Posted on October 12, 2022 by Tricia Davis-Payne What goes into a marketing strategy? How does it inform downstream marketing plans, adjustments, and realignments? What are some common mistakes when it comes to approaching a client’s marketing strategy? I sat down with Webfor founder, CEO, and Director of Digital Strategy Kevin Getch to discuss these questions and more on a recent Webfor podcast. What’s A Marketing Strategy? Essentially, a marketing strategy is the 30,000-foot view of a customer-centric approach to marketing. It requires us to understand a client’s business and branding, what solutions they offer (i.e., what problems the products/services solve), and how they reach their customers. The strategy must remain aligned with client objectives while providing a return on investment. Furthermore, as clients grow their business, expand into new markets, and increase their customer base, a marketing strategy should grow with them. A marketing strategy then is the intent behind the tactics that will be utilized to implement that strategy. It’s what needs to be done and why. It provides direction, guidance, and a theme. The marketing tactics employed in service of the strategy are, therefore, like different paths that one can take on the road to possible and predictable conversions. A marketing strategy is a data-based template — an evolving framework of insights and adjustments that takes into account customers, competition, and market conditions. Tactics are means to a strategic end and are based in large measure on client resources and budget. Challenges and Results Simple, right? Well, yes and no. The contours of the approach are straightforward; it’s in the details that we get down to the difficult business of crafting winning strategies tailored to specific clients. Marketing strategies require consistent, open communication, and collaboration with clients. They require asking the right questions at the right time. And they require being aware of some common pitfalls and roadblocks. These can stifle the progress and creative energy of even the best-laid plans of mice and marketers. Marketing Strategies: 4 Common Mistakes As strategic marketers, we define KPIs, measure their performance, and then adjust tactics as necessary. Like all creative endeavors, pathways are illuminated as much by tactical failures as by successes. We must pay attention to both — and then monitor, measure, and adapt. Remember: What gets measured, gets managed. This is true regardless of the size of the business or the size of its budget. Here are some common mistakes that arise during the ideation, implementation, and execution of a marketing strategy. 1. Not having a strategy Needs to be said even though it pretty much goes without saying. 2. Not having the right channel mix Marketers need to reach audiences where they are. And where they are these days is everywhere. The average person can look at a dozen sources of online information before making a purchasing decision. Is your client among those sources? Potential customers will look at business reviews. They’ll look for social proof — i.e., they want to see if people are discussing a brand on social media. They’ll check out a client’s website to see if the brand’s values align with their own. They’ll watch videos. Will your client’s customers respond to television advertising? Radio advertising? Social media? A marketing strategy must consider channel mix if it’s to be effective. Knowing where to find your potential customers simplifies the process of crafting a message and delivering it to them at the right place and at the right time. 3. Not taking a customer-centric approach We must know and love the customer. This requires research. Who is your ideal customer? What are they like? What do they like? Are they single? Are they married? What’s their age group? How do they spend their time? Are they on mobile or desktop? What’s their household income? Where are they? What motivates them to make a purchase? Know and love your customer. Align your strategy around that knowledge and understanding. And then monitor, measure, and adapt. A marketing strategy must revolve around the customer. The customer is the living, breathing, thinking, feeling human at the center of one’s marketing decisions, brand philosophy, operations, and ideas. Get to know your customer better than they know themselves. 4. Focusing on the wrong metrics Clients will often focus on so-called vanity metrics; these are things like the number of keywords that a business ranks for. While this is important, it does no good to look at that stat in isolation. What matters is that a client ranks for relevant keywords. What good is a metric that shows a business ranks for hundreds of irrelevant keywords? This brings us back to KPIs. A marketing strategy must identify a clear baseline of relevant KPIs. As we said above: What gets measured gets managed. So we must decide which metrics matter the most. It should be those that make the client money or otherwise have a positive impact on their brand. Webfor and You Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player above. And let us know what you think. We love chatting about marketing goals for both the short and long term. We enjoy digging deeper into the rhymes and reasons behind search engines, optimized pages, blog posts, target audiences, buyer personas, and so much more. The Webfor marketing team understands the ins and outs of our clients’ business goals. We’re thorough and strategic, anticipating pain points and redirecting our marketing efforts as needed. We identify target markets and build brand awareness via social media platforms, paid advertising programs, content marketing, and so much more all through consistent market research. Let us know how we can help you today.