I’m in the business of coming up with the reason a business is doing something AFTER they’ve already started doing it.
Most companies are busy doing, so when the time comes that they suddenly need documentation of all that stuff (for a bank loan, an investor or even to sell the business), someone’s got to pull it together.
We need a mini marketing strategy
That’s right, a marketing strategy at a glance.
I used to think ‘strategy’ involved thousands of words with complicated diagrams. I forgive myself for this, because that’s what I was led to believe by things like marketing agency pitches. But of course, those are designed to make potential clients think they can’t do without an agency.
Make no mistake, some agencies can change the course of your business. But when you’re down to the wire and you need a quick bit of material to show the amazing ideas that usually live in people’s heads – I’ve got you.
Example: marketing strategy for a new product
We’ll start with a nice table, where we can organise our thoughts. If someone is expecting an essay rather than something visual or even a one-liner (which any good strategy should produce), this is still a good place to start. It can always be explained in more depth if necessary.
That said, I’ve found in my time that most people asking for a strategy to appear out of thin air are after something they can process and explain very quickly. Nothing better than a table for that. (I have written out an accessible guide to this as well, underneath.)
Our first section of the marketing plan for our new product is to write down our overall product marketing strategy, which needs to support the business and brand strategies. For example, if the business strategy is to diversify and cross-sell, this product marketing strategy could be ‘Attract new audiences to the business by positioning our shiny new product as just one of the many our customer may be interested in under our roof.’
Never forget: strategy is where we’re going and everything else is the who, what, why and how.
The next thing to document is the problem we’re trying to solve. If we were writing an actual product strategy, our problems might be business problems that the new product will overcome. As this is a marketing strategy, we’re trying to appeal directly to consumers – so they need to be consumer problems we’re solving.
If you are going to write out the marketing strategy, include the people these problems belong to. Your target audiences.
Next up: solutions or insights. Your insights directly solve each problem, but they’re more than that. They solves each problem in a way that’s different from what everyone else is doing. More personal, more useful, cheaper, less wasteful. You need something novel to make your solution the one someone’s going to pick for their problem.
Tactics – phew! The easy bit. All the tools in our marketing arsenal that we’ll use to deliver this strategy. Activities we’ll run, like social campaigns, channels we’ll use for sales, content we’ll need to produce… The marketing mix that’s going to deliver on our strategy, solve our problems and capitalise on our insights.
Mini marketing strategy, written
It is mini, whether you present a table or write a document. There are hundreds of other things we could write in a marketing strategy (although, at that point it’s turning in to the full marketing plan and not just a strategy!) but when you’ve been put on the spot, this is a good thing to chuck in front of everyone so you can make a start.
Don’t worry. Strategy is just common sense, research and thinking.
Read my article about how to come up with ideas to help you with the insights you need for a good strategy.