I sat down this morning to start my blog around digital marketing budgets and quickly realised that subject alone could be spread over several blogs! I started to write the first one and the words I wrote kept coming back to ‘marketing strategy’. So I thought let's start a stage back because before you can plan your digital marketing spend, you need to understand what you are trying to achieve first and foremost.
Why is a marketing strategy so important?
- You will have clear direction and understanding of your objectives
- You will understand your target audience
- You are more likely to gain an edge on competitors
- You will understand your unique selling points
- You are less likely to waste time & money
- You will get a better return on your investment
So assuming you are going to write your strategy yourself (you could of course work with a professional and have this developed), the following outlines the key items your strategy should cover:
- Objectives – what do you want to achieve from your marketing? What are your goals?
- Target audience -
- SWOT analysis – What are your strengths, weaknesses, what are the opportunities and what are the threats?
- Competitors – who are they? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Action plan – what do you need to do to achieve your objectives?
- Offline marketing plans for example advertising, networking etc.
- Digital marketing for example search engine optimisation, social media marketing, pay-per-click etc.
- Content strategy – what content needs to be created such as copy, graphics and videos
- How will you monitor results?
- How will you measure return on investment?
- Timings – how long does your plan cover - 3 months, 6 months or 12 months? What is the focus each month?
- Budget – what is your overall spend available for marketing? Typically, an overall marketing spend is 5% of revenue on marketing. If you are looking to grow or gain a higher market share, this can often be around 10%.
It's as simple as that! Your marketing strategy need only consist of a few hundred words but so long as it covers the key points above then it should put you on track to achieving your goals. So take some time now to draft your marketing strategy and be sure to come back and read our next blog which will cover digital marketing/planning in more detail and will help you to refine your strategy even further.