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What Is a Marketing Strategy?
- How It Works
- Strategies vs. Plans
How to Create a Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Strategy FAQs
- Marketing Essentials
Marketing Strategy: What It Is, How It Works, How To Create One
Investopedia / Daniel Fishel
A marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services. A marketing strategy contains the company’s value proposition , key brand messaging, data on target customer demographics, and other high-level elements.
A thorough marketing strategy covers the four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.
- A marketing strategy is a business’s game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services.
- Marketing strategies should revolve around a company’s value proposition.
- The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies.
Understanding Marketing Strategies
A clear marketing strategy should revolve around the company’s value proposition, which communicates to consumers what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business.
This provides marketing teams with a template that should inform their initiatives across all of the company’s products and services. For example, Walmart ( WMT ) is widely known as a discount retailer with “everyday low prices,” whose business operations and marketing efforts are rooted in that idea.
Marketing Strategies vs. Marketing Plans
The marketing strategy is outlined in the marketing plan —a document that details the specific types of marketing activities that a company conducts and contains timetables for rolling out various marketing initiatives.
Marketing strategies should ideally have longer life spans than individual marketing plans because they contain value propositions and other key elements of a company’s brand, which generally hold constant over the long haul. In other words, marketing strategies cover big-picture messaging, while marketing plans delineate the logistical details of specific campaigns.
For example, a marketing strategy might say that a company aims to increase authority in niche circles where their clients visit. The marketing plan puts that in action by commissioning thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn.
Benefits of a Marketing Strategy
The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies by understanding the needs and wants of its consumers. Whether it’s a print ad design, mass customization , or a social media campaign, a marketing asset can be judged based on how effectively it communicates a company’s core value proposition.
Market research can help chart the efficacy of a given campaign and can help identify untapped audiences to achieve bottom-line goals and increase sales.
Creating a marketing strategy requires a few steps. HubSpot, a digital marketing resource, offers insight into how to create your strategy.
- Identify your goals: While sales are the ultimate goal for every company, you should have more short-term goals such as establishing authority, increasing customer engagement, or generating leads. These smaller goals offer measurable benchmarks for the progress of your marketing plan. Think of strategy as the high-level ideology and planning as how you accomplish your goals.
- Know your clients: Every product or service has an ideal customer, and you should know who they are and where they hang out. If you sell power tools, you’ll choose marketing channels where general contractors may see your messaging. Establish who your client is and how your product will improve their lives.
- Create your message: Now that you know your goals and who you’re pitching to, it’s time to create your messaging. This is your opportunity to show your potential clients how your product or service will benefit them and why you’re the only company that can provide it.
- Define your budget: How you disperse your messaging may depend on how much you can afford. Will you be purchasing advertising? Hoping for a viral moment on social media organically? Sending out press releases to the media to try to gain coverage? Your budget will dictate what you can afford to do.
- Determine your channels: Even the best message needs the appropriate venue. Some companies may find more value in creating blog posts for their website. Others may find success with paid ads on social media channels. Find the most appropriate venue for your content.
- Measure your success: To target your marketing, you need to know whether it is reaching its audience. Determine your metrics and how you’ll judge the success of your marketing efforts.
Why does my company need a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy helps a company direct its advertising dollars to where it will have the most impact. Compared with the data from 2018, the correlation between organization and success in marketers jumped from being almost four times more likely to almost seven times more likely in 2022.
What do the four Ps mean in a marketing strategy?
The four Ps are product, price, promotion, and place. These are the key factors that are involved in the marketing of a good or service. The four Ps can be used when planning a new business venture, evaluating an existing offer, or trying to optimize sales with a target audience. It also can be used to test a current marketing strategy on a new audience.
What does a marketing strategy look like?
A marketing strategy will detail the advertising, outreach, and public relations campaigns to be carried out by a firm, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives. They will typically follow the four Ps. The functions and components of a marketing plan include market research to support pricing decisions and new market entries, tailored messaging that targets certain demographics and geographic areas, and platform selection for product and service promotion—digital, radio, internet, trade magazines, and the mix of those platforms for each campaign, and metrics that measure the results of marketing efforts and their reporting timelines.
Is a marketing strategy the same as a marketing plan?
The terms “marketing plan” and “marketing strategy” are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is developed based on an overarching strategic framework. In some cases, the strategy and the plan may be incorporated into one document, particularly for smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. The plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, while the marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.
Walmart Corporate. “ About .”
HubSpot Blog. “ 7 Steps to Create a Complete Marketing Strategy in 2022 .”
i7 Marketing. “ 6 Steps to Develop a Winning Marketing Campaign .”
CoSchedule. “ Trend Report: Marketing Strategy 2022 .”
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10 Effective Marketing Strategies For Business Growth
Developing a successful marketing strategy is a critical task for overall business success. But knowing what marketing strategies to employ to grow your business can be tricky. That’s where we can help.
First off, let's debunk the myth that marketing operates in a vacuum. It's not a single, fleeting act but rather an intricate dance of multiple moving parts. Each plays its role at different stages of your journey, from long before a transaction even occurs to the grand finale of converting your customer and everything that’s required post purchase.
To do this well, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your target audience and offer them something of value. And you need to be offering this at the right time, in the right places and in the right way in order to grow your business. Of course, the activities used to do this effectively will vary between business and industry, but to get the most from your marketing and to reach a wide audience, it’s vital to consider and test out a number of different strategies.
Here Are 10 Effective Marketing Strategies For Business Growth:
1.social media .
Yes, it’s an obvious one, but it can’t be ignored considering the majority of people are on social media - 60.6% to be exact . Social media marketing presents an opportunity for businesses to get their product or service in front of their target audience and find new customers. Your existing customers will also expect a social presence, whether it’s to answer their questions or show them who you are as a brand. And now more than ever, people use social media like a search engine , so it’s imperative you don’t get left behind.
Before you jump onto every social media platform going, you first need to figure out what are the right channels to use. Do some research and find out where your target audience hangs out. Is it on TikTok , Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? Once you know this, then you can research the best types of content to post on each. Whether it’s product-focused, customer testimonials, behind the scene, company culture, or industry-relevant news, make sure you regularly analyse what content works well and what doesn’t. Top tip - an analytics dashboard is a great way to do this.
Related reading: The 11 Social Media KPIs You Should Really Be Tracking
Top Tips to Grow Your Business Using Social Media
Show the human side of your brand.
With the emergence of AI tools now, it can be tempting to throw together a social media content calendar using chat GPT. The problem with this is though that you could risk sounding robotic and impersonal. The point of social media is to be social (the clue is in the name) so make sure your brand comes across as authentic and relatable, injecting personality into your posts and comments where possible.
Use your social media as a useful resource, not a sales channel
Nobody wants to be sold to constantly. While it’s still useful to post some of your special offers and product-focused content, make sure you don’t overwhelm people with constant sales and pushy offers. Social media is the opportune place to build brand awareness, but this doesn’t happen by shoving your product in people's faces. It happens by sharing valuable, relatable and relevant content that resonates with your target audience. Your social media channels are also the first touchpoint for many potential customers, so you want to entice them in with useful resources, rather than dozens of posts screaming “sell, sell, sell”.
Research suggests that consistency is key for social algorithms. Those who have engaged with your content in the past or who follow you, are more likely to be shown your content in future. Maintaining a consistent posting schedule will allow you to increase your followers and engagement, leading to a broader reach for your content.
2. Get The Most Out of Email Marketing
Email marketing is a powerful tool for nurturing and converting leads and still remains one of the most effective ways to reach customers and generate revenue. In order to make the most of email marketing, you need to ensure you have a list of prospects to email in the first place.
Top Tips to Growing Your Email List:
- Make signing up easy - Ensure there are clear email CTAs on your website or app, landing pages, social channels and anywhere else your customers are to make it easy to sign up.
- Offer an incentive - People are more likely to sign up for your emails if they are getting something of value in return. Consider giving discounts, vouchers, ebooks or downloadable guides as a reward for signing up.
- Don’t be too pushy with sales - Just like we mentioned above on social media, don’t spam people with sales emails constantly. Provide value in your emails, sharing top tips, how-tos, industry news and anything else that would be of interest to those on your email lists.
