It’s safe to say that every organisation wants to succeed. But great results don’t just happen by chance. Having a marketing strategy in place is essential for making sure that you’re targeting the right people, in the right way, and at the right time.
If you’re unsure how to jumpstart your organisation’s strategy, this blog’s aim is to help you get there.
So, let’s start with the basics…
A strategy is the game plan for an organisation to reach its desired goals. It determines the direction and the focus – the ‘why’ we’re doing this and ‘what’ purpose it serves. A marketing strategy helps an organisation to concentrate its resources on the best possible opportunities for growth. It’s all about finding ways to work smarter, and not necessarily harder.
Asana’s global survey ‘The Anatomy of Work Global Index’ found that knowledge workers spend 58% of their time on ‘work about work’ things like meetings and emails, and only spent 9% on strategy.
There’s a real urge in organisations to dive straight into the tactics – the ‘fun’ bit of marketing. But marketing without a solid strategy in place has been described as the noise before failure. Mark Ritson, a brand consultant and former marketing professor, said:
It’s fair to say we all get distracted from time to time with ‘shiny object syndrome’ – the tendency to chase new trends, opportunities and ideas without evaluating their benefit to your organisation first. Think of strategy like a game of chess. You wouldn’t want to start moving your pieces before you knew the rules of the game.
Marketing strategy is all about harnessing your logic and creativity to solve a problem – but sometimes that problem isn’t obvious. For us, strategic thinking is all about questioning, challenging and being a critical friend to our clients. It’s finding out what’s really going on – the things business owners may not have even realised themselves.
There are four different components of strategic thinking:
Marketing strategists thinking about the big picture, looking for parallels with other industries and cultures. They act with empathy, questioning what drives people and organisations to do x, y, and z, and understanding what it is that they need. Using both logic and imagination is crucial, as well as weighing up what action needs to be driven in the short term vs the long term.
In short, a marketing strategist enacts the overarching vision for an organisation and connects the dots to get there.
As purpose-driven marketing strategists, here’s the process we follow at Eleven:
A strategic approach to marketing focuses on all areas of the marketing mix, also known as the 7 ‘P’s of marketing. These are:
Product – It almost goes without saying that the product (or service) you’re selling should be at the centre of your strategy.
Price – The strategy behind your product or service needs to be based on what your audience is prepared to pay for it.
Place – Where are how your product is displayed and sold should be informed by your audience.
Promotion – How you tell your audience about your product or service; through tactics like advertising, direct marketing and social media.
People – The importance of how you interact with your audience and providing excellent customer service.
Process – How you deliver your product or service to your audience and the importance of making this as efficient and reliable as possible. This might also involve things like being environmentally responsible in how you operate.
Physical evidence – All of the ways your audience sees or hears references to your organisation’s brand. This is everything from packaging and branding to your digital presence.
Let’s have a look at how this works in the real world…
Take Nespresso. If they’d placed their project next to instant coffee, and sold it in jars, the equivalent cost would have been over £30 a jar. But because they sell their coffee in cup-sized pods, the perceived competition isn’t the likes of Nescafe. It’s Starbucks. So when you compare a 40p coffee pod with a Starbucks coffee that would cost you the best part of £3, you’re made to feel that the Nespresso machine is practically making you money. This is a good example of price and place.
Or take a look at Morphy Richards. Things weren’t going well for the brand as they were faced with stiff competition. This prompted a repositioning of the brand as an innovator of products designed to make home life easiest and happier. This simple proposition, based on the history of the business and its founder, enabled the brand to find a sweet spot in the contradiction between form and function. A great example of promotion.
Hopefully now you’ll believe us when we say that strategy isn’t optional – it’s essential. If you’re now eager to build a truly effective strategy to help grow your organisation, get in touch and we’ll support you on the path towards success.