Do you have a marketing strategy? If you do, how often do you update it? If you’re not sure if or when you should be revisiting your marketing strategy then this blog is for you.
We’re going to take a look at marketing strategy as a whole, what you should include and how often you should review it. We’re basically covering it all, so by the end of this blog, you’ll know exactly what to do to ensure your marketing strategy works!
What Is A Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is an overview of your planned marketing activities for your business. It encompasses your ideal objectives, your vision and mission statements to reach, engage, convert and retain new clients.
Ok, So How Often Should I Work On My Marketing Strategy?
So, this is where it gets interesting. Your marketing strategy is the big picture. It’s a direction that you set for your company and all the smaller elements and activities you work on are what will get you there. But the marketing mix is made up of so many parts, each part needs different timeframes for reviewing.
Your overarching strategic approach is best reviewed annually. You can do it at the start of the new year when everyone is wiping the slate clean and enjoying newfound mojo. Or maybe at the start of the financial year when you feel better able to work out budgets.
Within your annual marketing strategy review you should include things like:
Your value proposition is what you think makes your customers choose you over one of your competitors. It’s what makes you different – preferable. This may evolve over time, as you introduce new services or your business takes a new direction. Reviewing your value proposition every year keeps your aims clear.
Your data is gold. It will help you see what is working best for your business. If you look at the numbers for last year and the year before, you should see the areas that are bringing in the most return. You can then focus on these.
Directly related to what’s working is where you’re spending. If you sponsored a golf club for £2000 to gain exposure, but most of your sales are coming from Instagram, then your spending doesn’t reflect what’s working for your business. If you took that sponsorship investment and instead spent it on Instagram ads and campaigns, you are more likely to get a better return on investment.
Empathy, Tone & Direction
This is where you can review your marketing as a whole. You can look at the landscape of the community you’re within and ensure your messaging is keeping you connected to them.
If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that a lot can change in a year. Your customer’s pain points and priorities will have changed a lot in that time. It’s no use carrying on in the same manner with your marketing as if nothing has changed so it’s very important to use empathy and the right tone to reflect what’s going on in your customers’ worlds.
Is It A One & Done Review?
No. The overview of your strategy is best done annually, but the elements that make up your marketing are better suited to more frequent reviews.
We’ve broken up the different marketing elements below into three different timeframes – those you need to be reviewing 6-monthly, quarterly and monthly. Following this schedule will help ensure you’re on top of your marketing strategy and nothing slips through the net.
It’s good practice to look at some of your bigger marketing aspects twice a year. If you’re on top of it all, you will find that these won’t necessarily need any work, but the process of reviewing them ensures nothing has been left behind. Things like;
Websites are organic and need a lot of work to keep them working to the best of their ability.
We’re not suggesting a total layout overhaul every six months (you know how much you hate it when your local supermarket switches things around!), but tweaking the copy, making buttons and CTAs more prominent and responding to what your analytics is telling you can help create a website that delivers exceptional results.
Consistency in your marketing makes it more effective. Creating campaigns that have a similar look and feel across all of your marketing platforms means you build a stronger profile and brand recognition. Taking a look at your campaigns twice a year and setting the style for the coming months will make the creative process quicker.
In winter, review your spring/summer campaigns. In summer, start work on your Christmas/new year ones. It may not feel like the right time as it’s hard to feel Christmassy when the sun is blazing outside and vice versa, but being proactive and planning ahead gives you plenty of time to refine your seasonal marketing.
Taking the time to review some of the smaller marketing activities every three months will help ensure you are keeping up to date with any current trends. These parts include:
Landing pages are part of your sales funnel and play an important role in bringing you leads and members. Make sure your landing pages are performing by checking in with them quarterly – you want to catch any gaps in good time.
Print & Digital Ad Plans
A 3-month ad plan is more nimble than one that is set for the year ahead. By reviewing it quarterly you can allocate time and resources to what’s working best – plus channel your efforts into hot topics/trending things.
Lastly, there are some parts of your marketing strategy you can review every month. These are the day-to-day marketing tasks that need your attention. They’re usually the things that are more susceptible to change.
Keyword searches can change as different words enter the vocabulary so it’s worth checking them more frequently. You need to identify what words and phrases are most competitive at the moment, then make sure these are included in your content.
You can then use these keywords and trending topics to write relevant and useful blogs. You may be great at consistently blogging daily or weekly but if the content you are using isn’t relevant then you’re wasting your time and effort.
Your Social Media needs to be reviewed more frequently. Not only should you be using social media to be authentic and share your thoughts, comments and ideas, but you should also be using it to check what your competitor’s thoughts, comments and ideas are. It’s also one of the easiest ways to find out what’s going on in your customers’ worlds so that you can tailor your marketing to them.
The Hard Work Will Pay Off
A good marketing strategy takes work. In fact, some elements need constant attention. But when you get it right, you see the results. Following these timeframes will help you get there.
If you’d like further help with strategy for your membership site, we’re here to help. Get in touch for a demo of our membership sites.