Funny thing about building a strong marketing strategy...there’s a strategy behind it!
In order to build a strategic marketing plan – one that’s really good – you need to approach it strategically by first starting with research. Otherwise, you’re not making decisions about your plan based on facts, which quite frankly is, well, a bad plan.
Remember when you were told you had to do your homework before you could go out and play? Well, we hate to break it to you, but before you can build a strategy, if you want it to work anyway, you have to get your homework done first. Not to worry though. We always do our homework and are happy to share a little cheat sheet to help you out:
Don’t Just Google It
It must be true if it’s on the internet, right? If you believe that, we’ve got some property in Florida that might interest you. There are two different types of research beyond ”Googling it.”
Primary research involves things like surveys, interviews and focus groups – getting info directly from those relevant to your business, including employees, customers and even competitors.
Secondary research is existing stuff you can conjure up from the depths of your archive files or perhaps hiding inconspicuously in your desk drawer.
Gather this data all up and take it all in, then compile all the valuable insights it offers about your company and your customers.
Now, take what you’ve learned and build buyer personas – profiles of your ideal, average customer complete with the problems they have and the answers they seek – the research will tell you all that, which is key to creating a marketing strategy that sets you up as the go-to place for solutions your customers need.
Without doing the research first and using it to get to know your audience better, your marketing will just be grasping at straws, and there’s nothing strategic about that.
A marketing strategy should help you toward ultimately reaching your business goals, but in order for it to do that effectively, you have to take the time to do it right. Research first. That's how you build consensus, base decisions on facts instead of opinions, and target your message for the best possible results. Then, you can go out and play all you want, with the return on investment you just made!