Every business should create a marketing strategy, no matter how small or big they are.

After all, having a marketing strategy in place will help you understand your customers and it will ensure that everything you do has a result. We’ve seen far too many businesses ‘winging it’ and complaining when they don’t see the results.

Creating a marketing strategy doesn’t need to be an arduous task. If you’re a smaller business, you probably want to think about creating one that is simple, especially in your first couple of years trading.

However, when you do start your marketing planning, remember to include these 5 must haves:

Research

A lot of SMEs don’t realise the value that proper market research offers to their business. Research should form the basis of your marketing plan and your business. Look at what your competitors are doing, look at the latest industry trends, and speak to your target customer base. Once you have done enough research, you can properly position yourself within your market and identify gaps that your business could fill. Chron offers some great market research examples for you to tap into.

Goals

Another must-have is that your marketing plan needs to set clearly define goals. What is the purpose of creating a marketing strategy if you don’t know where you’re headed? This isn’t a random road trip; you need to know the destination that you want to reach at the end. Look at your research and set goals on where you want your business to go.

EXTRA TIP: Don’t set your goals too high. Focus on realistic goals that fit in with your business potential.

Budget

Writing up a marketing strategy without a budget is not going to help anyone. It may be great introducing regular video content or doing weekly print advertising, but can your business actually afford it? And is it really necessary? Create a marketing budget and outline what the essential marketing activities are to keep your business moving forward. Otherwise you could find yourself running out of resources and with a very empty bank!

Content

Think about what you are saying to your customers about your brand. At the heart of any marketing strategy is content. That could be a website, social media posts, newsletters, posters, or emails. Look back at your goals and your research. Create content that fits your industry and your target customer base. Check out this AdEspresso article for more content ideas.

Confidence

Not everything is about the marketing strategy. Have confidence in yourself and your business. Put your plan into action and step back to see how it works. If something isn’t going the way you want it to, change it. It’s not a legally binding document and it’s not permanent. Use your marketing plan as a guideline and see what happens.

If you’d like support creating your marketing strategy, contact us at STITCH. We will be happy to support your business through research-driven marketing solutions.