- Segment your lists - Create different lists based on a range of criteria for example interests, behaviour or demographic information and send different emails to each list. For example, you might make a list of people who have purchased a specific product, then email them to recommend another product that they might be interested in. This type of email will only be relevant to a specific subset of people in your overall list, so there is no point in sending that email to everyone. Another example could be if someone clicks on a specific link, they've clearly expressed an interest in something in particular. Mark that person as a subscriber, so you may market to them later. If someone makes a purchase, mark them as a buyer. Identifying your buyers' and subscribers' interests is critical for segmentation.
- Automate your emails - Any good email service provider (ESP) will have the ability to set up automated email workflows and sequences, which will form part of any good sales and marketing funnel, helping create strong relationships with subscribers. You could set up welcome emails for new subscribers, re-engagement emails for those who haven’t opened your email for a certain period of time, winback emails for those who haven’t bought from you in a certain period of time or feedback emails for those who have bought a product from you. While these are automated, be sure that they sound human and include personalisation tokens such as first name or company name.
- CTAs - Make sure each campaign has a clear and compelling CTA. This doesn’t always need to be a sale, it can be a website visit, ebook download, social media follow or read more button. Encouraging people to click CTAs within your emails will increase engagement, keeping potential customers interested and more likely to continue opening your emails in future.
- A/B testing - Split test everything because you never know what will be the most effective until you put it to the test. This can help you better understand what your audience responds to, allowing you to communicate more effectively and sell to your customers.
3. Take Advantage of Co-branding, Affinity, and Cause Marketing
What is co-branding.
Co-branding is a marketing strategy in which two or more companies collaborate to promote and sell a new product or service. The result is that consumers are often prepared to spend extra because the brands give their collective credibility to raise the impression of the product or service's value.
You also have the opportunity to use the other brands' existing customer base, meaning you can grow your market share by gaining a new demographic of customers in new locations and regions. Co-branding can be an expensive strategy, however, when the costs are split across both brands, it can be a much more achievable and worthwhile strategy to grow your business. You will also be presented with a great learning opportunity as you will be doubling your resources, which means double the knowledge base to help you both grow.
A great example of this is when BMW partnered up with Louis Vuitton to design an exclusive, four-piece set of suitcases that fit perfectly into the BMW i8 sports car's back parcel shelf.
Source: Louis Vuitton
What is Affinity Marketing?
Affinity marketing, on the other hand, is a collaboration between complementary brands and businesses and brings together people who share similar interests. Examples include coffee shops that sell goods from a local bakery, car repair shops that offer a discount on local car insurance companies or an airline company partnering with a hotel to offer package deals.
Red Bull and GoPro are both associated with high-adrenaline adventures, so it seems only fitting that they have a partnership together. The GoPro brand gains access to more than 1800 Red Bull events across more than 100 countries and includes content production, distribution, cross-promotion and product innovation. The partnership works because both brands share similar interests in high energy, extreme sports so they are a natural fit for each other and their target audiences.
What is Cause Marketing?
Cause marketing is a partnership between a for-profit company and a non-profit organisation. The aim is to promote and benefit social and other charity causes, leveraging and improving brand reputation. It offers several benefits to both parties including increased brand loyalty, positive PR, getting ahead of competitors and building trusting relationships with customers. Marketing relationships like these give customers the feeling that you share their goal to make the world a better place.
Bandcamp Fridays is a great example of cause marketing. On designated Fridays, online music distributor Bandcamp waives its artist fees in order to support the independent artists who use their platform.
4. Start Blogging For Your Business
Anyone can start a blog, but If you're going to blog (especially as a business), be sure you're doing it effectively. Similar to what we said about social media, you should consider how you can add value for your customers. The goal with business blogs isn’t selling, it’s providing useful content that will position you as a thought leader. This is one of the most effective marketing methods for any company and comes with a heap of benefits.
Benefits of Starting a Company Blog:
Driving traffic to your website: .
By regularly posting and updating relevant content to your blog, you can attract more visitors to your website. It’s vital however that you create content that attracts your target audience and you utilise SEO methods to ensure your blogs are getting in front of the right people. Focusing on keywords with a high search volume but low competition from other content creators will increase the likelihood of your content ranking highly on search engine results pages (SERPs). In fact, blogging leads to 55% more website visitors .
Once you successfully have visitors to your blog, you can use this opportunity to capture them as leads. By adding pop-ups or gated content like downloadable ebooks or guides, you can capture basic information like the names and email addresses of your target audience in return for the free content.
You can repurpose your blogs as a valuable source of content to share on your social media channels and email campaigns, creating a valuable opportunity to create engagement with your target audience.
Cost effective marketing:
Blogging is a relatively inexpensive method of inbound marketing compared to some other forms of marketing, and once published can always be updated and used in future, providing long-term marketing value.
If you consistently post high-quality, useful and educational content on a specific subset of topics within your industry, you can establish credibility and demonstrate your expertise. This helps to create trust with your audience. Share your articles on networks like Medium, Quora, Reddit and LinkedIn to reach as many people as possible.
5. Use Videos as Marketing Tools
Video is a quick and effective way to get your message through to your audience. 86% of marketing professionals reported that they used video as a marketing tool, and 78% of those say that video has directly increased sales for their business. 86% said videos helped to boost traffic to their website. Video is a great way to demonstrate to your customers exactly how you can solve their problems. It is also extremely effective for brands with complex ideas, concepts or product features - the adage is "show, don’t tell" for a reason However, not every video needs to be pushing your product. Think outside the box and make entertaining videos that both inform and entertain i.e. how-to videos, customer reviews, behind-the-scenes, tutorial-style videos or even animated videos.
Where you host your videos is also important. You can't ignore YouTube's visibility and reach - it is the world’s second-largest search engine . That’s because YouTube is used in the same way as Google, where people search for solutions and answers to their questions. Use your videos to answer these questions by offering valuable, useful information, and solving a problem for your audience. The more value you provide, the faster you will be able to increase your visibility, and as a result, your sales. Not only will this help to market your business and establish a great social presence but also help you earn money through YouTube. Once you’ve started with this strategy, you can diversify further and add content to various platforms so that you can market as well as monetize your videos even without YouTube and are not dependent on any specific platform.
Like blogs, your videos can be repurposed across your social channels to increase visibility and embedded directly within the blogs themselves.
Video production doesn’t have to be an expensive task. All you need is an idea, a camera and an online video editor to help you put everything together. Video marketing doesn’t have to be limited to just YouTube. If you’re not considering TikTok, you probably should. In 2022, TikTok was the second most downloaded app globally, so there’s a pretty high chance that your audience are using TikTok. We’ve written a full blog dedicated to starting a company TikTok channel, so check it out here .
6. Start Creating Podcasts
Podcasts are an excellent marketing tool as they are generally a low-cost way to reach new audiences, engage with customers and build brand authority. They can be used to position your company as a thought leader while disseminating information about your products.
We think the best way to do this is to engage in brand storytelling, a well-known communication structure to engage customers emotionally. Rather than simply regurgitating statistics and data, storytelling allows you to tell a compelling story about your business, what it does, what it values, what you value as a business leader, how you engage and contribute to your community, and how you resolve issues and problems. Adding that sort of human impact to your brand stories will emotionally affect your target audience, helping them engage with your business.
Podcasting offers a much more personal way to engage with audiences. Listeners often feel a stronger connection after hearing someone's voice, their stories and get a sense of their personality. Podcasts present a great opportunity to create a loyal base of listeners, who are most likely to trust and recommend your brand to others. Just remember to create high-quality, engaging content that your target audience will be interested in. Identify their pain points, interests and goals, and create content that is specific to each.
Collaboration is also a great strategy for podcasting. By collaborating with other brands and inviting guests on to your podcast, you can also reach new audiences - y ou can host and record collaborative podcasts virtually without compromising on HD quality content . Fans of your guest speaker are likely to tune into your podcast, giving you the opportunity to expand your audience, similar to affinity marketing as mentioned earlier.
7. Understand the Power of SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) might be intimidating, but it can also be extremely effective. And when you know how to master SEO properly or you have the help of an SEO agency, the sky truly is the limit.
SEO is the process of improving your website so that it performs better on search engines like Google and Bing. The thinking behind it is, the better your visibility or ranking on these search engines, the better your overall website traffic will be.
There are generally two types of SEO:
- Technical SEO: This is optimising the technical aspects of your site like load time and URL structure.
- On-site SEO: This is what people most often think of, and refers to the content on your website. Think of keywords and blog content.
