Marketing Strategy: What It Is and Why You Need One
The definition of a marketing plan as defined by Entrepreneur is: "the written document that describes your advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year; it includes a statement of the marketing situation, a discussion of target markets and company positioning and a description of the marketing mix you intend to use to reach your marketing goals".
Sweet! Do a quick search on Pinterest for a free template, fill in the blanks with your business name, products, audience, and social media handles and you're good to go, right?
The thing about marketing plans is that they're a little bit... generic. Some tell you to post on Instagram somewhere between one and three times a day, with such and such time frames being the most optimal. That's great and all - but have you ever checked to see if that's what's optimal for *your* audience?
That's the thing. A lot of these marketing plans are created focusing on one of two things: a certain type of person who may or may not be your person or social media users as a whole, taking *everyone* into consideration to create these "optimal" allegedly magic numbers.
Not to mention, even if you did take into consideration the social media usage of the right people, without getting more in-depth, you'll end up with the same plan that all of your competitors are using. That definitely won't help you to stand out or win over customers and clients.
It's when you start taking into account each unique aspect of *your* business that a marketing plan becomes a marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy is something totally customized and totally tailored to your brand, your offerings, your audience and your goals. One thing that I've been hearing a lot about lately is that the success that comes from your goals is directly related to your intention (for more on this, check out this podcast by Jenna Kutcher and this book by Rachel Hollis).
So what does intention have to do with strategy? This strategy that I found for free from a Facebook ad says that she used it to double her email subscribers, and *I* want to double my email subscribers so it should totally work for me, right?
The reason being is because you have your own completely unique "why" behind why you want to double your email list, and while I don't doubt that the strategy you found worked great for its creator, it doesn't hold the intention behind it that is going to drive you to success.
You need to truly understand the core of your brand and your products or services for your marketing plan to become strategic. When your marketing plan becomes strategic, it puts context behind what you're doing, and it becomes apparent what is working and what isn't. That means you can be more timely and more efficient about making changes and expanding on the things that are serving you well.
So to tie all of this off - a marketing strategy gives you an unbeatable advantage because it's completely customized according to the finer details of your brand. When you start to connect even the tiniest details to the rest of your business, that's when you begin to stand out, become cohesive and consistent, draw in your people, and find the growth and attention that you're looking for.
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