Why you need a Marketing Strategy. Seriously.

Where does a Web site and Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation actually fit into the grand scheme of things?

I have done a few seminars now on Social Media. Before I can get to social media questions, I have to go through the whole sequence of points that is Marketing Strategy. The majority of these points are either not known, or are ignored by most small business owners. Not because they are stupid – small business owners are some of the most intelligent people I know. It’s just because most people have never really been educated in Marketing Strategy.

Let’s look at this from a very simplistic, bird’s eye view.

Before you can know whether or not you are succeeding at your marketing strategy, there are a few things that you have to do.

First of all, you have to have a Business plan. This is not particularly difficult to put together – there are loads of web sites, documents and books that cover this in great detail. To distill all of that into a couple of sentences for the sake of this article boils it down to this minimum: You have to have some idea where you want to take the business over the next couple of years, and you have to have some kind of workable plan on how to achieve that idea.

Only once you have done that, can you put together a Marketing Plan.

With a marketing plan in hand, then you will at least know the following things:

  • Who your Target Markets are
  • What your Unique Selling Proposition is
  • What Added Value you give to your Customers
  • Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
  • Who your Competition are, and what THEIR strategies are
  • What your Pricing Strategy is
  • What quantifiable Marketing Goals you can set and measure
  • What your Promotion Strategy is

Then to break it down further, your promotion strategy should include such things as:

  • Networking
  • Business Exhibitions
  • Press Releases
  • “Traditional” Advertising
  • Your Web Site
  • Social Media

You will immediately see that the only way you can know what your web site is supposed to say, and the only way you can know how, or even IF, Social Media can benefit you, is if you have done all of the above steps.

If you have done all of the above, then you will have a very clear idea of WHAT you need to be communicating and to WHO – in order to be increasing your business.

I will expand on the details of the purpose of your web site and how to use social media in future articles, but please feel free to use any of the above as a checklist to construct your own simple Marketing Strategy for your business in the meantime.