One of the reasons people are hesitant to engage with SEO beyond not having the right knowledge, is the shady history of some SEO tactics. Previously, some companies focused on how to "trick" Google with dubious private blog networks ( PBNs are websites that exist only to provide backlinks ) and other link schemes. These are known as black-hat SEO tactics, and while they may produce short-term results, it will get you in hot water in the long run. Using these types of strategies can actually get you banned from Google, essentially tanking any SEO chances you may have. And it’s not easy to rectify.
So how do you implement SEO properly? Prioritise your audience. Google specifically has updated its algorithm to prioritise helpful content, so make sure you are publishing quality content. And don't overuse keywords - this is one of the most common blunders people make. While they are important, it’s more important to create content that is readable and not stuffed with repetitive words and phrases. Also, create material that is both human-friendly and search engine-friendly. This is especially important in the world of generative AI. While Google won’t specifically punish you for using AI, human-centric content is generally thought of as better. Most importantly, be sure that whatever you're saying is entertaining, informative, unique and it delivers value to your audience.
Remember that search engines will direct your content to a user's search result page if you optimise the content you offer on your website, blog, or YouTube channel. SEO allows you to increase organic traffic to your website and improve your ranking in search results.
9. Use AI
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that AI seems to be more popular than ever, and for good reason as when used effectively, it can help businesses grow substantially. While integrating AI into your strategy might seem daunting, it can offer several advantages to help grow your business. Here are just some ways AI can improve various processes in a business, freeing up valuable time and resources to be able to focus your efforts on growing your company.
Benefits of AI for Marketing:
Accelerated decision-making: AI algorithms possess the capability to quickly process and analyse large volumes of data, far outpacing human capacities. This means business leaders can quickly make data-backed decisions, increasing operational efficiency and minimising periods of inactivity.
Effective personalisation: Through the analysis of customer data, AI can better understand customer behaviour and preferences, and suggest the most relevant products and offers, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.
Enhanced customer service: AI-powered chatbots can provide instant customer support 24/7, answering frequently asked questions, guiding users into making a sale, reducing wait times and improving overall customer experience. This reduces waiting times, improves customer experience and frees up valuable time for your customer support team to focus their efforts on more challenging or complex customer support enquiries.
Content generation: AI can help to create blog posts, social media captions and even your email campaigns. Just remember that relying completely on AI to create content can be risky. It doesn’t always understand the context of the prompts you give and can make your brand sound very robotic and impersonal. Always proofread and edit content generated by AI to fit your brand.
Accurate demand forecasting: AI models can analyse historical sales data, market trends, and external factors to provide accurate demand forecasts. By predicting future demand accurately, businesses can optimise their inventory levels, reduce the costs they have tied up in unused stock, and minimise the risk of stockouts or overstock situations.
10. Referral marketing
If a friend recommended a brand to you, chances are you are much more likely to purchase from them, rather than if you just saw an ad for that brand, right? That’s what referral marketing assumes anyway. The concept of referral marketing is that existing, satisfied customers recommend your company to their friends and family, with the aim of generating new customers for the business. You can’t rely alone on the good intentions of your existing customers, however, so you need to actively encourage the referrals, usually by incentivisation. This could be by rewarding them with cash back, discount codes, vouchers or service upgrades. For example, online cloud storage company Dropbox rewards customers who have referred someone else with 1 GB of extra storage space.
In the ever-changing world of business, mastering effective strategies is critical for sustainable growth. From harnessing the power of social media to embracing the personalised touch of AI-driven campaigns, the strategies explored in this blog provide a comprehensive toolkit to get you started. By adapting these approaches to your unique goals and industry, you can create a compelling brand presence, foster meaningful customer relationships, and seize opportunities for business expansion. Remember, the key lies in continuous adaptation, experimentation, and analysing your results. All the information you gain from analysing, tracking, and measuring will help you find areas for improvement. This will also help you understand the ROI of your marketing strategies. One of the best ways to track this is by using a Hurree dashboard. Get started with your free trial today .
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11 best marketing strategies to accelerate your business (+ examples)
- Lena Sernoff
- 17 min read
The first and most crucial step in your marketing strategy is marking your online territory. By creating a website , you're claiming a digital space that's entirely yours. Next, you'll need to outline your company's growth plan using the right marketing strategies to generate more leads, web traffic and acquire new customers. From influencer marketing and PR to SEO, we'll explore precisely which types of marketing to focus on in the year ahead to fuel significant growth for your business.
Start building your online presence with Wix .
What is a marketing strategy?
The role of a marketing strategy is to map out how you plan to promote and sell a product or service. Its ultimate goal is to reach your target audience through marketing and advertising campaigns and then get them to buy or engage with your service. It can also help you map our your target audience, as well as the best ways to reach them with tracking and insights.
Essentially, a marketing strategy is an overarching plan that anyone deciding how to start a business , or working with an existing business use to increase visibility and ultimately their profits. It can involve anything from creating a strong brand identity to developing innovative products and services. Successful marketing strategies should be tailored to your specific goals and objectives.
Creating strategic marketing strategies starts with defining what is product marketing for your niche, understanding where you are now, identifying key areas of improvement and focusing on achieving specific goals.
Marketing strategy vs. marketing plan
While these terms are used interchangeably, marketing strategies are broader summaries of what your business does to overcome your pain points, meet your goals and reach your audience.
A strategy provides a larger picture of how you plan to stay ahead of your competition. It can reveal threats that you may need to consider for long-term sustainability . By contrast, the marketing plan methodically outlines details of how you will implement your strategies and how you will track your marketing ROI .
Additionally, your marketing plan is highly detailed and involves the four Ps of marketing : product, price, place and promotion. It helps to ensure a more integrated marketing approach—that is, a unified message across all of your promotional channels.
Why marketing strategies matter
There are plenty of benefits to defining your marketing strategies early on. Marketing strategies are essential for businesses as it helps them to identify their goals and objectives, understand their target audience, and develop an effective approach to reach out to them. A well-crafted marketing strategy can help you gain a competitive advantage , improve your brand image and increase sales and revenue. Setting clear goals and objectives and aligning the marketing strategies to achieve them best sets you up for success. To understand more about the theory behind why marketing matters, we recommend the ideas and work of Michael Porter . He is credited with developing the concept of competitive advantage, for example. There's a lot to be gained from understanding his research and incorporating it into your marketing management .
Furthermore, marketing budgets might be limited when starting a business , and a clear plan ensures you won't waste any resources. Besides, how will you measure success if you don't first establish what it looks like or how you'll get there?
The main elements of a marketing strategy
These may vary but generally include:
Establishing your target audience through market analysis
Deciding on your Unique Selling Proposition , Go to market strategy
Creating your market positioning , and establishing product differentiation, how customers will perceive you and your product
Establishing your pricing
Setting the budget for your marketing strategy
Implementation of your chosen strategy
Continuous tracking and improvement of your plan
For more information on what makes an effective modern marketing strategy, we recommend looking to Phil Kotler , whose work on marketing management and the importance of connecting with your audience, has been instrumental in improving marketing strategies.
11 best marketing strategies
One of the biggest challenges in marketing strategies is keeping up with changing market trends and consumer preferences. Developing an effective marketing strategy can also requires significant time, resources, and expertise; t he list of the types of marketing strategies out there is extensive. By analyzing the top marketing trends and doing in-depth customer and market research, we've narrowed it down to the top 10 strategies for you.
Remember that no matter which methods you decide to include, they will only be effective if your audience likes and trusts your business. As you carry out campaigns, aim to educate, inspire or entertain your audience, so you'll see the most impactful results.
Social media marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Email marketing and newsletters
Earned media and PR
01. Content marketing
In the past decade, there's been a shift in the marketing mindset. Today we see a rise in blogs, podcasts and webinars that are engaging and inclusive to audiences—so they feel more connected with brands.
Creating valuable and informative content has become a win-win especially when it comes to developing and improving customer engagement . Content marketing creates a strategic opportunity for your business to connect with a customer meaningfully.
Content marketing also helps you generate awareness, become an authority and tell a story. Focusing on this strategy early on is handy for other marketing ideas , as you can share your content on social media or in email newsletters later. The most popular content strategies are:
Starting a podcast
02. Social media marketing
71% of small-to-mid-sized businesses use social media for marketing . This high percentage comes as no surprise. Social media marketing is one of the most influential ways to use digital marketing to increase visibility and gain traffic to your website. More so, it can be a valuable lead generation method, a sales channel, an audience insights tool and a customer service outlet.
