Rethinking Marketing: Strategy First, Then Tactics
“Ok, so what’s your plan, buddy?”
This is the question I asked my 11-year-old son the evening before his first karate competition. The next morning would be the first time he’d ever really had to think strategically about putting his karate skills on display. After a little bit of thought, his response was,
“I want to get at least one medal. And…I want to have fun.”
Love it – those are both GREAT things. But those aren’t actually plans. They’re just outcomes you hope to reach. Here’s a lesson we learned (semi the hard way) the next day: wanting to get a medal and have fun are both a lot more possible when you actually have a strong plan of action.
Before you dismiss this as completely irrelevant to you and your business, ask yourself if you’re making the same mistake my 11 year old ninja did. Are you confusing your desired outcome with a strategy? Are you just randomly trying different means to earn your medal grow your business?
If you’re deploying a shotgun approach to your marketing – randomly joining a new social platform, sending a few emails here and there, etc – it’s a surefire recipe for inefficiency and missed opportunities. The antidote? A laser-focused intentional strategy. Let’s dive in.
Beyond Surface-Level Marketing: Avoid the Temptation for Everything
In the digital age, the pressure to be everywhere and on everything often results in businesses scattering their efforts—be it a sporadic tweet, a hastily written blog, or an ad with broad targeting. But such random tactics, devoid of strategy, will drain your resources and your energy.
And to what purpose? Do you have solid data that shows your business will benefit from these things?
The “Symphony” of Intentional Marketing
Imagine a symphony orchestra, where every musician and instrument has its role, creating a harmonious sound. However, if you’ve ever listened to an orchestra warm up before a performance, you know that this union doesn’t just happen naturally. When each musician plays at will, the sound is anything but beautiful.
This is a great picture for your marketing: when you’re randomly firing off different tactics, the end result will be haphazard, and probably unpleasant. But when your marketing is based upon an intentional, focused strategy, every initiative – no matter how small – aligns with your business vision and goals.
Crafting a Strategy with Precision: You Have to Know Your Customer
The heartbeat of an impactful strategy is a deep understanding of your customer. You have to know your customer inside and out: their aspirations, pain points, and buying triggers. This isn't just about demographics but psychographics—the emotions and thought processes steering their decisions.
A strategy isn't a one-size-fits-all. Tailor your marketing blueprint to address the unique needs and preferences of your audience. You want to identify tactics and content that resonate with them, moving them through a carefully orchestrated customer journey.
Then, Focus on Clear, Quantifiable Goals
Ambiguous goals yield ambiguous results. If you're aiming for a 5% growth, break that down. How many leads do you need? How many conversions? What's the average value of each conversion? Quantify, then strategize: once you know where you want to end up, how do you plan to get there? How will your knowledge of your ideal customer shape this strategy?
This strategy you create should inform everything you do. Each piece of content, every ad, and all social media posts should have a specific purpose and intent that aligns with your strategy. They should serve a purpose, feeding into the overarching strategy, ensuring every effort counts and propels the business forward. If you’re going to create a blog post, it has to fit within this strategy and purpose. If it doesn’t, save your time.
Monitor, Refine, and Adjust: Using Analytics to Strengthen and Improve Your Strategy
The digital landscape is always evolving and changing. Track your progress with advanced analytics tools, assessing campaign performance and customer engagement metrics. Customer preferences evolve. New trends emerge. Your strategy will need to make adjustments based on these changes. Regularly assess, refine, and if needed, pivot, to ensure you’re always aligned with your customer’s specific needs.
This isn't just about data; it's about insights that can shape your strategy, help you make the right adjustments, and inform future decisions.
You Don’t Have to Think About Your Strategy Alone
Tactics without strategy are like arrows shot in the dark. Transitioning from a tactic-centric approach to a strategy-focused mindset can be a game-changer for your business. By embracing intentional and coherent marketing strategies, you pave the way for substantial and meaningful growth, steering your business towards sustained success.
Ready to revolutionize your marketing landscape? Dive deeper with Flatland. Let's turn your shotgun tactics into a targeted strategy that resonates with your audiences, engages their trust and consideration, and converts them into your next customer.