Building a Marketing Strategy: What You Need to Know

marketing strategy

Businesses of all sizes and industries understand that marketing efforts are necessary to target customers and be successful.  Some companies have a marketing team that develop a marketing strategy to keep their company continually on the radar. However, even small businesses take steps to foster name recognition on social media channels and search engines to promote customer loyalty. 

 When obtaining a sustainable competitive advantage, the best way to ensure all current and future marketing efforts are successful is to have a marketing plan.  

A marketing strategy is a multi-pronged approach to finding prospective consumers and achieving business goals. As such, a marketing strategy is imperative in every aspect of business awareness and promotion, from a strong social media presence to brand positioning, content marketing and developing marketing materials, like online advertising.  

From your marketing budget to the various marketing channels, you’ll use to share your key brand messaging, your marketing strategy helps fulfill all your business objectives. 

What is a Marketing Strategy?
The Basics of Creating a Marketing Strategy
Identify and Research Your Target Audience
Identify the Most Effective Marketing Strategies and Marketing Campaigns
Redefine and Reexamine Your Marketing Strategy
Other Important Considerations for a Marketing Strategy
Determine the Marketing Channels Where You’ll Find Your Target Audience
Build an Effective Marketing Strategy with Our Experts at ContentFirst Marketing


Establishing a Marketing Strategy for Your Business  

 A strong marketing strategy entails more than simply developing a loose marketing plan for search engine optimization or social media management.  Your marketing strategy outlines every aspect of your company, from your inherent brand strategy and value proposition to how you measure success. Along the way, you can include specific marketing tactics (like an email marketing strategy), but a solid marketing plan begins with a broad and all-encompassing marketing strategy. 

Corporations and large companies have marketing teams to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy game plan. But if you don’t have these expensive resources in-house, it can be hard to determine where to start.  

What are the essential components of your marketing strategy? How do you identify your target audience? What determines the best business strategy in social media, email marketing, and even niche marketing corners like user-generated content or influencer marketing? 

Identifying the answers to these questions requires market research and strategic insight. However, the solutions will pave the way to your marketing strategy goals and how to achieve them. 

marketing plan


What is a Marketing Strategy? 

A marketing strategy refers to a long-term approach and an overall game plan of any organization or business with the perpetual goal of identifying a target audience and generating business. Once known as “branding” back in the early days of marketing, a marketing strategy considers the company’s value proposition, key brand messaging, data on a target market, and other elements that determine the best path forward.  

Simply put, a company’s marketing strategy sets the marketing goals and marketing objectives for all future marketing campaigns. From the talking points of an in-house sales team to the content strategy for email marketing, an effective marketing strategy sets the tone for all marketing plans and specific marketing tactics. 

The Basics of Creating a Marketing Strategy 

A multi-faceted and thorough approach is required when crafting a marketing strategy that will essentially dictate all future marketing goals and marketing tactics. In order to create a marketing strategy, a company must examine much more than simple marketing tactics or researching prospective consumers. Additionally, a smart marketing strategy starts with a few foundational questions that will shape the company’s aims, the ideal customer, and the eventual marketing plan. 

Define the Foundation of Your Brand  

The first step to creating a marketing strategy is to define the foundational elements of your brand. This includes the basic elements of a marketing plan. For instance, identify your target audience, what your key branding message is, and your value proposition to your potential customers.  

These elements tend to be unchangeable, as they are the pillars of your company’s identity. However, as you get further into the process of creating a marketing strategy, these brand-positioning features will come into a more productive focus.  

target audience


Identify and Research Your Target Audience 

Every business has its own unique target audience, and this target audience, in return, has distinctive pain points and expectations. It’s a clear-cut scenario that is found in every industry. Therefore, the target audience determines all marketing strategies going forward. 

Consider how grocery stores conduct marketing efforts that correspond with their buyer personas as a lone example. Whole Foods Market is a grocery store that may be more expensive. However, it connects with its audience of trendy and health-conscious consumers who want ample options for fresh and organic products. Meanwhile, more budget-friendly grocery store chains like Dollar General or Walmart cater to a target audience whose values are centered on cost and convenience. As a result, their marketing strategies align with these needs. 

Once you have the foundational details of your brand, you can determine your target audience. This will help you to best align your marketing goals with your specific buyer personas.  

Failing to understand what your target audience is looking for regarding service, convenience, or price point can be detrimental to all marketing efforts. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to conduct these essential marketing analytics to help you connect with your customer in all your marketing campaigns. 

Create a Customer Journey Map

Start your marketing research by creating a customer journey map of how new clients found and used your business.  

This customer journey should start with the marketing channels that your customers visited – such as social media, an email marketing campaign, or a search result – and continue until the transaction is complete.  

What social media posts or content marketing messages grabbed their attention and resulted in a purchase? How did your marketing funnel impact new customers? Examining your marketing mix will also help you identify any marketing channels that are performing well or needing a boost – like social media marketing or email marketing tactics.  

Review Your Business Reviews 

Customer reviews are sprinkled throughout the World Wide Web, on search engines like Google, stand-alone review sites like Yelp, and even on social media platforms. Therefore, conducting thorough market research on your reviews is an easy venture. 

Your reviews provide valuable insight into your target audience and buyer personas, as they detail – exactly what customers appreciate about your business.  

Negative reviews tend to grab the most attention from business owners (and for a good reason). However, regarding your target audience and what to showcase in marketing campaigns, positive reviews arguably give the most insight into marketing strategies.  

