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What Is Marketing Strategy? Finding Your Ideal Advisor
When you walk through the doors of an agency, they should have an answer to “What is marketing strategy?” There are companies that try to dazzle you with the maximum amount of buzzwords. Disrupt the digital landscape with innovative synergy ROI to directly engage and create lasting value by focus groupifying hey maybe we get paid by the buzzword and not the buzz we generate.
At MACLYN, we serve the client, not the catchphrase. We pair time-tested tactics of old with the bleeding-edge tools of today. And we boil it down to simple terms to go over with you, because marketing planning is nothing if it’s all flash and no substance.
It is crucial that your agency utilizes the right marketing tactics to champion your products or services and win a competitive advantage. To grow, your company has to turn prospective sales into closed ones. To survive, you have to have new customers to replace the old ones. The key to all of that? Strategy.
Strategy is the science (and art) of where to place your message so it’s seen by the right people, in the right place, at the right time. It’s evaluating where you are, determining where you want to be, and customizing the course to reach that destination.
And with so many other companies investing in their marketing efforts, it’s really something you can’t go without. In 2020, every company you’ve never heard of has latched onto this maxim: narrative is now the product. It is not enough to have a good product or service, if you don’t have the strategy to tell your story.
You can have the best players and still lose the game. Strategy is having a capable coach who analyzes the field to make a game plan.
You can have the best, flashiest sports car and still be lost in the desert. Strategy is having a GPS that still works, that knows the terrain and can get you where you need to go.
You can be an ace fisherman, with a souped up boat and the cutting-edge tackle that puts all the other nature dads at the Bass Pro Shop to shame, and then go to a pond that doesn’t have any fish in it. Strategy is going to the aquarium (okay no it’s not, please don’t do this and please don’t bring up that Shedd lawsuit Ian was involved in, why do we let him write these blogs oh yeah that’s right it’s because of strategy to give you good information and solid research but also peppered with weird segments like this that stand out with personality to further entrench our message of competence and cheek)
All this to say: you’re not going to meet your marketing goals if you don’t have strategic marketing. The right marketing tactics analyze and accentuate your advantages to gain a competitive edge. Both on how to tell your story, and where to tell it, at what time.
An effective marketing strategy is one that achieves your business goals and boosts your bottom line. MACLYN first listens to you in extensive discovery, to determine your correct target market and target audience (no, “everybody” is not your customer, even if you have broad appeal. Don’t worry, we’ll narrow down your niches for the highest rate of success)
We start with an honest (but optimistic) situation analysis. We look at:
Strengths – what’s working? What makes your brand the best around? Brag, baby. How can we lean into these powers even further?
Weaknesses – as your partner, we have to be gentle but direct about what’s lacking and what elements need serious improvement or have to go entirely. If a ship is leaking, wouldn’t you want us to plug the holes so you don’t sink?
Opportunities – any weakness can become a strength with the right solve and the right spin. We’ll find the right combos to allyoop and make the layup.
Threats – We learn about your competitors and determine new ones you never knew you had. It’s not the size of the fish, but how it swims.
With all these factors in mind, the plan is then formed. The plan is adaptable to fit the “what could bes” but is entirely focused on the “what will bes”. A sound strategy built to stand out, with enough secure research to succeed, and a dash of positively risky “so crazy, it just might work.” What works is what wins.
There are many marketing tools at our disposal, but how we use them will depend on the demographics and psychographics of your ideal customers. Obviously there’s a generation gap between digital and traditional forms, but it’s a lot more complicated than you’d think. Only by determining the right marketing mix can we reinforce relationships with existing customers and attract new ones. We deep-dive through the data and analyze the algorithms to cook up the best way to serve you.
A strong marketing strategy will properly leverage paid media (the traditional channels like billboards, digital space, radio time, print, etc.) and earned media (the organic coverage from news segments, PR efforts and word of mouth). The first is paying to white-wash your fence. The second is getting others to wash the fence for you, for free. (Okay, Tom Sawyer might be real old, but trust us we’re hip, trendy and “with it”. A better example might be the heartwarming videos you see on your feeds of a brand being involved in a social good. Think of getting a snowball rolling: the initial expenditure of turning people into walking billboards and brand evangelists gives you momentum beyond what money can buy, and helping others is a good way of helping yourself.)
Strategy also ensures your content marketing and social media efforts are up to snuff. The best-laid plan is nothing with sloppy execution, and any sound strategist will intervene to ensure the creative cuts through the clutter with the right tone and intention. You might be reading this after clicking on a sponsored ad. That kind of serving customized content utilizing the right keywords and channels is the bare minimum a company needs in 2020. You want a company where you can trust the basics, so we can reach even higher.
The same goes for email, too. Some want to file it away as digital direct mail that’s gone the way of the dodo, but they don’t know it’s still a numbers game. You need the people who actually know a 6% open rate can be a bragworthy number (the industry average is way lower). That’s because that company will get the right list of prospective clients, so of the people that DO open it, they’ll be likely to bite.
Last things last, the impolite thing to talk about: money. But it doesn’t have to be. Your budget isn’t a gamble, it’s an investment. It might seem daunting, especially if it’s a bigger investment. But we’ve coached many clients who felt the same way, met them where they’re at, and they never looked back. No matter how grand it seems, marketing strategy is one necessity you can afford, because it will yield a bigger return than you’ll believe. That’s because a strong marketing strategy smartly spends for maximum impact. We allocate and advise you to get the most bang for your buck, because your resources as our partner are paramount. Your success truly is our success.
At the end of the day, the strongest marketing strategy is like having an advisor at your side, taking care of the day to day so you can keep leading your kingdom. Like our wisdom? Hit us up. We’ll whisper some more from 6 feet away.
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