The modern marketer is faced with a bewildering array of tools, methods, and resources. It’s great to have so many avenues to grow your brand, but it also makes picking the right channels confusing.
But creating an effective marketing strategy doesn’t have to be so hazy; with some planning and organization, you can reduce the chaos in your marketing.
How Does A Chaotic Marketing Strategy Stunt Your Growth?
A successful marketing strategy balances breadth and depth. But why does this matter?
Marketing That’s Too Focused
Marketing that’s too focused poses two distinct threats to your marketing success.
First and most obviously: having too narrow of a focus risks leaving revenue on the table. This can come through ignoring an ideal audience, or spending too many resources on a particular channel.
Secondly, a marketing strategy that’s too concentrated leaves your sales vulnerable to change. If your sales depend heavily on a single channel or audience, and that channel is disrupted (such as through market changes or new regulations), your sales will be too.
Marketing That’s Too Broad
Marketing that’s too scattered is often weak. When you spread resources across too many channels or audiences, you dilute their effectiveness, and you risk spinning your marketing wheels. It leads to marketing inertia.
Powerful marketing builds momentum; that comes from focusing energy on a few channels or audiences (at least until the train is rolling).
How Can You Get The Balance Right? Here Are 5 Tips to Reduce Marketing Chaos:
If focused and broad approaches both pose risks to your business, how do you balance the two?
The secret? Marketing power comes from the middle.
It may seem overwhelming to whittle down the plethora of marketing options and tactics to a balanced strategy, but following these tips will give you a head start:
1. Define the scope, goals, and outcomes of your marketing
Effective marketing is driven by a Cascading Goal Setting strategy. Desired outcomes are broken down into goals; progress towards goals is measured by key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics.
Where the desired outcome is a macro thought (for example: grow revenue enough to justify adding a second location), goals add specificity and define the steps needed to deliver your outcome.
Your goals are measured by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) + metrics; choosing the right ones can make or break your success. As the name suggests, KPIs are the most actionable indicators of success (eCommerce sales, number of leads generated, etc.). Metrics are more detailed statistics that contribute to KPIs (click-through rate, open rate, etc.).
Ultimately, having clearly defined goals helps to guide the scope of your marketing efforts–forcing you to explore all of your options, but eliminating unrealistic tactics. As an example, if your goal is to reduce customer acquisition cost to $50, it could rule out certain marketing channels.
2. Identify and understand your target audience(s)
An intimate understanding of your target audience can amplify your marketing enormously and serve as the crucial foundation to executing flawlessly.
One tool you can use to achieve this is a buyer persona. Buyer personas are designed to define your ideal customer. Take a deep dive into who your demographic is, what they do, what their lives look like, and their pain points. From there, work to solve their paint with your product or service, fully identifying with who your buyers really are.
To start creating your buyer persona, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions to define your target audience.
These questions can include…
- What does a day in their life look like?
- Do they have disposable income?
- What is their income bracket?
- Do they have a family?
- What are their pain points?
- What does life look like after engaging with your product or service?
By answering these questions, and more, in detail, you’ll be able to narrow your target demographic considerably–and understand them more intimately.
3. Identify the most relevant channels for distribution
Build on the idea of having a clear target audience by identifying the channels that are most relevant to them. This helps focus your efforts and allocate resources most effectively. It also allows you to create messaging and creative assets that resonate with them.
Channels can include social media platforms, physical devices like smartphones or laptops, traditional advertising like television or radio, and nontraditional channels like podcasts or product placement.
Referring back to your buyer persona, consider where your audience spends its time, and where
4. Prepare a realistic timeline
Managing expectations is critical to a successful marketing strategy. You won’t be able to reach your goals overnight, but you will be able to reach them if you create a realistic timeline.
Set goals that are tangible and genuinely achievable. For example, if you want to increase engagement with your website, you would focus on the key performance indicators, or KPIs, that give you that information.
You would then take that information and create a realistic timeline over the next several months, fully understanding that changes won’t happen immediately.
Estimating your timeline can sometimes be challenging, but keep in mind that you’ll be hard-pressed to meet your deadline if you don’t set one. Create milestones to help you get there in a predictable manner and the steps you need to take to make it happen.
Sometimes, that means getting feedback on your first draft to refine your marketing strategy until you’re confident that it will be precisely what you’re looking for.
5. Focus on one or two high-impact activities
Focus on one or two high-impact activities at a time, and put aside the rest of your campaign (which isn’t as important) for later. With this strategy, you’ll be able to make progress on more projects and see success with those two things.
You might need to try different marketing strategies, but you don’t have to do all of them simultaneously.
High-impact marketing activities are the ones that will provide the best return on your resource (effort and money) investment.
The Bottom Line
Keep these 5 tips in mind as you think through your marketing strategy, and you’ll keep your strategy clear and—most importantly—effective.