A LOOQME guide to creating an effective marketing strategy

Any promotional business activity starts with planning a strategy. A marketing strategy plays a key role here, as it serves as a road map and helps the business outline the approaches and channels for reaching and interacting with existing and potential customers.

Marketing strategy can also help determine the brand's target audience, current market trends, tools, and directions for the effective promotion of goods or services.

Without a solid marketing strategy, it is difficult for companies to increase customer engagement and achieve business goals. 

In this article, we will look at the role of marketing strategy, its types, and the development of a work plan following the company specifics to meet the set business goals and objectives.

Why a business needs a marketing strategy

The role of marketing strategy is to determine how a company plans to promote and sell a product or service. It includes data on target audience, company goals, vision, positioning, content plan for social media, website, and advertising, and enables you to move towards business goals.

A marketing strategy outlines short-term and long-term business goals and determines the algorithm for their achievement. This plan will help you decide on your next steps to improve sales, reach more customers, and increase revenues. The strategy also aligns brand positioning in different marketing channels and provides relevant content.

The ultimate goal of this comprehensive plan is to reach the target audience through marketing and advertising campaigns, establish brand positioning, and test promotion hypotheses.

Types of marketing strategies

There are several strategies, but not all of them help achieve the same goals, as they often target different types of channels and require varying promotion approaches. At the same time, the general marketing strategy can combine several types and approaches to promotion.

Let us consider the types of marketing strategies that are currently particularly relevant for Ukrainian companies adapting to new conditions.

Anti-crisis strategy

This type of strategy is the company's response plan to unforeseen situations. It devises a set of actions that focus on identifying and managing emergencies and reputational risks, from natural disasters and cyber-attacks to media attacks. An effective plan includes a clear communication strategy for internal and external stakeholders that ensures timely and accurate dissemination of information.

This strategy requires investment of time and effort in the evaluation of the info field and risk analysis. It must also be flexible and adaptable to various possible scenarios of crisis development.

Go-to-market strategy

A comprehensive plan is necessary when expanding a company or product to new markets. It helps carry out analysis and research of a new audience of users, minimize risks, and optimize potential success when entering a new market. Creating a go-to-market strategy is important for both existing companies and new brands. The GTM strategy includes profiles of the brand's target markets, competitive challenges and product features, a potential user profile, an adapted marketing plan, and a distribution or development strategy based on the characteristics of users in the markets.

Marketing strategy for business growth

It involves using data obtained through marketing campaigns and experiments to drive business growth. It helps entrepreneurs and marketers anticipate changes and plan effective strategies for continuous improvement. Variations of this strategy can pursue different objectives — launching a business or new products, differentiation, planned growth, innovation, expanding the product line, etc.

 A short guide to creating a marketing strategy

Besides generating creative ideas, a successful marketing strategy also combines an understanding of the market, competition, customer needs, and preferences with real opportunities and goals of the brand.

Let us look at what makes an effective strategy and the steps to its creation.

1. Make a brand or company profile.

Conduct a comprehensive brand or company audit. It will allow you to see the big picture, which can shape your long-term strategy. Collect basic data about the brand:

— attributes;

— date of establishment and profiles of the founders;

— description of the business model;

— list and descriptions of products and/or services;

— features and competitive advantages.

You can also add a corporate or business strategy to this list.

The generated profile examines the data to identify areas where the company can improve its positioning and visualizes the overall performance at a certain point in time.

2. Determine the brand's target audience

Research to understand your customers and identify their needs, wants, and grievances. This analysis will help uncover their buying patterns and motivation to use services. A sociological survey by LOOQME will also help to research the audience.

Sociology in the study of brand communications

Establish the brand's ideal customer profile, including occupation, gender, age, interests, problems, needs, location, etc. Make a short description of his profile to visualize important information.

3. Research the market and competitors

Competitor analysis will help a company identify its competitors and the products they offer and define a competitive advantage by outlining their features, unique value propositions, and advertising strategy. Through analysis, you can identify gaps in the market, uncover trends, and develop a product that meets expectations and is relevant to your audience.

The easiest way to carry out such an analysis is to monitor mentions and info breaks in the media and social networks. In this way, you can see the specifics of content strategies and positioning of competitors, their tone of voice, and results.

