Do you see the link between strategic marketing and business growth? In simple terms, marketing strategy is your key to the successful realization of business goals, but what matters here as well is the adjustment to the industry trends and consumers' needs. In other words, now the power of your marketing baggage should resonate with the changes of the post-COVID realities. Otherwise, your business can belong to the 20% of flops that occur with startups during the first 2 years or 45-65% of failures among the established companies that exist for 5-10 years. So, if you’re interested in your business' survival, this article will give you a little heads up on leading your project in the right direction and growing it strategically.
In 2021, the business owners and top executives show the clear transition into “The Next Normal.” This is a term coined by McKinsey to describe the post-pandemic financial challenges and the reevaluation of the business priorities not to lose track of innovation and relevance as the product/service. From this perspective, the companies which care about future growth should reshape their business model to a ‘phygital’ vector. In which way? In the first place, by bringing new digital experiences to their clients, building new partnerships, and investing in innovation. Besides, it’s necessary to abandon wasting money and time on things that don’t work anymore under the current conditions. That’s what exactly strategic planning means in a nutshell, but let’s refer to the eloquent statistics that is louder than words:
- In 2020, the development of new products decreased from 35.1% to 19.8%, which confirms that the COVID-19 significantly altered the expected state of things and added more economic hurdles to fight with;
- IT sector appeared the most resilient to the pandemic financial fluctuations, while the healthcare and non-profit sectors suffered the most.
- 2021 is currently launched under the header ‘sales rise and financial performance improvement,’ which demands the skills of talents retention, data management, and business intelligence.
Are you persuaded that your business depends on strategic marketing even more than you’ve probably thought? Then you’re ready to move on!
Vital Components of Strategic Marketing
In fact, marketing strategy isn’t limited to the set of marketing tools and tactics to comply with your business goals. It’s much broader! Namely, strategic marketing usually consists of:
- Mission, vision, and values. Start with the definition of your project’s purpose and specify its core directions.
- Objectives. Both annual and long-term goals should be thought over beforehand, and you should know how to measure and estimate the midterm results.
- Offer to the market. Do you understand the value your product/service brings to the customers? Put it as simple and clear as you can!
- Target audience. If you’re trying to conquer too wide/wrong audience, that will inevitably mess things up. Better read our failure cases overview on this topic from A to Z!
- Competitive advantage. Make sure your TA sees your exclusive value in the market and has an answer to the question of why you’re better than the niche competitors.
- Marketing channels. Determine the ways you’re going to transmit your messages to the TA and end up with the marketing and content activities plans.
- Resources check. Be sincere with yourself and access the company’s current opportunities correctly not to set the goals that are beyond your reach.
- Message alignment. Is your marketing messaging consistent with the above-mentioned 7 list items? Re-check everything carefully and bring some corrections if necessary.
As you see, the marketing strategy is the backbone of all your marketing decisions, and if you miss at least one of these interconnected bricks, your tower will fail forever!
First Steps to Plan Your Business Growth Strategically
Though the 8-step marketing strategy plan we’ve covered so far is your #1 in the to-do list, let’s dwell in detail on 3 things you need to start with when thinking about your business growth.
1. Filter Your Valid Expectations from Fantasies
According to the latest estimates, 2021 should exhibit a 4% jump in global economy boost. This promising prediction is the aftermath of the customers' budget rise, new hiring waves, and costs reduction because of the remote offices. The massive vaccination should also elaborate the overall situation and ensure some kind of economic stability. Nevertheless, it isn’t the reason to relax too early! Businesses should apply the critical thinking lens to risks management and share realistic expectations with all: partners, investors, employees, and clients.
2. Translate Your Expectations into Goals
After your business expectations are negotiated, go on to the stage of reorganizing them into your future goals. Think deliberately about results you’d like to achieve in a year or three and implement the SMART approach towards your goals setting. Here, account for the factors that can interfere with your planning and draw a correlation with your budget neatly. For example, you can save some money on offline events and transfer these finances for some creative extra you’ve always lacked resources for.
3. Rely on the Early and Strict Hiring
As a negative consequence of the pandemic, many people still suffer from unemployment after the forced layoffs. Particularly, the report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics discloses 9.5 million cases of unemployment in June 2021. However, try to find the kernel of opportunity in every disaster! Look at this as your chance to hire the top talents and strengthen your team to let your business grow. While doing it, be faithful to your business strategy and hire only the best fitting candidates not to regret afterward. Don’t lower the bar if you have no serious reason for it!
Key Cornerstones of Efficient Strategic Marketing
Among the working principles of the marketing strategy planning, 3 of them, in our humble opinion, deserve separate coverage and your careful attention. Let’s get it sorted out together!
Make Data Work Beneficially for Your CRO
Obviously, for growing faster as a business, you need to know how to convert more traffic online and how to extract qualified leads from that. Testing tools and web analytics will hint you in this process, but the value of your data should be undoubtful if you mind building the strong and long-term relationships with your customers. Are you a newbie in CRO? Then find time for learning the basics here.