From Instagram Reels to TikTok, your options of getting in front of new audiences are endless. Ensure you strategically choose which channels you focus most on, based on your target audience. If you aim to reach a professional audience, LinkedIn is a must for creating a company page. Social media platforms are a great way to secure first-mover advantage , a concept in marketing and business when companies are the first to market in a specific product category. The speed at which its possible to generate and distribute multimedia content on social media is ideal for this.
Video marketing is a format that is becoming more heavily favored on social media as users consume more content on their mobile devices (this marketing strategy also works well if you're focusing on mobile marketing), so consider this as an important form of content creation in your marketing strategy. This marketing strategy also allows brands to tap into the phenomenon of viral content. While not easy to achieve, it can have a dramatic impact on key marketing metrics and KPIs, such as website traffic, and brand visibility.
Social media advertising is another component that should not be overlooked. For example, advertising on Facebook can drastically increase new customers. Want to try Facebook advertising for your business? Facebook Ads by Wix directly connects to your website to set up and optimize your campaigns. Remarketing on social media channels is a highly effective way to bring people back to your website to complete a purchase.
Popular social networks for promoting a business:
Our recommended reading to improve your social media strategy:
Types of Social Media Content for Your Business
How to Increase Social Media Engagement
Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence
03. Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engines are filled with micro-moments. These are high intent instances when someone wants to learn, buy or do something. By optimizing your chances of ranking higher on search engines to show up at these instances, you're practicing search engine optimization SEO .
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be used as a core marketing strategy or a marketing tactic. In either case, a solid SEO strategy centers around making a brand’s content desirable, discoverable and accessible for web users via search engines like Google and Bing. Like inbound marketing, the most effective SEO strategies will include a great deal of audience research (typically with keyword research) and will be designed to ensure the brand has competitive visibility within the target audience.
SEO strategists tend to focus on industry specialisms and niches, such as technical SEO . Taking this approach can help brands to concentrate knowledge, utilize the most effective SEO tools , and best satisfy user intent.
Using SEO techniques, you'll direct the right kind of traffic to your site. People who find you through searches already arrive at your business website with intent. Driving traffic to your website isn't the only significant benefit. Bottom line sales also improve with SEO. In fact, 70% of online marketers say that "SEO is better than PPC advertising for generating sales."
To implement an SEO strategy, start by learning how to do keyword research the right way. After selecting which high intent keywords you're after, you can begin optimizing your content and improving your online presence to increase your search ranking and visibility.
04. Email marketing and newsletters
Recent studies show that 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads . However, for email marketing campaigns to succeed, they need to deliver the right kind of message to your audience (no spammy "Buy now" emails). Good email marketing builds a relationship and acquires trust with readers.
You can still automate emails (check out marketing automation software ) but remember to always add value. These newsletter examples show how all-sized companies can communicate uniquely and interestingly with subscribers. When you make a newsletter , conduct A/B tests to maximize performance.
When done correctly, your email marketing strategy can create a strong ROI, improve customer retention and influence purchasing decisions.
Email marketing tips:
To build your email list , add a pop-up to your website to collect user information.
Share engaging content in your emails, such as blog posts, user-generated content and videos.
Personalize emails by adding information such as first names and customizing content based on how the user engaged with your site.
05. Influencer marketing
According to author and entrepreneur Seth Godin, "People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic. These wise words sum up the power of influencer marketing . As one of the quickest growing marketing strategies, influencer marketing uses real people to speak for your brand. Another side of it, is tapping into celebrity branding - using high profile influencers or online celebrities as part of your marketing efforts.
Influencers are individuals with high following or authority on a given topic or niche. This is one of the best marketing strategies because you get to expose your products and brand to a high follower reach without spending time building the audience. More than that, the influencer you've chosen to work with can use their authority to sway potential consumers to buy. Influencer marketing is not unlike word of mouth marketing or referral marketing.
The key is to find influencers that relate to your product and align with your brand values. Don’t be afraid to start with smaller partnerships with nano and micro-influencers . Interestingly enough, often their engagement rates and conversions are much higher than the ones with massive followers.
After reading these impressive stats below, you’ll further understand the lucrative power of a good influencer marketing strategy in helping your secure greater market penetration :
60% of marketers report better performance with influencer content vs. their own brand content.
Over 70% of marketers agree that the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other forms of marketing.
Influencer marketing yields between $5.20 to $6.50 for every one dollar spent.
06. Earned media and PR
After you've launched your business and website, it's time to spread the word. Gaining positive publicity and traction from media outlets will create the buzz around your business to get the attention of the masses. Business marketing strategies within this realm come in varying forms, including TV, newspapers, radio and podcasts.
Ideally, the press and publicity you acquire are organic (unpaid), but even if you’re considering working with a paid PR agency, the ROI can prove worthy. Bill Gates himself said, “If I only had two dollars left, I would spend one dollar on PR. It's an effective way to take your marketing communication to the next level.
07. Landing pages
What is a landing page? In simple terms—a marketer's best friend. This standalone page has one clear goal which is conversions.
No matter how successful your various online marketing strategies are, your landing pages and website must convert at a decent rate to make all the efforts worthwhile. Even just a one-second delay in page-load speed leads to a 7% drop in conversions.
Stay up to date with landing page best practices to increase your website conversion rate . By using Wix’s landing page builder , you’re already optimizing with best practices in mind. The landing page templates have customizable designs with CTA buttons placed strategically, built to be mobile-friendly, and critical information above the fold. Simply upload your images and change the text to fit your business.
There are numerous types of advertising to consider for your business. From social media advertising to TV and print advertising, the options for advertising campaigns greatly vary. One thing is clear, online advertising is a powerful way to get your audience's attention. Its digital technology helps you better target, track and measure the results of your paid marketing investment.
Learning how to advertise on Google early on will significantly benefit your growth within digital advertising. Since Google is the largest search engine globally, you want to stay ahead of the competition and show up for strategic keywords related to your offerings with Google ads. Advertising on Google and many social media platforms is also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising .
To choose the proper advertising methods for your business, consider:
Costs and budget
Timing and length of your campaign
Creative assets available
09. Affiliate marketing
To answer the question, “ What is affiliate marketing? ” you can think of it as paid partnerships where others promote your brand for you. By creating an affiliate marketing program, you’re ultimately working with another affiliate that will distribute product promotions on their social media accounts, blog, or other platforms. Their sales get tracked with unique links called affiliate links, which allow the individual to get compensated based on performance.
This type of marketing is increasing in popularity, and more and more companies are rolling out their own affiliate programs. Due to this growth, today, 81% of advertisers include affiliate marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Retargeting is a highly effective way to reach people who are already familiar with your brand and have expressed some level of interest in what you have to offer. It allows you to show ads to people who have already visited your website or shown interest in your products or services.
There are a few different ways to retarget people who have visited your website, from display and social media ads to email marketing, which can help you in the following ways:
Increase brand awareness. Make sure your brand is top of mind for people who have already visited your website. This can make them more likely to remember you when they are ready to make a purchase.
Generate leads. Showing ads to people who have visited your website and have done nothing else can encourage people to take the next step. Try offering free discounts or trials to give further incentive.
Drive sales. People who abandoned their shopping carts or visited your website but didn’t buy anything might just need a reminder, and you can make sure they get one.
Whichever platform you choose, just make sure you are tracking the results of your retargeting campaigns so that you can see what’s actually working.
11. AI marketing
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the world of marketing. AI-powered tools and technologies are being used to automate tasks, personalize experiences and target audiences more effectively. As a result, AI is becoming an essential part of any successful marketing strategy.
AI marketing is still in its early stages, but is rapidly growing in popularity. As AI technology continues to develop, it's likely that AI marketing will become even more important in the future. Here are some specific examples of how AI is being used in marketing today:
Chatbots: Chatbots are AI-powered software programs that can simulate conversation with human users. Chatbots are increasingly being used in marketing to provide customer support, answer questions, and generate leads.
Personalized recommendations: AI can be used to recommend products or services to customers based on their past purchase history, interests and online behavior. This is a powerful way to increase customer engagement and drive sales.
Targeted advertising: AI can be used to target ads to specific audiences based on their demographics, interests, and online behavior. This is a more effective way to reach target audiences and improve the return on investment (ROI) of advertising campaigns.
AI website builders : There are a number of AI-powered design tools available that can help businesses create websites more quickly and easily. These tools use AI to generate templates, layouts and even content for websites.
These are just a few examples of how AI is being used in marketing today. As AI technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and effective ways to use AI in marketing in the future.
