3 reasons your SME needs a marketing strategy

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is one of those areas that many business owners know they should be getting involved in, however don’t really know where to start. This often leads to them either putting it off altogether or chancing it and doing the marketing activities which they feel might work.

Given the fact that we live in an era where marketing now comes in an ever growing number of forms, picking the right activities is an even trickier task. Should you have a website developed? Should you create social media accounts? Should you send out direct mail?

The answer is in fact, that you shouldn’t start with any of these. Just like most other things you’re marketing activity should start with a plan, and this plan should come in the form of a marketing strategy. Above all of the fancy stuff that marketing can involve, the lynchpin to the success of your activities rest at heart of the marketing strategy.

Why start with a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy helps to provide a plan of action which is based on sound rationale. As a result of this you can then invest in marketing activities which are likely to actually generate you the best possible returns.

There are 3 areas that a marketing strategy will stand you in good stead not only for the present but also for the future.

  • Help to create short term goals to reach long term objectives – Setting yourself a target of increasing your turnover by x amount is all good and well however you won’t ever know how much you need your marketing to achieve in order to reach your goal. A marketing strategy can help to breakdown thing such as the level of enquiries you need to generate along with your conversion rate (among other defining factors) which will dictate your sales performance. Through these you can then work out how many sales you need on average on a monthly basis to reach your goal.
  • Identify which activities to conduct – A marketing strategy can also help to make clear which marketing channels you should be focusing on. By looking at your target demographic along with where you’ve generated the most success in the past you can pin point and invest in which activities are likely to generate the best returns. For example, if you’re experiencing a high conversion rate for enquiries coming through your website then you’ll most likely want to invest in SEO and PPC to help increase the level of leads heading to your website.
  • Measuring performance – Not only does a marketing strategy help to create short term goals, but these goals can then be used to measure your performance on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. Being able to constantly monitor your performance will allow you to invest efficiently in the long term as you’ll be able to easily see where and when you’re falling behind.

But I don’t have time to wait for a strategy

If you’re one of those that’s desperate to get the ball rolling and feel you don’t have time to wait around for a marketing strategy, then you need to slow down for a second. Granted, much of business is about striking first however quick wins are few and far between and many businesses are usually forced to gradually establish themselves.  Utilising the experience of a marketing professional also means that it may only take 2-3 weeks to get your strategy in order.   If you see the benefit in taking the above approach, as opposed to just throwing money at it and hoping some if it works, then drop us a line and we can talk you through our process.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.