Owning a small and medium-sized business (SMB) is a big responsibility. The company is usually something very personal and something that matters greatly to the owner. The owner is responsible for all aspects of the business — from product acquisition to marketing. When that much responsibility falls on one person or a small team, it can be easy to skip over significant parts of the business, including developing a marketing strategy.
Simply put, a marketing strategy is a long-term plan for achieving an organization’s goals by understanding the organization’s needs and then taking those needs and creating a plan to put the organization ahead of the competition. Strategies tend to be less tactical, specific, and overarching, and the strategy also considers the organization’s overall purpose or mission statement.
There are three steps to developing an effective marketing strategy for 2023: understanding your organization, writing out the strategy, and identifying your goals.
Mission and marketing
Before creating a marketing strategy, you must deeply dive into your business. Hopefully, your organization already has a business summary and mission statement to help move this process along. If not, create both statements, which will help more than just marketing.
The mission statement at the core of your marketing strategy will help keep goals aligned and find the right audience for your product. A mission statement should be concise and public knowledge. Then, once the purpose of the business is clear, it becomes easier to create goals for the year, understand the target audience, and why customers should choose your business over a competitor.
Write out the strategy
The next step is to write out the marketing strategy. Often, organizations create specific plans that will act as marketing campaigns. The strategy, however, is discussed but not confirmed. When writing the process out, organize it into three components: competitive, growth, and attitude strategies to help keep your business on track.
Competitive strategies aid the SMB in gaining an advantage over competitors. It utilizes different types of analysis, such as the 4Ps, SWOT, and Competitive Landscape Analysis, to see the business’s weaknesses versus its strengths. Investigating growth strategies will help the company expand and increase its market share. Finally, creating attitude strategies will assist in determining the method by which the business will grow. Will it be organic or use the growth method acquisition?
Covering the bases and going through each component of a marketing strategy will make identifying goals much easier.
Finally, the last recommended step is identifying goals. The marketing goals should reflect the business goals, so understanding the SMB is a crucial first step to creating a marketing strategy. For example, if a plan for the year is to have 500 more sales than the previous year, marketing goals should increase awareness surrounding the SMB and generate high-quality leads. Clear, attainable goals will make future marketing campaigns easier to see the return on investment, which will inevitably prove this helpful process for the organization.
Marketing strategies are overlooked, but they will help keep the organization on track to meet its goals. Invest your time now, and you will not regret it.