Marketing strategies examples (and why we love them)
Wix: content marketing with education in mind.
If you haven't yet heard—we launched a podcast. Now What interviews leaders to discuss the future of business, design and eCommerce. The episodes are filled with helpful insights on succeeding as an entrepreneur as technology keeps changing.
Podcasting is a content marketing strategy that centers around the listener. On top of educating and informing with this content, Wix also turns some episodes into blog posts and shares them on social media. We saw how helpful it could be to have all types of content that listeners and readers can consume in the medium that best fits them. And most importantly its not just about promotion—it can inspire and teach something new. Podcasts and other forms of marketing content can also be used as part of your customer relationship management, as they allow you the ability to engage directly with your users or potential customers.
Berta : Social media marketing that keeps up with the trends
Bridal company Berta didn't earn its 2.9 million followers for nothing. Their highly engaging, humorous and trendy Instagram Reels and TikToks take over social media feeds. In one of their Instagram videos , they used a trending voice-over of the Kardashian family speaking. They styled each Kardashian voice with a different Berta dress to playfully showcase their dress line to each unique personality.
Their trendjacking marketing strategy is not only clever and entertaining, but it also displays products naturally. Berta makes themselves relatable and likable, while also positioning themselves as driven by innovation, through social media—something all brands can learn from.
Etsy : Email marketing campaigns that add value
Etsy, a platform known for its handmade gifts, understands how to use email marketing to showcase products while also benefiting the reader. The sharp yet level-headed subject line "Next-level gifting" grabs attention immediately. Opening the email with the following helpful advice:
"A few tips for nailing their gift: 1) Try a pick that's unexpected—but so perfect. 2) Celebrate your connection, whether it's a shared hobby, a sweet message, or an inside joke. 3) Add a personal detail to make it completely one of a kind."
The email grouped different products, such as jewelry, cozy gifts, heartfelt art and more. As a receiver, you're happy you got some thoughtful gift ideas from Etsy. Instead of spamming product links into an inbox, Etsy added value and tried to find ways their marketing could be helpful.
Blue Apron : Influencer marketing with a niche
As a meal prep business, you can only imagine how strategic it was for Blue Apron to partner with a top chef like Sam Kass . Kass reaches 20,000 followers that are likely all food lovers. Blue Apron's use of influencer marketing and personalization has boosted engagement by hosting a virtual cooking class with Kass, helping them foster brand trust. They stayed focused on their niche within the foodie world and used leaders aligned with their values to represent their brand. While a highly effective strategy on its own, mass marketing is not necessarily the right approach in every situation. Understanding your market share within a niche that is more likely to convert is more important sometimes than focusing on a wider market grab. In essence, strategic marketing is where it's at.
How to choose and create a marketing strategy in 5 steps
Define your goals
Identify your target audience
Understand your customer’s pain points and your value proposition
Select your marketing channels and allocate budgets
Decide on the messaging, creatives and implementation plan
01. Define your goals
Data repeatedly shows that those who write down goals achieve more than those who don't. There are several ways to set your objectives, such as using the SMART Goals method, broader SWOT analysis .
Your business goals might be to develop your brand awareness, break into a new geographic area, or increase online sales by a given percent. The more specific and numerical these goals are, the better they can be tracked, measured and replicated.
02. Identify your target audience
After you determine exactly whom your business wants to reach, it will be clearer which marketing strategies to choose. That's because the messaging and platforms you'll use need to fit your target audience and target market . Audience parameters can be tied to demographics like age, gender, geographic region, likes, interests, etc. They can also be enhanced with competitor analysis . Create different l ightboxes or conduct market segmentation to assist you in the process.
03. Understand your customer’s pain points and your value proposition
To develop a marketing strategy that works, you must understand what your ideal consumer struggles with regularly. This awareness will align your product, place, price and promotion to solve their pain points and increase your chances of scalability. Once you’re confident in your value proposition , you’re ready to proceed.
Not sure where to start with this? Consider using the marketing mix, or 4p's of marketing . This is an approach that helps organizations develop and implement effective marketing strategies. It consists of four key elements that collectively shape a company's marketing approach - product, price, promotion and place or distribution.
04. Select your marketing channels and allocate budgets
Where does your audience spend the most time? Is it social media or reading publications and online magazines? Once you know where the people you want to be reaching are, you can best select the types of marketing you wish to implement in your strategies and the marketing channels to target. While niche marketing can be impactful, you can also consider the benefits of diversification in your marketing strategies - is offline marketing worth it for you, for example. Sometimes not putting all of your eggs in one basket is the better approach.
Likewise, choose which marketing tools will help you execute the campaigns. Allocating a specific budget for each channel and your KPIs is also important to do in this stage. Using a marketing plan template is a simple and effective way to document your process.
05. Decide on the messaging, creatives and implementation plan
The final step in your marketing strategy is working on your messaging and creative formats. For example, if you plan to educate customers on product capabilities and spend a lot of time on YouTube, you might create a video campaign. The video messaging will resonate with your target audience in a relevant and meaningful way.
How to track marketing strategies
Tracking your marketing strategies according to their set KPI's is essential for understanding how effective they have been, and so you can optimize them as they run.
We've put together some of the main ways in which you can track your marketing strategies from planning to execution. The specific KPIs for each marketing strategy may vary, but in general they should all be tracked according to the following steps.
Set your goals and define what you want to achieve with your marketing strategies. Do you want to increase website traffic, generate leads, boost sales or improve brand awareness?
Choose the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals. If one of your goals is to increase website traffic, then your KPIs or marketing metrics would be page views, bounce rate and time on site.
You should use always tracking tools in order to collect the specific data you need to understand how close you are to meeting your KPI's, or not. The exact tool/s you use will vary according to your goals and specific metrics but some popular examples include Google Analytics, tools that track social media analytics and email marketing software. You may need to check that you have the necessary tracking codes installed on your website and landing pages to monitor your campaign's success.
Once you've collected your data, you'll need to analyze it. First of make sure to regularly review and analyze the data collected from your tracking tools, either on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. This will help you identify what's working and what needs to be improved. It should also help you plan better future marketing strategies and campaigns.
Don't be afraid to adjust your strategies. Based on the insights gained from your data analytics, you'll most likely need to adjust or optimize your marketing strategies to improve them. One example of this is if your social media campaign is not generating the desired engagement, try experimenting with different content formats or posting times.
Monitor your strategies and their progress both over the short and long term. This should be a continuous process that involves reviewing your KPIs and metrics to ensure that you're on track to achieve your objectives.
What is a marketing strategist?
A marketing strategist is someone, generally referred to as a professional, who develops and implements marketing plans and campaigns to achieve a company's marketing and sales goals.
Their responsibilities include conducting market research, analyzing consumer behavior and market trends, and identifying target audiences. From this information, they create effective marketing strategies and tactics, including product positioning, pricing, promotion, and distribution. The ultimate aim of a marketing strategist is to increase brand awareness and drive sales growth.
Marketing strategies FAQ
What are the main components of a good marketing strategy.
While the precise marketing strategy you choose will depend on your specific business, industry and marketing KPIs, the components of a good marketing strategy remain the same. These include clear goals and objectives, a well-defined target audience, a unique value proposition, a solid competitive analysis plan, a great marketing mix, a clear budget and metrics complete with a structured implementation plan.
Why is a good marketing strategy so important for your business?
A clear, planned marketing strategy is essential for your business, for the following reasons - it provides focus for all marketing efforts, it maximizes ROI, helps with brand building, enables measurement and optimization of marketing efforts, and allows you to stay competitive amongst other businesses.
What are best practices for marketing strategies?
- Conduct thorough market research to identify target audience and market trends
- Develop a clear and concise marketing message that resonates with your target audience
- Use a variety of communication channels to reach your target audience effectively
- Keep track of the results and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly
What are the 4 types of marketing strategies?
The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. Each ingredient in this marketing mix plays an important role in increasing sales and building a smart strategy for promoting your business.
Marketing plan template: step-by-step guide plus examples
The complete list of types of marketing [40 effective strategies]
A look forward: 6 marketing trends to embrace in 2024
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8 Steps to Create a Complete Marketing Strategy in 2023
Published: October 26, 2023
Creating a marketing strategy is essential to effectively nurture your customers, improve your business’s bottom line, and increase the ROI of your efforts.