Monitoring competitors: why and how to do it

4. Determine the strategic objectives

Once you have a comprehensive understanding of the market, it is time to define the marketing goals and objectives of the company. They should align with overall business goals and provide a clear direction for marketing efforts. While sales and revenue generation are usually the ultimate objectives for every company, short-term goals such as establishing credibility, increasing customer engagement, or generating leads offer measurable benchmarks for the progress of the marketing plan.

5. Set measurable and real indicators (SMART, KPI, OKR)

Each goal and objective requires quantitative and qualitative indicators that help measure and analyze their effectiveness.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. SMART goals contain five aspects that help you focus, and reassess your objectives. This framework can help any team practice effective project management.

Evaluating the success of marketing campaigns involves measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) and assessing their impact on overall marketing goals.

In addition to KPIs, consider collecting quality feedback from customers and target audiences. Conduct surveys, interviews or work with focus groups to understand their experiences, attitudes, and satisfaction levels. This feedback can provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of marketing efforts and help identify areas for improvement.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) provide a business framework for implementing and achieving desired strategies by establishing common goals. OKRs have helped many organizations, including Google, successfully prioritize, create internal alignment, increase accountability, and achieve their goals.

Media monitoring for marketers: what is there to gain

6. Use SWOT/TOWS, Canvas, PEST, and VRIO methodologies for comprehensive analysis

Carrying out a SWOT analysis helps identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your business. Strengths (S) and weaknesses (W) refer to internal factors, which are the resources and expertise available to the business. SWOT also helps analyze competitors. External forces affect every company, organization, and person. Regardless of whether these factors have a direct or contingent relation to opportunities(O) or threats (T), it is necessary to note and document each one.

TOWS analysis is a variation of SWOT analysis and is an acronym for Threats, Opportunities, Weaknesses, and Strengths.

Many companies use Political, Economic, Social,and Technological (PEST) analysis to assess their business environmentand understand external threats and opportunities.

VRIO (Value, Rarity, Imitation, andOrganization) is aninternal analysis tool organizations use to classify internal resources basedon whether they share certain traits defined in the framework. Thiscategorization allows organizations to identify company resources that providea competitive advantage.

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is astrategic management tool to create, analyze, and communicate a company'sbusiness model. It visualizes a company's key elements and their connection,enabling organizations to identify and assess their value proposition, customersegments, revenue streams, key partners, resources, and costs.

7. Create a schedule

Having a clear schedule helps prioritize tasks,allocate resources, and maintain accountability throughout the execution of themarketing plan. It also ensures effective coordination and communication withteam members or external partners involved in strategy implementation.

Break the plan down into specific steps, suchas the launch of a new product or an advertising campaign. Set deadlines foreach milestone and ensure they align with overall marketing goals andobjectives.

8. Allocate arealistic budget

Set clear budgets to ensure the successfulexecution of the marketing strategy. Effectively allocating resources andsetting realistic deadlines will help you stay on track and measure yourmarketing progress.

Start by determining your overall marketingbudget. This can be a percentage of total revenue or a fixed amount dedicatedexclusively to marketing activities. Consider the costs associated with eachmarketing channel, including advertising fees, content creation, graphicdesign, and any outside resources or outsourcing agencies. Understanding budgetconstraints, you will make informed decisions about the most efficientallocation of resources.

9. Plan and produce creative content

It is now time to implement creative approaches.Once you have identified your goals, promotion channels, and available budgets,you should develop original content for each platform. It should correspond togeneral branding and exclude situational formats. It is your opportunity toshow potential customers how the company's product or service will benefitthem.

Stay flexible and embrace new marketing trendsin the ever-changing online info space. Monitoring industry developments andconsumer behavior will allow you to identify new trends and technologies toimprove marketing strategy and content creation approaches.

Aconsistent marketing strategy is crucial to achieving business success. Byunderstanding the market, defining marketing goals, developing a comprehensivemarketing plan, implementing effective tactics, and regularly evaluating andadjusting their strategy, businesses can facilitate their growth in the info spaceand stay ahead of the competition.


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