What is a digital marketing strategy and how do I write it?

Marketing has continued to evolve over the years and is now recognized as one of the most important aspects of a business plan. Implementing marketing tactics for your business can consist of numerous synergistic components that work together to ensure that your business performs at its best.

The core of a marketing plan is the marketing strategy. Investing in a tailor-made marketing strategy to ensure your business is successful goes hand in hand, but the importance of these strategies is often overlooked and not factored in when developing a marketing plan.

At our award-winning digital agency, Bold x Collective, we understand the importance of executing these strategies and are here to help you use them. However, building a marketing strategy from scratch has its challenges and can be a daunting task for many entrepreneurs.

If you need help, look no further and keep scrolling to learn more about crafting a marketing strategy that will benefit your business.

Defining Marketing Strategy

Let’s start with what a marketing strategy is and what the goal is for your business. While no two marketing strategies will be the same, reasoning can be defined as the process a company will put in place to achieve a specific goal.

This strategy will help you create objectives aligned with your company’s ideology and mission. When developing a marketing strategy, it’s important to incorporate your brand’s values ​​and propositions and ensure that you can measure your success along the way.

In general, incorporating a marketing strategy adds value to your marketing plan and acts as a separate component to ensure that your company has clearly defined a significant competitive advantage in the market.

Marketing strategy vs marketing plan

Another common area of ​​confusion is the belief that a marketing plan and marketing strategy are exactly the same. While both share similar elements and are essential parts of a business plan, there are two different operations that require different processes.

A marketing plan specifies how your company will approach overarching goals and future proposals and acts as a blueprint for future business operations. On the other hand, marketing strategies are a call for an action plan and provide a structure to let go of certain initiatives and marketing activities.

Often a marketing strategy is developed to guide a company’s marketing plans and justify certain decisions. The marketing strategy represents what your brand stands for and the guidelines your company wants to follow in the future.

Now that we’ve established what a marketing strategy is and what it isn’t, let’s outline the steps to follow to create a successful and personalized marketing strategy.

Steps: the process

1. Setting Goals

The very first step in devising a marketing strategy is to define your company’s current obligations and goals that you want to fulfill in the future. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your company and what are the Key Performance Indicators you want to achieve? It is also important to set goals that follow the SMART goal format, which can be defined as follows:

Specifically – Pick a particular focus to construct a specific and clearly identifiable target. If your goals are too broad or lack a focused approach or outcome, they are most likely not going to have a substantial impact.

measurable – How will you track your progress? Be sure to identify milestones and metrics that clearly define what success means to you and your business.

Reachable – Is this goal achievable and realistically feasible? State what you need to overcome to achieve your goal and what action plan is needed.

Relevant – Does this goal relate to your business and does it align with your current value proposition and future mission? Determine the effort required for the success of the goal and whether it can be justified in your marketing strategy.

Time-bound – Set up a timeline to achieve the goal, including a step-by-step overview and clear start and end dates. Think about whether this is a short-term or long-term goal, the motivating factors behind the goal, and how much priority it has.

The goals you identify correlate with the marketing strategies you want to implement and may vary by marketing discipline. These goals can also be changed or better adapted after the collective research.

2. Market Research

The next step is to conduct thorough research that describes your industry’s historical data, current trends, and overall market structure. Understanding the market means making informed, fact-based decisions. Another part of market research is studying your competitors.

Look at what strategies other brands have put in place and which strategies have worked and what hasn’t. A PEST & SWOT analysis can help structure the information you find into manageable sections.

3. Consumer Profile

Another part of your research is examining the target market. Before executing any strategy or even a marketing plan, you need to understand your consumer. Outlining target segments helps you determine the unique needs and benefits of your consumers related to the product or service you provide.

Determining how your business will meet these needs and the unique opportunities of your target audience is helpful in tailoring a unique marketing strategy. Ensure that you develop a deep and holistic understanding of the general target market, a specific audience and any potential markets. Understanding this will help you tailor the messaging in your strategy to your target audience.

4. Present Resources

So now that you’ve established your goals, an understanding of the market and your consumers, what’s next? It’s time to evaluate your company’s overall capabilities. It is vital that you do a financial analysis to establish a budget to work with.

Determining the tools you have on hand, as well as any resources that will help you execute a successful marketing strategy, is also helpful. Finally, dissect past marketing campaigns and analyze the plans that have been put in place, as well as the big picture and broader context of your marketing strategy.

5. The 4 Ps of Marketing

To create a methodical and detailed strategy, you need to define the 4 Ps of marketing: the product, the place, the price and the promotion. These elements shape your business and provide guidelines for the direction your marketing takes.

Thus, the established marketing positioning helps to identify the opportunities in the market. Without clearly breaking down these 4 components, not only will creating a strategy be unsuccessful, but your business operations will struggle to move forward towards a common goal.

6. Determining strategy for the ultimate strategy

Finally, it’s time to put everything together and unify all the information in the brand message and positioning to create a cohesive strategy. It is also important to determine the focus areas.

For example, content marketing strategy could be a priority, where your strategy could focus on social media management, digital marketing or even creative production. Structuring future marketing plans and campaigns with your custom strategy serving as the backbone is the end goal.

Example: Starbucks as a case study

Let’s look at an example to see how all the pieces fit together. One brand that has gained worldwide recognition and is a market leader in its respective industry is Starbucks. Let’s summarize Starbucks marketing strategy and identify key areas of focus.

With its tremendous growth over the years and loyal customer base, much of Starbucks’ success is due to its compelling and efficient marketing strategy. First, let’s take a look at their current mission statement: “inspire and cultivate the human spirit wherever it is, in every cup”. This consumer-centric approach promotes the idea of ​​quality coffee and a relationship-building mindset.

Since the mission of a brand is directly related to their marketing strategy, we can conclude that their strategy is based on the values ​​of being a premium brand and fulfilling the needs of the consumer with not only offering their unique products but also their services. Their commitment to consistently promote these values ​​is the most important element of their strategy and can be reflected in their marketing channels, campaigns and branding.

First, their products are of superior standards and unique with clear menu choices and drink combinations. This is also reflected in the higher pricing and with the identical interior designs of each location. Looking at promotions, a successful promotional campaign that aligns directly with their strategy was the implementation of their loyalty program.

This program spoke directly to their target audience and resulted in increased consumer usage and building a stronger relationship with this segment. This helps in achieving their long-term goal of establishing authentic connections. Their social media channels also use consistent messaging and language to further promote the recognizable aspects of the brand.

Overall, Starbucks’ ongoing investments in every aspect of their business, including branding, social media, social responsibility, product development and consumer experience, are all complex and individually managed categories that meet the ultimate goals offered by the marketing strategy.

Conclusion

Basically, a marketing strategy serves as a long-term tool that will guide your marketing plan and ensure that all the campaigns and goals you set contribute to a unified goal.

A marketing strategy will create a structure that serves as a reference in determining a particular rationale behind making creative decisions and will summarize the big picture of your company’s marketing.

Without a marketing strategy, it can be easy to lose focus and get caught up in short-sighted individual strategies that can come at the expense of your company’s primary goals. Need help developing the right digital marketing strategy for your business?

We are here to help! Get in touch with our team at Bold x Collective, where we can help you create a bold and creative marketing strategy that works for your industry. Our team of expert strategists, marketers and creatives are ready to help.