A marketing strategy is especially critical if you want to use the highest ROI trends for 2023 : short video, influencer marketing, and branded social media. To get powerful results, you must carefully weave both emerging trends and proven strategies into your plan.
Let's dive into the critical components of a complete marketing strategy in 2023, followed by some examples for inspiration.
A marketing strategy covers a company’s overall approach for promoting its brand to a target audience. The process involves research, goal-setting, and positioning.
A completed marketing strategy typically includes brand objectives, target audience personas, marketing channels, key performance indicators, and more.
A marketing strategy will:
- Align your team to specific goals.
- Help you tie your efforts to business objectives.
- Allow you to identify and test what resonates with your target audience.
- Empower you to capitalize on emerging trends.
The last one is especially important. Keeping up with marketing trends is important for your strategy, but could be a full-time job.
Why? Because almost 80% of marketers say this industry changed more in the last three years than it has in the past five decades. In short, what worked for your marketing strategy in the past might not fly today.
Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan
A marketing strategy outlines the long-term goals and overall approach, while a marketing plan covers the specific actions and tactics to achieve those goals.
Phrased another way, marketing strategy guides the overall marketing efforts of a business. It includes goal-setting, market and competitor research, as well as messaging and positioning for a brand.
For example, say you're creating a marketing strategy for a new fashion brand. Your strategy might target young urban professionals and position the brand as trendy and affordable.
But a marketing plan is a detailed tactical roadmap. It outlines the specific actions and tactics that should achieve the marketing strategy's goals.
For example, the marketing plan for the fashion brand mentioned above might include:
- Targeted social media campaigns
- Influencer partnerships
- Online advertising timeline
Both a marketing strategy and a marketing plan are essential for a business's success.
Free Marketing Plan Template
Outline your company's marketing strategy in one simple, coherent plan.
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- Completely Customizable
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- Professionally Designed
You're all set!
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Free Marketing Strategy Template
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To succeed in the fast-paced marketing world — and maintain a sense of relevance with your audience — it's vital to stay ahead of the curve.
To help ease some of that uncertainty, we're going to show you step-by-step how to create a comprehensive marketing strategy. But first, let’s go over the individual components that make up a strong marketing strategy.
Marketing Strategy Components
- Marketing Mix (4 Ps of Marketing)
- Marketing Objectives
- Marketing Budget
- Competitive Analysis
- Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning
- Content Creation (Including Trending Content)
- Metrics & Key Performance Indicators
1. Marketing Mix
The marketing mix, also known as the 4 Ps of marketing, is the preliminary document you must create to understand what you will be marketing, where you’ll be marketing it, and how you’ll be marketing it. The following P’s make up this framework:
- Product : What are you selling?
- Price : What is the price?
- Place : Where will you be selling the product?
- Promotion : Where will you be promoting the product?
You can then extrapolate this information into a full-fledged marketing plan for each promotional channel. It’s important to lay out the information in broad strokes so that you understand the overall direction of your marketing strategy.
2. Marketing Objectives
You can set your marketing objectives in conjunction with your 4 Ps, or right after. Either way, you should outline your marketing goals before building upon your strategy. Why? Because your goals will inform other components of the plan, including the budget and content creation process.
With every objective, you should aim to be as specific as possible. Try to create SMART marketing goals divided by channel or promotional tactic, and don’t forget that you can always come back and revise your goals as your priorities change.
3. Marketing Budget
A marketing budget is an essential element of your strategy. Without allocating funds to hiring the right talent, using the right software, advertising on the right channels, and creating the right content, your marketing strategy won’t have a powerful impact. To get a high return on investment, you must first invest.
Remember that you can always start small — hyper-focusing your budget on one or two efforts — and build upon them once you generate an ROI.
4. Competitive Analysis
Knowing your competition is key when creating a marketing strategy. Otherwise, you risk "yelling into the void" without measurable results. Worse, you won’t know whether you’re differentiating yourself enough from the competition and effectively drawing the attention of your intended audience.
You might already have an idea of who your competitors are, but it’s still essential to sit down and find them. You might end up uncovering a surprise competitor who’s vying for your target buyer’s attention and engagement.
5. Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
Segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) refers to the process of delivering "more relevant, personalized messages to target audiences." In other words, rather than publishing posts and advertisements on a whim, you’ll go through a methodical process for creating content that resonates with your target buyer.
During the segmentation, targeting, and positioning process, you’ll take three steps:
- Identify your target audience . This process not only entails interviewing your current customers, but carrying out market research and creating buyer personas .
- Target a segment of your target audience . It’s best to speak to a narrow group of highly qualified buyers than to send your message out to everyone.
- Position your brand alongside other brands . What do you do better than your competitors? It’s essential to map this information when creating a marketing strategy.
6. Content Creation
Once you have your budget, competitive outlook, and STP information, it’s time to create your marketing content . But it’s essential to be strategic. For one, you don’t want to publish random content that doesn’t solve for the customer, and for two, you must aim to capitalize on emerging trends so that your brand enjoys high visibility in the marketplace.
The competition is fierce across all formats. According to HubSpot Research , "half of marketers are using videos, with 47% leveraging images, followed by 33% posting blogs articles, infographics (30%) and podcasts or other audio content (28%)." Of these, video has the highest ROI.
It’s even more essential to invest in trends that have a high ROI, such as short-form video, influencer marketing, and social media DMs.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in blogging , one of the most proven content marketing techniques. It’s simply important to know where to allot the most resources, especially if you have a limited budget.
7. Metrics & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Last, but certainly not least, your marketing strategy must include metrics and key performance indicators to understand how well your strategies are working. The KPIs you choose will vary depending on your business type and preferred customer acquisition channels . Examples of KPIs include:
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Organic Traffic
- Conversion Rate
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Now, let’s dive into why it’s important to follow the steps of a marketing strategy.
Why is a marketing strategy important?
Without a defined strategy, you’ll essentially be throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. And that process will cost you money, time, and resources.
But a robust marketing strategy will reach your target audience. It has the power to turn people who've never heard of your brand into loyal repeat customers.
Here are just a few of the top reasons a marketing strategy is essential:
A marketing strategy outlines clear goals and defines the path to achieve them. It pulls together all marketing efforts within an organization for optimal effects.
Targets the Right Audience
A well-defined marketing strategy helps you find and understand your target audience. This helps your business tailor your messaging and positioning to reach the right people at the right time.
Builds Brand Identity
A marketing strategy helps you create a consistent and cohesive brand identity. This makes it easier to align all marketing initiatives for increased brand recognition and loyalty.
With analysis of market trends, competition, and customer behavior, marketing strategies help businesses find the most effective marketing channels and tactics to invest in. This helps businesses get the maximum return on investment.
A marketing strategy defines key metrics and performance indicators. This makes it easier for your business to measure and track the success of marketing initiatives. It also gives you what you need to make data-driven decisions and optimize future campaigns for better results.
Marketing Strategy Process
- Conduct market research.
- Define your goals.
- Identify your target audience and create buyer personas.
- Conduct competitive analysis.
- Develop key messaging.
- Choose your marketing channels.
- Create, track, and analyze KPIs.
- Present your marketing strategy.
1. Conduct market research.
Before you can begin creating your marketing strategy, you need to gather useful data for making informed decisions. Market research is like playing detective, but instead of solving crimes, you're uncovering juicy details about your customers.
Market research will help your businesses make data-driven decisions for your marketing strategy. It also makes it easier to understand your target market, find gaps, and make the most of your resources.
This process is essential for understanding your customers and adapting to changing trends. If you're new to this process, this complete market research guide and template can help.
Once you have the data you need, you’ll be ready to set some marketing goals.
2. Define your goals.
What do you want to achieve through your marketing efforts?
Whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or diversifying your customer base, well-defined goals will guide your marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy goals should reflect your business goals. They should also offer clear direction for marketing efforts.
For example, say one of your business goals is to increase market share by 20% within a year. Your goal as a marketer could include expanding into new target markets, updating your brand, or driving customer acquisition.
Other marketing goals might be to increase brand awareness or generate high-quality leads. You might also want to grow or maintain thought leadership in your industry or increase customer value.
Defining clear goals provides direction and clarity, guiding marketing efforts toward desired outcomes. It helps with resource allocation, decision-making, and measuring the success of marketing initiatives.
This SMART goal guide can help you with more effective goal-setting.
3. Identify your target audience and create buyer personas.
To create an effective marketing strategy, you need to understand who your ideal customers are. Take a look at your market research to understand your target audience and market landscape. Accurate customer data is especially important for this step.