What sets you apart from your competitors in your customers’ eyes? What did they appreciate most about your product and services – convenience, cost, service, or a combination of all of the above? Reviews will help a company identify its inherent strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it will help determine the features that should be highlighted in all advertisements and marketing channels. 

Survey Your Customers 

How your target audience found your company – and what they liked and didn’t like about your business – is all information that can be readily found online. Therefore, consider conducting an online customer survey for a more thorough way to identify your future marketing goals and marketing objectives.  

A survey can be distributed to your past, current, or future customers in various mediums, like through an email marketing campaign or social media. Just be sure you include questions about your specific business, and what your target audience looks for as a whole.  

All of the above steps will help you identify your buyer personas and will help shape your value proposition in your marketing efforts going forward. However, it’s also essential to identify marketing trends that will shape a successful marketing strategy now and in the future.

competitors analysis

Identify Market Trends and the Competition 

The next step to creating a marketing strategy that sticks is to conduct in-depth research on your industry and your competitors, and how it compares to your marketing goals. 

This step will help with your brand positioning and effectively give you the tools to set yourself apart in all future marketing efforts.  Whether it’s for a digital marketing strategy, inbound marketing strategy, content marketing strategy, or everything in between.  

Identity Your Competitors 

Determine who your biggest competitors are when it comes to your products or services. This can be conducted with a simple Google search or by reviewing digital marketing channels. However, most businesses are already fully aware of their competition.  

Review the Details of Your Competitors  

Once you have identified your competitors, examine how they conduct brand positioning to reach their target audience. This includes social media, content marketing strategy, digital marketing advertisements, their reviews, and how they present their company and value proposition.  

All of this information provides valuable insight into your competitors’ marketing strategies and how your own business aligns with or differs from them.  

Identify the Most Effective Marketing Strategies and Marketing Campaigns 

When it comes to your competitors, it’s especially helpful to see where they succeed when it comes to varying marketing channels, like search engine results or social media.  

It may seem like some of your top competitors in marketing spend huge amounts of money and resources on marketing campaigns. However, this excess exposure is often due to a smart online or digital marketing strategy. 

How did these competitors climb to the top of the search results or obtain thousands of social media followers?

What marketing activities seemed to be most effective in reaching their target audience

The specific marketing strategies of your most successful competitors will help you create an equally effective marketing strategy. Just make sure that your marketing strategy is distinctive. You should never aim for an exact copy of what works for other companies in similar marketing channels.  

marketing strategy


Redefine and Reexamine Your Marketing Strategy 

The inherent legwork you performed in identifying your brand, key messaging, and value proposition to customers likely won’t change at its core. But once you have a better understanding of your target audience and what they like or don’t like in a broader market, you can tweak your foundational features to connect with your consumers.  

For example, perhaps most of your potential customers found your company through social media and conducted a transaction due to your exceptional service or great price points.  This market research and data will help you determine how to best reach your target audience. This will also help you understand varying marketing channels and pinpoint the important messages to include in future marketing campaigns. 

swot analysis

Other Important Considerations for a Marketing Strategy 

The above list of actions for crafting a marketing strategy covers the basics. However, other factors can help develop a thorough marketing plan. 

Conduct a SWOT Analysis 

A SWOT analysis entails a company’s internal and external review to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis can help with the foundational building blocks of creating a marketing strategy. This is more formal than an insightful and internal examination.  

Determine the Marketing Channels Where You’ll Find Your Target Audience 

In order for your marketing campaign to reach your target audience, you’ll need to know where you’ll find your consumers. Do you receive a high number of in-person customers, or do they find your business through digital marketing? With this information, you can create cost-effective marketing strategies that directly connect you with the target audience

Focus and Test Your Inbound Marketing 

Inbound marketing is a marketing campaign methodology that creates valuable content and experiences that are tailored to your target audience. Launching marketing campaigns focusing on inbound marketing allows you to test your key messaging. This helps ensure it resonates with your customers, resulting in more transactions and business.  

Find Strategic Partners 

Are there partners who align with your company’s value propositions and target audience? Can an alliance help with mutually beneficial marketing goals? Creating partnerships can help your marketing efforts, increasing your visibility across all digital marketing platforms. Additionally, they can allow you to connect with a broader target audience. 

Draft a Documented Marketing Plan 

Many components of a marketing strategy are broad. Therefore, the best way to go from marketing objectives to a defined marketing campaign is to draft a marketing plan. Spell out the big marketing strategies you aim to tackle and how you’ll get there. It is best to secure a better understanding of the costs, details, messages, and resources involved. 

Build an Effective Marketing Strategy with our Experts at ContentFirst Marketing  

A comprehensive marketing strategy that guides best practices for marketing campaigns is not an easy venture and a strategic consultant is a valuable resource to lay the groundwork for all marketing plans.  

You may understand your brand and value proposition to the fullest. But what about ensuring your marketing campaigns fit within your budget? How do you fully understand your competitors’ position in the market (and how they got there), and what specific strategies should you employ as part of overall marketing strategies?  


marketing goals


Start Achieving Your Marketing Goals Today  

We use a host of marketing automation and research tools to answer the above questions. Then, we form a detailed market analysis of what your company can do in marketing to succeed.  

 Our comprehensive methods will help you create a marketing strategy that goes far beyond the basics. Therefore, it gives your business a unique position that will resonate with your target audience and grow your customer base. 

Let’s work together to create a marketing strategy that will shape a successful future for your company. From identifying your business’ best attributes to formulating marketing campaigns that will edge out the competition, you can build a better marketing strategy from the ground up when ContentFirst Marketing is by your side. 

Reach out to our marketing experts today.

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