Every marketer knows the value of a clear and well thought through marketing strategy. Countless hours are spent identifying the target audiences, understanding the messaging points and perfecting the tactics - yet for some reason, the vast majority of marketing plans sit gathering dust as businesses, brands and products evolve at pace. Mobas' Account Director Ellen Chesterman, explains how a well-planned strategy needs to be agile to ensure it remains relevant.
Spend five minutes on Google, and you can easily find the building blocks needed to build a robust marketing strategy. Planning, research, audience identification, messaging, tactics and budget, the list goes on. Naturally, the weighting and importance of each component are much debated, but ultimately strategies fail when they are either not aligned well to the audience you are trying to reach or when marketer's fail to get the buy-in from stakeholders holding the purse strings.
Most marketing managers start their planning with a budget to spend. It's a natural thing to do, especially when marketing budgets are set on an annual cycle, but it reduces marketing to merely a service function, rather than one that can drive business growth.
Strategy is hugely important to us at Mobas. It sits at the heart of all we do, which is why we start every project or campaign by seeking to understand what success will look like. We need to begin by agreeing on what our goals are. Is it awareness, lead generation, customer retention or business growth? The list goes on and on, but that proves the point. Every strategy will differ depending on what the goal is. The answer, dare I say it, isn't always marketing. But once you get a firm understanding of what your goal is, you can then build a programme to get you to that destination as quickly as possible.
Rather than focusing on how much money you have in your budget, flip your thinking to focus on what the value of a lead will be to your business. If you simply commission activity without focusing and reporting on tangible outputs, your marketing is unlikely to make a significant impact. We recommend you take time to assess how your business generates leads or sales and build a model to understand how much each of these has cost. This approach will empower you as a marketing professional to not only deliver more effective campaigns but give you the ammunition you need to champion marketing within your organisation. It also empowers you to be agile when it comes to the marketing tactics you use.
The reason most strategies are discarded or left on the shelf is that they fail to adapt and respond to changes within a business. This is worrying on many levels, but most importantly, because plans are disregarded when often only one element hasn't worked - the tactics. While most businesses move at pace, it is unlikely that your audiences, offering, messaging, or price point will have changed. That's why we front-load our strategy time into getting those components right, then set specific and tangible KPIs to each tactic. Once we can measure the effectiveness of each execution, we can use our strategy and reporting to twist the dial on each tactic to ensure our marketing delivers the best business results and return of investment.
If your strategy is sitting on the shelf, feel free to contact Mobas. Our team of strategist and planners are on hand to offer advice and consultancy that will allow you to not only deliver a strategy that works but empower you to own the results you generate and help your business achieve its objectives quicker.