How to Write a Marketing Strategy

How to Write a marketing strategyA good marketing strategy can make all the difference in the success or failure of a business. In order to have a clear picture of where you are, where you’re headed, who your clients are, and how to reach them, you’ll need a good marketing strategy in writing. Here are a few tips on how to come up with and write your own marketing strategy, as well as some key questions to ask yourself for each step of the process.

Step One – What is your vision for the next year? Begin your marketing strategy by brainstorming what the future looks like for your business. By thinking through what you want to happen in the coming year for your business, it will set the direction for a successful marketing strategy.

Key questions to ask:

  • How do you see yourself?
  • How do you see your business?
  • What do you see yourself doing to grow your business from a marketing perspective?

Step Two What are your specific goals for the next year? Every business and marketing plan needs specific, measurable goals. Some areas you may want to set goals for include:

  • Number of clients served
  • Number of new clients
  • Amount of revenue
  • Number of appointments
  • Number of projects
  • Tactical goals (website renovation, take out an ad in a publication designed for your target market, improve SEO, improve social media presence, hire a marketing coach, find an accountability partner, etc.)

Key questions to ask:

  • What will serve you in the long run? A new space? An automated system for taking appointments? New equipment or training?

Step Three What is your purpose? Thinking about the basics will equip you with a foundational knowledge that will keep your marketing strategy in line.

Key questions to ask:

  • How do you want to be seen by others?
  • What do you want to provide for your customers/clients?

Writing down your perfect dayStep Four What does the perfect day look like? Imagine the perfect day for the business. What does that mean for clients, or for employees?

Key questions to ask:

  • Where are you?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you wearing?
  • Who is around you?
  • When your perfect client walks through the door, what do they need from you? What do they look like?
  • What do your finances look like?
  • How do you feel?

Step Five Who is your ideal client? In order to market efficiently, you need to determine who you’re trying to reach. This will inform your marketing strategy in a big way.

Key questions to ask:

  • What do they look like?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • Where do you find them hanging out?
  • Who do they spend time with?
  • What magazines do they read?
  • Where do they shop?
  • How do they spend their free time?
  • Anything else you notice about them?

Step Six What do your clients need? Determining what the client is looking for is part of the process of revamping your goals for the coming year and beyond. If your clients’ needs are changing, so must your business.

Key questions to ask:

  • What are they looking for you to provide?
  • What makes you better/different than others out there providing the same service and/or product?

Step Seven What are the trends in your industry? Take a hard look at what your competitors are doing. Maybe they’re offering a new option that you haven’t yet considered. Don’t get hung up on comparing business success, but do consider what other trends are happening.

Key questions to ask:

  • What are you noticing about what people are looking for?
  • What are you reading about what people are looking for?
  • What are people telling you they are looking for?

Step Eight How do you stand out above your competition? The unique factor is very important in implementing your marketing strategy. You must set your business apart from others as the logical option for clients.

Key questions to ask:

  • What makes you different?
  • What makes you better?
  • What’s important to you to provide for your customers/clients?

Planning your marketing strategyStep Nine What will be your core strategy? Think about the big picture of your marketing plan. This can be a difficult step, but with the groundwork laid by previous steps, you can come up with your core strategy.

Key questions to ask:

  • How are you going to position yourself?
  • What are you going to marketing about your services?
  • What is your main message?
  • What is your main goal as far as how you are seen by others?

Step Ten – What are your core branding elements? Maybe there are some key items about your business that make it unique. Whether it’s a slogan, the style of delivery, or just a great logo, think about what your core branding elements are or could be.

Key questions to ask:

  • What colors do you use and why?
  • What does your marketing materials look like?
  • What image do your marketing materials portray?
  • What message does your logo give?
  • What kind of images do you use in your marketing material and why?
  • What font do you use in your marketing material and why?

Step Eleven What does your funnel look like? Another difficult question, but one that will make writing your marketing strategy for efficient. This one may take some digging.

Key questions to ask:

  • What do you offer free of charge to benefit your customers and potential customers?
  • What do you offer that is relatively inexpensive to bring them in?
  • What are your core services/products?

Step Twelve What is your pricing rationale? Step back and put yourself in the shoes of a client in need of your business product. Would you pay for this service? Why or why not?

Key questions to ask:

  • Why do you charge what you charge?
  • How does it feel to you?
  • Are you comfortable with what you charge?

Step Thirteen What’s in your marketing kit? Some examples include business cards, website, brochures, testimonials, videos, checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything when dealing with a client, examples of work, etc.

Key questions to ask:

  • Do you have all these items or do you need to get them?
  • If you need to get them, how do you plan to go about that and when?
  • How will you keep getting new, updated content to keep your materials fresh (for example new testimonials, new pictures, new blog posts, etc.)? See below for more details if needed.

Step Fourteen What is your plan for…

  • Getting new photos?
  • Getting new video?
  • Getting testimonials?
  • Blogging?
  • Ezines/newsletters?
  • Generating leads?
  • Social media?
  • Podcasts?
  • Advertising?
  • Referrals?
  • Direct mail?
  • Anything else?

Step Fifteen – Final Step! Grab a calendar and begin to look back over all the information you have gathered. What needs to be done? When does it need to be done? Put everything on the calendar.

Remember to create a plan that works for you. Consistency is most important so don’t commit to things you really don’t feel like you’ll be able to complete. You don’t want to end up being frustrated and throwing the whole plan out the window because you can’t keep up.

Key questions to ask:

  • How much time do you have to dedicate to marketing?
  • How much money do you have?
  • What tools do you have to make some of these things easier?
  • Who do you have in your network that might be able to help you?
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