there as efficiently and effectively as possible?
For instance, you could base your marketing efforts on what’s trendy. You might make some progress, but you’d probably make more if your strategy was tailored to your target audiences — rather than what seems cool on paper. Building your marketing strategy is an opportunity to take your time and really understand the why behind your work. That way, you avoid the scenic route when you really want to take the highway.
Another important part of drawing a map? You can hand it to anyone with the necessary skills and they’ll be able to follow along. With a strategy, your team will understand what they need to accomplish over the course of a campaign. You’ll have a documented, agreed-upon direction. That makes it easier to navigate roadblocks as a team and increases efficiency. After all, it takes a lot longer to get where you’re going if you don’t know the way — if you even get there at all.
Strategy connects you with your customers.
Your products and services aren’t for just anyone. Why would you waste time and money marketing to consumers who don’t want or need what you have to offer? A good marketing strategy makes sure you know who your customers are, where you can find them, which marketing touchpoints work for them, and the messages you want to send their way.
You could always try a spray-and-pray method. However, it’ll cost you. And we’re not just talking money here. Research has found that when consumers receive irrelevant advertising messages, they’re likely to distance themselves from your brand. 88% of respondents said they did something to put space between themselves and a brand after receiving irrelevant advertising.
If a consumer isn’t currently in your target audience, it might feel like this doesn’t matter. Things change, though. They could be in your target audience down the road — and you’ll be at a disadvantage. Probably better to stick to your marketing strategy and save the hassle (and advertising dollars).
Not sure who your customers are or what they want? Exercises like audience identification, customer profiling, customer journey mapping and sales funneling can help you uncover new insights for your brand.
Strategy helps you track marketing performance.
Your marketing strategy should include goals so your team can track performance over time. After all, marketing is an investment. You should know what your returns look like. Reviewing metrics on a reoccurring basis — whether monthly or quarterly — helps you identify trends in performance or sudden changes that could impact your approach.
If your results weren’t what you were expecting, your strategy can help you retrace your steps to find which tactics were underperforming — if any. Maybe you need to optimize your efforts or expand to include new tactics. But you won’t know if you don’t have a strategy in place.
If results are positive, you can use the information to guide future decisions, from budgeting allocation to audience targeting.
Either way, make sure to examine previous optimizations or adjustments to see their impact. While you’re at it, dive into industry benchmarks to get an idea of how you’re performing compared to your peers.
Looking for an agency partner to help you shape strategy?
Lessing-Flynn could quite possibly be the last ad agency you’ll ever need. We’re strategy-driven from the start. And we like to think that’s part of why we’ve been around longer than any other independently owned advertising agency in America. Take a look at our work to see how we could help. Or, reach out now to start the conversation.
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