How is marketing helping your business? Are you doing enough? You can’t answer these questions without a well-designed marketing strategy. Here are some steps to get started.

Know Your Business Vision & Objectives

It can be tempting to plan a marketing strategy without concrete objectives, but this can lead to costly mistakes. Setting specific objectives is critical to creating a meaningful strategy, so you’ll want to start here.

Your objectives should be forward-thinking and measurable. Maybe you want to increase revenue to a certain dollar amount, maintain a profit margin of a specific percentage, or sell a quantifiable amount of new product. Pick a number. Then figure out how many customers you will need to reach that number.

This will lead to more questions like: How many leads do you need to gain that many customers? How will you reach that many leads? Where will you reach those leads—and what will you communicate when you reach them? Once you’ve defined measurable objectives, you’re ready to start strategizing answers.

Define Your Strategy

It’s important to identify where you want to go. Are you moving to a larger market, looking to grow your customer base, or announcing a new product? You will need a marketing strategy to get there.

Your marketing strategy should align with your organization’s goals and growth model. Remember that marketing affects everyone, from the executive to production team, so its budget should benefit all. Since you will need collective support, make sure you create a written strategy that stakeholders can review and sign off on. This might save you headaches and heartaches later on.

Define Your Success Metrics

You know what results will make the investment worthwhile, but how will you determine if you’ve achieved them? To do this, you’ll need to dive into the data and identify your metrics.

Start by answering:

  • What is my cost per lead? Gather up all costs and divide by the number of qualified leads to calculate this metric.
  • What am I willing to spend for each additional customer? Once you know how much you are spending on each lead, determine how much you want to spend on each lead. This number may be higher or lower than what you are currently spending.
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer? How much does your average customer spend in a year? On average, how many years do they remain a customer? Calculate this number and subtract the cost of acquisition. This will give you the amount you can spend on a customer and remain profitable.
  • Where are leads coming from? Take a hard look at performance metrics. Are you investing in the channels that actually contribute leads?
  • What is my return on marketing investment? Calculate how much revenue is produced for every dollar of marketing spend. This is your short-term marketing ROI. Long-term, add in the benefits of brand awareness and overall market value.

The answers to these questions can set benchmarks and goals for next year’s marketing strategy. They also provide strategic direction and reasoning for every marketing move.

Determine Your Scorecard

It’s difficult to measure progress without a system to track it. Once you have your metrics, put them into a scorecard that will help you report on that information. Your MarTech stack can help with this. Depending on the complexity of your marketing plans, you might want to automate this reporting or create dashboards for internal stakeholders. MarTech solutions can help monitor where the impact is (or isn’t) coming from.

With that information, you’re ready to talk budget.

Design Your Budget & Tactical Plan

Once your strategy is defined, your budget and tactics may begin to take shape. How much of an investment will be needed to support it? What is the breakout of spending per geographic target or audience segment? What mix of tactical activity will best support the strategy?

With the ever-changing landscape of options to choose from, enlisting specialists can help ensure that the most effective tactics and tools for the job at hand are brought into the mix.

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About the Author Bailey Wood // Associate Director of Marketing

Bailey (M.B.A., Creighton University) excels in the details. She brings a discerning, data-driven mindset to every client account, consistently providing keen analysis and useful insights.

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