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At the end of the day it’s ALL marketing

Our monthly contribution from Andrew Leon Walker of Rame Marketing

I’m as guilty as the next man. Even though I know it’s wrong, I still slip up with the terminology. But at least I recognize what I’m saying is wrong.

I understand that anyone listening to me make these statements might think I’m an outcast from The Apprentice. “Lord Sugar, I was responsible for the strategy to buy the Rich Tea biscuits for the client meeting.”

Yes, I’m talking about the inappropriate use of the word “strategy”.

I’m just putting together my social media strategy, then I’ll be looking at my email marketing strategy. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

As a marketer of (too) many years I know that we have one main marketing strategy, based on our key business objectives that guide our decision making and the implementation of our marketing plan.

However, too many of today’s businesses don’t have a marketing strategy or even a marketing plan. Their audience is viewed as “anyone with the budget”. This means they don’t really know who to target. They spend their days fighting fires and leaping from one shiny new object to the next. That results in an ever-decreasing spiral of poor results, causing panic and resulting in even more time, effort and money thrown at short term gambles.

If we really want long term sustainable growth, there is no magic bullet. Every business needs to implement a written marketing strategy based on in-depth research into its customers, competitors and internal strengths and weaknesses. This helps us understand our key value proposition (why people buy from us and not our competitors).

The key to a successful marketing plan is based on segmentation, targeting and positioning aligned to a plan that includes all sections of the marketing mix relevant to the target audience.

It is only at this stage of events that we get involved in the tactics we will use to achieve the plan: the content marketing distribution, the social media marketing channels, and the paid advertising channels. These should be looked at in a cohesive manner – for example, the social media posts should be based on the content plan which flows from the key aims and objectives of the strategy, all supported by paid advertising channels and offline marketing activities.

So the flow needs to be:

  • Aims and objectives
  • Strategy
  • Plan
  • Tactics

Better known as Joined Up Marketing.

If you’d like some more information on creating a marketing strategy, here’s a link to an eguide that I created on behalf on the ICAEW called Developing a digital marketing strategy.