Reach Your Clients With Omnichannel Marketing
There are 2 main approaches towards the communication with customers. The first one is multi-channel marketing that presupposes the engagement with clients through the various channels with the independent purposes for each of them. Altogether, the brand awareness is sustained, but each channel preserves the separate unity in terms of strategy. In contrast, <em>omnichannel marketing</em> is targeted at the creation of a seamless customer journey with common goals and driving forces. Though it depends on the sphere of application, the second approach is getting more power due to the consumers' experience-based focus rather than just service obtainment itself. In this relation, SEO, emails, content, social media, and web analytics are at the forefront of digital marketing campaigns.
Conquer Customers' Loyalty via Innovation
Reaching your TA from time to time isn’t sufficient for your business growth! What you need to do next is to learn how to retain your customers. As it’s 5 times less costly than the acquisition of new clients, think twice about website/app personalization, email marketing, and innovation. As for the latter, take the example of Japan, which aims at reviving the businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and building a more digitilized and ecologically safe society through modern technologies. For the time being, the Chinese authorities are working on the AI in car inspections and financial product sales, which adds the invaluable worth to the country’s tech development and clients' satisfaction.
Marketing Strategy Tips for Small Business Owners
As practice shows, small companies, especially the young ones, are more prone to marketing setbacks and financial challenges. Thus, we’ve gathered the package of actual tips for their founders to consider in the regular marketing flow:
- Plant and cultivate suitable partnerships. As this decade is full of business' merges, acquisitions, and other collaboration types, mind your partners on purpose. Never agree on working with your direct opponents but choose the ones which can fortify the value of your service/product with the new features/markets/customer base added.
- Help customers make purchases. Delivery of your business value is crucial but don’t forget about the customer assistance. Do you best to provide high-level support and diversified payment options to your customers, and your revenue volume would increase significantly.
- Reduce the prices rate. If you’re a new and unfamiliar brand in the market, attract your customers' attention with the help of the first sales discounts, welcome bonuses, or other pleasant surprises that can turn them into your brand fans.
- Be transparent in communication. That’s so precious when it comes to your TA’s acquaintance with your brand’s story, values, and initial mission under the hood. Speak to the public naturally and demonstrate humility — it’ll make you stay apart from the rest and circle up the community of like-minded people around your brand.
- Remain socially active. Whether you want it or not, social media rock today, so you need to align your marketing strategy with the users' needs for comfort, quick problem-solving on a fingertip, and nourishment from new experiences.
Top-5 Successful Marketing Strategists To Learn From
Well, the theory is more valuable while you can imagine its practical usage, right? That’s why we’ve decided to get you familiar with the companies that are shrewd marketing strategists in 2021 and are expected to be a way more. Ready? Here you go!
The nucleus of Sportify’s strategic marketing lays in the exclusive digital experience for users. Among the plenty of music and podcasts providers, this company can boast of the unique features, such us music sorting according to your mood and AI-based playlists that synchronize with the customer’s habits. One of them is Discover Weekly, which allows collecting your playlist depending on your weekly tastes. Could you imagine this a decade or two ago? No way!
This well-known company has chosen another marketing strategy — to evoke the subscribers' desire for user-generated content sharing. Is there any better advertising method than the members' voluntary content exchange? Probably no, if we deal with the free, trustworthy, and reputable recommendations. As a result of building the community over GoPro’s brand, the company has gained natural recognition all over the world just because of the social media posts. Currently, the tech leader motivates their customers to subscribe to the paid membership to get even more personalized perks: themes, filters, speed tools, and the original music additionals.
The core of Sephora’s present-day marketing is the design of the varied loyalty program. There are 3 levels of customers' subdivision: Beauty Insider (with no obligatory regular expenses), VIB (with the minimum spend of $350 per annum), and VIB Rouge (with the minimum spend of $1000 a year). On each level, the clients are provided with different discounts and offers to initiate even more purchases of the lovely cosmetics goods. And though it may sound like a nonstop circle, Sephora’s lovers treat it as the pleasant rewards that sustain their loyalty to the brand.
That’s the brand that can be proud of its storytelling and successful values messaging to the TA. If you’ve ever seen at least one of its fresh ads, you totally get what we mean. Innovation, diversity, and social impact are at the top of the brand values. Meanwhile, customers' inspiration and emotional rise are achieved not only through the ads. Nike extrapolates its philosophy into action by taking part in numerous social events and initiatives. One of the most illustrative ones is the campaign featuring Muslim women athletes and begging the philosophical question on the social perception of the personality and the race conflict in the contemporary world.
Another excellent marketing strategy is celebrities involvement in the brand’s promotion. However, today it should go along with the gripping story behind it as the very figure of the celebrity won’t do all for you. Red Bull sets a good example here by showing the power of the human being questioning his limits. We’re speaking about Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere that underlines the whole marketing motto of Red Bull — fearless risk-taking.
Are You Already More Confident in Strategic Marketing?
We do hope that this article has given your a deeper dive into the topic of marketing strategy in the post-COVID time. If you have any questions open or like to get professional help, just let us help you with your business growth. Contact Dashdevs, and you’ll be granted with both strategic consulting and personalized tech solutions!