But it's not enough to know who your audience is. Once you've figured out who they are, you need to understand what they want. This isn't just their needs and pain points, it's how your product or service can solve their problems.
So, if you can't define who your audience is in one sentence, now's your chance to do it. Create a buyer persona that's a snapshot of your ideal customer.
For example, a store like Macy's could define a buyer persona as Budgeting Belinda, a stylish working-class woman in her 30s living in a suburb, looking to fill her closet with designer deals at low prices.
With this description, Macy's Marketing department can picture Budgeting Belinda and work with a clear definition in mind.
Buyer personas have critical demographic and psychographic information, including age, job title, income, location, interests, and challenges. Notice how Belinda has all those attributes in her description.
You don't have to create your buyer persona with a pen and paper. In fact, HubSpot offers a free template you can use to make your own (and it's really fun).
You can also use a platform like Versium , which helps you identify, understand, and reach your target audience through data and artificial intelligence.
Buyer personas should be at the core of your strategy.
4. Conduct competitive analysis.
Now that you have an understanding of your customers, it's time to see who you're competing with to get their attention.
To begin your competitive analysis, start with your top competitors. Reviewing their websites, content, ads, and pricing can help you understand how to differentiate your brand. It's also a useful way to find opportunities for growth.
But how do you know which competitors are most important? This competitive analysis kit with templates will walk you through the process. It will help you choose and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of your competitors.
This process will help you find market gaps, spot trends, and figure out which marketing tactics will be most effective. Competitive analysis can also offer valuable insights on pricing, positioning, and marketing channels.
5. Develop key messaging.
You've figured out who you're talking to, what they've already heard, and what they want to hear. Now, it's time to share your brand's unique value proposition .
In this step, you'll craft key messaging that shows the benefits of your product or service and resonates with your target audience. This process should show off the research and work you have done up to this point. It should also incorporate your creativity, inventiveness, and willingness to experiment.
Well-crafted key messaging:
- Sets businesses apart from the competition
- Resonates with the target audience
- Is flexible enough to be consistent across all marketing channels
- Builds brand credibility
- Creates an emotional connection with customers
- Influences buying decisions
The key messaging in your marketing strategy is critical to driving engagement, loyalty, and business growth. These value proposition templates can help if you're not sure how to draft this important messaging.
6. Choose your marketing channels.
You know what you have to say, now decide on the best marketing channels for your message. Your top goal for this stage of your strategy is to align your channel choices with your target persona's media consumption habits.
Start with media channels you're already using. Then, consider a mix of traditional and digital channels such as social media, TV, email marketing, podcast ads, SEO, content marketing, and influencer partnerships.
To streamline this process, think of your assets in three categories — paid, owned, and earned media.
Paid media is any channel you spend money on to attract your target audience. Most of this spending is advertising . This includes online and offline channels like:
- Direct mail
- Social media ads
- SEM (Search engine marketing)
- Podcast advertising
Owned media refers to (mostly) online channels your brand owns, including:
- Organic social media
It also refers to the media your marketing team creates such as
Another way to say earned media is user-generated content . Earned media includes:
- Shares on social media
- Posts about your business on X or Threads
- Reels posted on Instagram mentioning your brand
To decide which marketing channels are best for your marketing strategy, look carefully at each channel. Think about which channels are best for reaching your audience, staying within budget, and meeting your goals.
For example, a business targeting a younger demographic might consider using TikTok or Reddit to reach its audience.
Don't forget to take a look at emerging platforms and trends as you complete this review. You may also want to look at the content you've already created. Gather your materials in each media type in one location. Then, look at your content as a whole to get a clear vision of how you can integrate them into your strategy.
For example, say you already have a blog that's rolling out weekly content in your niche (owned media). You might consider promoting your blog posts on Threads (owned media), which customers might then repost (earned media). Ultimately, that will help you create a better, more well-rounded marketing strategy.
If you have resources that don't fit into your goals, nix them. This is also a great time to clean house and find gaps in your materials.
7. Create, track, and analyze KPIs.
Once you have a clear outline of your marketing strategy, you'll need to think about how you'll measure whether it's working.
At this stage, you'll shift from marketing detective to numbers nerd. With a little planning and prep, your analytics can unveil the mysteries of marketing performance and unlock super insights.
Review your strategy and choose measurable KPIs to track the effectiveness of your strategy. Create a system that works for your team to collect and measure your data.
Then, plan to check and analyze the performance of your strategy over time. This can help you refine your approach based on results and feedback.
Analyzing KPIs helps businesses stay agile, refine their strategies, and adapt to evolving customer needs.
8. Present your marketing strategy.
A finished marketing strategy will pull together the sections and components above. It may also include:
A concise overview that outlines the marketing goals, target audience, and key marketing tactics.
You may want to create a brand identity as part of your strategy. Brand positioning, voice, and visual identity may also be helpful additions to your marketing strategy.
Marketing Plan and Tactics
Your marketing plan is the specific actions you'll take to achieve the goals in your marketing strategy. Your plan may cover campaigns, channel-specific tactics, and more.
Not sure where to start? This free marketing plan template can help.
Download for Free
Defining a budget for your marketing strategy helps you show that your planned resource allocation aligns with business goals.
Timeline and Milestones
Marketing strategies can be complex and difficult for stakeholders to understand. Creating a timeline that outlines the different tactics, milestones, and deadlines can help.
Your marketing strategy is a living document. It will need constant reviews, revisions, and optimizations to meet your long-term goals. Prepare to revise your marketing strategy at least once a year to address market trends, customer feedback, and changing business objectives.
Here are a few tools that can help you track and measure the success of your marketing goals:
1. HubSpot Marketing Hub
The Marketing Hub allows you to connect all your marketing tools into one centralized platform.
Too often, you’ll find a tool that’s powerful but not easy to use. With this tool, you can attract users with blogs, SEO, and live chat tools. You can then convert and nurture those leads through marketing automation, the website and landing page builder, and lead tracking features.
With custom reporting and built-in analytics, you can analyze your data and plan out your next move. Plus, HubSpot Marketing Hub integrates with over 700 tools .
Pricing : Free; Starter, $20/month; Professional, $890/month; Enterprise, $3,600/month.
Trello keeps your marketing team on track and openly communicating about the projects they're working on. Create boards for individual campaigns, editorial calendars, or quarterly goals.
Built-in workflows and automation capabilities keep communication streamlined, and simplicity keeps your marketing team focused on the work that matters.
Pricing : Free; Standard Class, $5/month; Premium Class, $10/month for 100 users; Enterprise, $17.50/month for 250 users.
TrueNorth is a marketing management platform built to help you hit your marketing goals. Built specifically for marketing teams, TrueNorth turns your marketing strategy into a visual projection of your growth, which is used to create monthly milestones that help you stay on track.
One of the key benefits of TrueNorth is that it centralizes all your ideas, campaigns, and results in one place, with everything tied back to your goal.
Pricing : $99/month (free for 14 days).
Everything on Monday.com starts with a board or visually driven table. Create and customize workflows for your team and keep groups, items, sub-items, and updates synced in real time.
You can also transform data pulled from timeline and Gantt views to track your projects on Monday.com to make sure you're meeting your deadlines. Plus, with more than 40 integrations — from SurveyMonkey to Mailchimp and, of course, HubSpot — you can visualize your data and make sure your whole company is collaborating.
Pricing : Basic, $8/month/seat; Standard, $10/month/seat; Pro, $16/month/seat; Enterprise, contact for pricing.
SEO continues to be a huge factor in the successful ranking of your website.
SEMrush allows you to run a technical SEO audit, track daily rankings, analyze your competitor's SEO strategy, research millions of keywords, and even source ideas for earning more organic traffic.
But the benefits don't stop at SEO. Use SEMRush for PPC, building and measuring an effective social media strategy, content planning, and even market research.
Pricing : Pro, $129/month; Guru, $249/month; Business, $499/month.
BuzzSumo allows you to analyze data to enhance and lead your marketing strategy, all while exploring high-performing content in your industry.
Use the platform to find influencers who may help your brand reach, track comments, and find trends to make the most of every turn.
As your needs evolve, you can also use their crisis management and video marketing tools.
Pricing : Content Creation, $199/month; PR&Comms, $299/month; Suite, $499/month; Enterprise, $999/month.
7. Crazy Egg
Need to optimize your website this year? Consider getting started with Crazy Egg. You'll be able to identify "attention hotspots" on your product pages, track ad campaign traffic on your site, and understand if shoppers are clicking where you want them to.
