When it comes to navigating the digital landscape, an effective marketing strategy often means playing the long game.
So why then, when markets are tough, do some businesses focus on short-term strategies that drive quick sales and new customers? Yes, it sounds like an alluring proposition. But is this the right approach?
Read on to learn 5 ways to create the greatest marketing strategy.
1. Be consistent
As marketers and business leaders, we often find ourselves immersed in the day-to-day operations and it’s hard sometimes to see the big picture. When growth is slow, the knee-jerk reaction might be to chop and change to get some quick results.
However, there is a lot of risk in switching strategies too quickly. Doing so before embedding consumer behaviour or growth opportunities have been fully maximised, could do more harm than good. Consistency is the key to success.
2. Monitor and respond to the competitive landscape
In volatile economic times, such as those we’re currently experiencing, it’s important to stay on top of market trends, threats and opportunities. Staying ahead of the curve will help you identify new developments, assess your competitors and create more effective long-term strategies.
Market monitoring gives you an advantageous position to use market information to derive strategic insights and make informed business decisions.
How will staying front of mind change how they feel about your brand? What’s going to prompt them to buy from you again and again?
When considering revisiting your strategy, here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Growth starts to stagnate so you need to look elsewhere to attract new consumers.
- Consumer needs change significantly and you risk becoming irrelevant.
- Disruption from a competitor causes you to lose your point of difference of distinctiveness.
3. Align your marketing objectives with your business objectives
A great marketing strategy is about striking a balance between your marketing and business objectives.
Business objectives are generally revenue-centric. So when sales start slowing, the default may be to switch to survival mode – short-term strategies that generate quick sales and acquire new customers.
Yes, this looks great on the balance sheet. But remember, it costs far less to retain and nurture existing customers than it does to acquire new ones. This in itself is a compelling proposition to invest in both your short and long-term game plan.
4. Develop your strategy around short, medium and long timeframes
Short-term marketing strategy – generate sales fast
In essence, short-term marketing objectives predominantly focus on customer acquisition and immediate survival, yielding swift outcomes and an instant return on investment.
On the surface, you will experience a guaranteed return and more revenue-centric outcomes. However, this comes at a higher cost, often yielding a lower return on investment or ROI.
So, yes. Holding flash sales or creating an e-commerce outlet to liquidate stock will generate sales. But once your customers expect frequent promotions they will wait until the next one rather than pay full price. This devalues your brand and ends up costing your business in the long run.
Medium-term marketing strategy – repeat sales
A medium-term strategy builds a solid foundation for repeat sales and your competitive advantage. Initiatives such as long-form content (blogs), website conversion rate optimisation (CRO), digital marketing campaigns, press releases and other PR around case studies and projects help build brand awareness and focus on generating incremental revenue in the medium term.
Long-term marketing strategy – maintain and leverage competitive advantage
A long-term marketing strategy is a customer-centric approach that builds a relationship with your audience and ensures your business’ future success.
Ultimately, long-term goals are what keep you moving forward. Building your brand’s voice, staking your claim as an expert in your industry, and creating engaging content are all long-term strategies.
Marketing tactics like search engine optimization and brand awareness are great long-term marketing objectives they’re not going to work fast. They take time but are well worth the effort with the added bonus of making your ad spend work harder for you at a better price.
5. Don’t get bogged down in strategy, the execution is important too
The fifth and final tip might seem contrary to everything above. However, it’s one of the most common mistakes.
Many marketers and business leaders get bogged down in strategic planning but they forget that the execution is equally (if not more) important. When we talk about staying consistent, we’re not not saying to just set and forget. This is not the right approach.
Active, growth-driven marketing relies on data and continually evolves. So while it’s important to periodically revisit your strategic pillars, what’s more important in the day-to-day is to regularly and continuously monitor and measure campaign data, assess your ads, and adjust your creative accordingly.
Executing the strategy successfully is one of the great challenges for a business and many get lost along the way. The dangers of not getting the execution right are wasting time, money and the ability to become more agile and open to potential new markets.
Your marketing strategy, Made Great
Here at Made Great, we work with our clients to build great strategies and identify the opportunities and issues that take consistent effort to see results. Our Greatest clients are confident in the knowledge that long-term, sustainable growth takes time.
Get in touch with us to learn how we can be your strategic partner for marketing Greatness.