October 22, 2022
2023 is just around the corner (scary, we know!) which means you’re likely in the midst of Q4 craziness (oh heyyyyy Christmas, we see you) and starting to think about your marketing strategy for the new year…
It can sometimes feel overwhelming shaping a marketing strategy if you’re not sure where to start. Don’t worry mates, we’ve got your back. Here are the five fundamental steps (or 5 W’s) to make sure you’re ticking all your strategic boxes:
1. Think about your why
Starting with the overarching ‘why’ of your business goals and what you’re trying to achieve is step number uno. Why does your product or service exist? Why are you choosing to focus on growing a particular marketing channel or reach a particular audience?
Hot tip: Make sure you’re aligned with the goals of the business and how marketing fits in this piece of the puzzle.
2. Who are you talking to?
Once you’ve got an understanding of your ‘why’ it’s time to think about your ‘what’. Don’t get stuck in the nitty gritty tactics at this stage, stay focused on the bigger picture. Are you hoping to increase sales, build brand awareness or perhaps nurture your existing audience?
Your objective will define your success metrics and help you shape what financial investment is needed for you to achieve these goals.
3. What is the desired outcome?
This is possibly the most important step you need to have clarity on (and stakeholder alignment). Identify your key target market and what their demographics are. If you don’t have a customer persona, this is your sign to create one! Trust us, it will help later when you need to refer back to your audience pain points, what resources they trust and where they spend most of their time looking for information.
As part of this step it’s always helpful to conduct a competitor analysis (raise your hand if you love a SWOT!). What are your competitors doing? Who are they talking to? Is there an opportunity for you to swoop in on a market that is currently ripe for the picking?
Note: A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique that helps a person, or business, identify their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities or Threats.
4. Where is your audience?
At this stage it’s time to talk tactics. Based on your persona and SWOT, what are the best channels for you to reach your audience? What purpose will each of these channels have in your overarching strategy? Don’t forget to also think about how you’re going to justify your investment in your chosen channels; what results will equal success?
You can check out our episode ‘S3E3 - How to craft a channel strategy that actually works’ for more information on this step.
5. When are you executing?
Step 5 is all about putting your money where your mouth is and setting a timeline for your deliverables. A quarterly or 6-monthly timeline is often the most common, as it gives you the opportunity to reset or pivot your strategy the following quarter, or second half of the year, to make sure you’re still on track to achieving your annual goals.
As a nice rule of thumb: 3-months is a good amount of time to get data and insights on your performance and know whether you’re on track.
Keep in mind that marketing strategies should be reviewed on an annual basis due to the changes in business goals or external factors
You can listen to the full episode (S3E2 - The 5 W's of a Marketing Strategy) here.
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Photo credit: Mikael Blomkvist