You can even make sure your "Buy Now" buttons are in the best place.
Crazy Egg also offers recordings, A/B testing, and more to help make sure your website is offering the best user experience.
Pricing : Basic, $29/month; Standard, $49/month; Plus, $99/month; Pro, $249/month; Enterprise, contact for pricing.
Examples of Successful Marketing Strategies
1. regal movies, digital strategy: owned media.
This "Guess the Monday Movie" question is a fun, interactive way to get followers invested in Regal's content:
Regal's Instagram post is an example of owned media because the company was in full control of the answers followers gave (and, apparently, they’re hoping for fewer horror movies).
Regal kept true to their brand by asking viewers to guess the secret movie. And this is a popular type of post for this brand. In only two hours, it has over 800 likes and 64 comments.
2. La Croix
Digital strategy: user-generated content, earned media.
User-generated content is one of the best ways to gain traction in your strategy.
It demonstrates your appreciation for loyal customers, builds community, and incentivizes other users to promote your products for the chance at a similar shout-out.
Plus, sometimes the content your brand loyalists create is really, really good.
In this case, the consumer is creating a handmade needlepoint featuring the brand’s product.
3. Small Girls PR
Small Girls PR is a boutique PR company based in New York, and one of the company's talents is connecting with amazing clients. This post on Instagram is an effective marketing example, as it boosts awareness for your brand and offers social proof by featuring high-profile clients.
Digital strategy: paid media.
Design agency Superside launched an Instagram ad to promote a lead magnet: Their digital ad design guide. While the brand may have created the guide specifically for paid promotions, it’s also possible that they repurposed a high-performing blog post into a downloadable ebook.
In this case, all they had to do was repackage their current content, build an ad around it with creative assets, and run it.
In previous sections, we discussed the power of leveraging multiple forms of media in your marketing strategy. This is a great example of it.
Digital Strategy: Owned Media, Influencer Partnership
If you've got the time for influencer partnerships, take full advantage of it.
Influencer marketing is when you partner with influencers, to promote your content on their site. By doing this, your content reaches new audiences you might not be able to reach organically:
This post from Target highlights new apparel from a trusted partner. More social channels are offering ways for shoppers to purchase in-app or close to it, driving sales and boosting exposure for brands.
What to Expect After Following Your Marketing Process Steps
Ultimately, creating a complete marketing strategy isn't something that can happen overnight. It takes time, hard work, and dedication to confirm you're reaching your ideal audience, whenever and wherever they want to be reached.
Stick with it (and use some of the resources we've included in this post), and over time, research and customer feedback will help you refine your strategy to make sure you're spending most of your time on the marketing channels your audience cares most about.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2019. It has been updated for freshness and accuracy.
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10 Small Business Marketing Strategies That Actually Work Avoid the pitfalls of small business marketing and achieve long-term goals by choosing the right strategies.
By Christian Nwachukwu • Feb 21, 2022
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As a small business owner, you know your vision and plan matter. To start a successful business, you'll need an ironclad business plan that includes financials and a marketing plan.
If you're a small business owner, then you know that marketing can be tough. It seems like everyone is competing for attention, and it's hard to stand out from the crowd.
Related: How To Write A Business Plan | Entrepreneur.com
Whether you handle marketing yourself or you have a marketing department, some strategies can increase visibility to boost awareness for your brand. Ready to learn more? Keep reading for 10 small business marketing strategies that work.
1. Know how to target your audience
When it comes to marketing your small business, it's essential to target the right audience. By developing a strategy that focuses on your ideal customer, you'll be able to reach more people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. So how do you go about doing this? Here are some tips for targeting your audience effectively:
- Know your target market
- Define your niche
- Research your competition
- Create buyer personas
- Use in-depthdemographic data
- Segment your audience
- Tailor your marketing messages
- Don't forget offline marketing
Related: 6 Ways to Market Your Small Business for Less Than $100
2. Leverage cold email marketing
When it comes to small business marketing, cold emailing is one of the most effective strategies. It's a great way to connect with potential customers who may not be familiar with your business. Here are a few tips for using cold email to market your small business:
- Start by creating a list of potential customers.
- Research the companies you want to target and find out who the decision-makers are.
- Draft a personalized email that introduces your business and explains why you think the contact would be a good fit for your products or services.
- Send the email and follow up with phone calls if necessary.
- Keep track of your results and adjust your strategy as needed.
Related: Email Marketing - Entrepreneur
3. Advertise your business online
When it comes to advertising your business, there are several different strategies that you can use. However, not all of these strategies will be effective for your business. To find the best digital marketing strategy for your small business, you need to do some research and try out a few different tactics.
One of the most popular online marketing tactics is social media advertising. This involves using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote your business. You can create ads that target specific demographics, or you can simply post about your business on your social media apps.
Since most people are on their mobile devices frequently, using social media posts or Google Ads to promote your brand may be a better marketing idea than using direct mail efforts. The internet also functions as the hub of word-of-mouth marketing, with in-person experiences being reflected on review and referral sites like Yelp.
Related: 4 Free Small Business Marketing Tools
4. Use influencers to build brand awareness
When it comes to marketing your small business, you can't afford to overlook the power of influencers. Influencers are individuals with a large online following who can sway the opinions of their followers. In other words, if an influencer promotes your product or service, their followers are likely to take notice.
There are several ways to work with influencers to build awareness for your small business. One option is to reach out to them directly and ask them to join a marketing campaign to promote your product or service. Another option is to partner with an influencer marketing agency that can connect you with influencers who are a good fit for your brand.
Related: What to Know About Influencer Marketing in 2022
5. Connect with local businesses
One of the best ways to market your small business is to connect with local businesses. When you partner with other businesses in your area, you can share resources and promote each other to your customer base. You can also collaborate on marketing initiatives and events.
To connect with local businesses, start by networking with other business owners in your community. Attend business events and join online forums and groups that focus on local business collaboration. You can also reach out to local businesses directly and offer to collaborate.
6. Offer incentives and discounts
This can be in the form of a percentage off your products or services or even a free item with purchase. You can also offer loyalty programs, which give customers rewards for continued patronage. Whatever incentive or discount you choose to offer, make sure it's something that your customers will find valuable.
7. Build an email list
Building an email list isn't hard. It doesn't take much time or any special skills to do, and once it's done, it saves you a lot of time in the future. Here are some ideas for building your initial newsletter subscribers:
- Offer something valuable (and usually free) like a white paper, eBook, free webinar, or coupon code for joining your mailing list
- Ask people who complete certain forms on your website to opt-in to receive updates from you via email
- Use social media platforms to post about how excited you are about launching your new products/services and share where to sign up for them using links that lead directly to the sign-up form
- Include a sign-up form on all of your website pages and blog posts
8. Automated marketing
Running a small business can often be an all-hands-on-deck situation, especially as you start up. Because you and your employees have so much to juggle, automation might be just what you need to boost efficiency and increase communication consistency.
Automation can also help you and your team take back your time, as it can provide more freedom for job tasks, collaboration, and creativity.
Consider automation platforms for:
- Social media content calendars
- Email marketing (eCommerce shopping carts and abandoned carts, and email list blasts)
- SMS notifications (loyalty program, discounts, and shipping notifications)
9. Invest in search engine optimization ( SEO )
Another popular online marketing strategy is search engine optimization (SEO). This involves optimizing your website so that it appears higher on search engine results pages. By investing in SEO, you can improve your website's ranking in search results and attract more visitors.
There are many different SEO techniques that you can use, and it's important to choose the right ones for your business. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider using online marketing tools like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. These tools allow you to target specific audiences with your ads, which can help you save money on advertising costs.
If you have a small marketing budget, check out these five affordable small business SEO softwares:
10. Blog about the latest trends and events related to your business niche
Blogging is a great way to connect with customers and share information about your business. When you blog about the latest trends, news stories, and events related to your business niche, potential customers can learn more about you and what you offer. This can help you attract new customers and build trust with existing customers.
Related: Top Social-Media Marketing Essentials for Small Businesses
Ready to build your small business?
As you continue to grow your small business, your marketing efforts matter. You need to understand your target audience, create multiple marketing channels, maintain consistent content marketing efforts, and follow a messaging system that aligns with your brand's mission.
Visit Entrepreneur today for more marketing tips , customer experience ideas , and how to analyze your marketing platform metrics .
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