4 Simple Steps To Planning Your Most Effective Marketing Strategy


There’s only one way to be sure your marketing strategy produces the desired results. And it starts with a documented plan.


A marketing strategy allocates resources efficiently to drive revenues and builds buyer preference for the company’s products. It also sets the direction for the Sales Strategy to make the number.


But where does the Marketing team’s direction come from? Yes, they rely on insights from Market Research, Corporate, and Product. But they also have to adhere to a solid outline of what they need to accomplish.


How will you showcase your brand during every customer interaction?

Best-in-class marketing leaders adhere to this five-step marketing strategy methodology:


  1. Planning – Set the stage for how your strategy will unfold.
  2. Engagement – Define how you’ll interact with consumers.
  3. Org – Set up the most effective organizational structure.
  4. Execution – Launch your content, campaign, and lead management strategies.
  5. Support – Give the Sales team what they need to make the number.


These aren’t just items to check off on a list. These steps outline a path that top-performing marketing leaders follow in sequence in order to make the number.


So, before you even set those fresh, new campaigns into the wild, you have to devise solid plans for the various facets of your marketing strategy.


Here’s what you need to know.


How To Plan a Winning Marketing Strategy: 

The Planning step is where you develop brand, campaign, budget and data plans that—with proper execution—will beat the estimates in the year ahead.


After all, you can’t launch a new initiative without a properly set budget. And you can’t address customer’s problems if you don’t know those pain points inside and out. With the right plans in place, you improve your chances of success.


There are four phases to the Planning step:


1. Brand Planning

Now is the time to define the image of the company in the eyes of customers, employees and partners. If your corporate brand doesn’t evoke a positive response from your audience, then you need to make a change. And this change must be executed beyond just words and promises.


You need to take action to forge the right emotional connection with key stakeholders. Most importantly, you must make sure you’re driving your brand into every possible customer interaction.


To complete this phase, it’s crucial to ask questions such as, “How will you drive your brand into every customer interaction?” and “How is our brand differentiated from the competition?”


2. Campaign Planning

Even the coolest looking or sounding campaign can fall flat if it doesn’t resonate with your target audience. You not only want to design campaigns that attract buyers to your products, but you also want to hook them with your brand values and persona.


So, how can you know in advance which programs, activities and offers will work? With a solid plan. Ask your team questions such as, “Which calls-to-action will we use to engage consumers?” and “Which content platforms are our audiences already on?”


3. Budget Planning 

Have you ever had too big a budget? Most of us haven’t. That’s why it’s crucial to invest the money you have wisely. You’ve already designed campaigns that should engage your target audience, and now it’s time to allocate your dollars accordingly.


In the Budget Planning phase, it’s important to consider which resources you need to make the number (such as time or talent) and which budget method (such as Percentage of Revenue or Competitive Benchmarking) is right for your company.


4. Data Planning

It’s no secret. We live in a data-driven world–your marketing strategy included. Still, many C-suite leaders have yet to figure out how to implement data to drive marketing decisions. But if you don’t find a solution to harness the power of Predictive Analytics, your competitors will.


So, how do you sift through dirty data, systems issues, and confusing analytics programs? Start by asking your team questions such as, “Where do we have data gaps?”, “How can we get our hands on the data we need?”, and “Who owns different data that’s important for our strategy?”


With these phases, you can move on to the other four steps of your marketing strategy.


Putting Your Plan Into Action:

Once your entire strategy is complete, you’ll not only prepare your team to the hit their quota, but you’ll empower the Sales team with the assets they need to bring in new revenue.


To make sure your entire organization is aligned to make the number next year, SBI is offering a 90-minute consultation workshop. Top performers are doing things differently. And any company that wants to beat the estimates in 2016 can learn a great deal from their successes. Register for the workshop today, and we’ll help you apply these best practices to your business.


Scott Gruher

Orchestrates and designs the perfect project strategy, one engagement at a time, to ensure that every SBI client makes their number.
Learn more about Scott Gruher >

Scott joined SBI in 2010 with years of hands-on experience in sales leadership and enterprise selling. Since his arrival, he has helped dozens of organizations dramatically accelerate growth, from Fortune 10 organizations like Phillips 66 to fast-growing cloud service organizations like InfusionSoft. Scott specializes in cross-functional alignment. He helps leaders align around the growth goal and design the right processes to bring the strategy to life. His unique combination of real world experience and a pragmatic approach to problem solving have made him one of SBI’s most demanded resources.

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