Regardless of whether you’re a new business or your business has been in operation for over ten years, any business worth its salt knows that success hinges on a solid plan. After all, a business can only exist after careful financial planning and product development. Consequently, in order to achieve true and long-lasting success, businesses must create a detailed and comprehensive marketing strategy.
Conversely, advertising as you go, with no plan for the foreseeable future, is not only risky but also costly. Here are three outcomes that might happen to your business if you don’t create a marketing strategy.
Poor market research leads to blind ad spend
Smart marketing depends on comprehensive industry research and analysis, which are the building blocks of any good marketing strategy. Therefore, not having a marketing plan is akin to throwing money out on the street. Without the proper research to back up your marketing choices, you’ll just be wasting your precious ad budget on low-converting marketing mediums or on the wrong audience.
However, creating a marketing strategy lets you focus on your business goals so that you can determine the best direction you should take and to avoid losing sight of your objectives so you don’t waste your time. In addition, by outlining your objectives in your marketing strategy, you can create a timeline of tasks and deadlines you need to meet in order to fulfill your objectives. That way, you and your team will be held accountable for performing the tasks completely and in a timely manner.
You can’t fix your marketing mistakes if you don’t know what they are
Oftentimes, when you have been implementing a marketing plan for a long time, the steps become routine and you go on auto-pilot without really paying attention to your performance. However, this is a bad habit to fall into, because plans can get stale and ineffective. This is particularly true online, where trends that were popular just yesterday could be completely outdated today. Therefore, you must constantly refresh your marketing practices to match the current trends or needs of your audience.
Marketing strategies force you to audit your existing marketing plan in order to evaluate what is (and isn’t) working. In addition, you can’t meet your business goals without tracking your progress and tweaking your strategy. Therefore, planning helps you understand the workings of your business better, optimize the campaigns that are working, and rework the ones that aren’t.
Getting sloppy with the details can cost you your credibility
A cross-channel marketing campaign is like a machine – if one component isn’t working, the entire machine will fall apart. Advertising is trickier now that digital and mobile marketing are factored into the journey to conversion, because there are so many online channels on which you can advertise and potentially make a mistake, which can negatively affect your brand trust.
A comprehensive marketing strategy requires you to establish your business goals, learn about your industry, examine your competition, decide on your budget, and determine your messaging. In addition, you should break down the different components of your campaign by outlining the objectives and plans of each section. This way, whether you’re advertising on social, mobile, or search, each piece of your campaign is fully developed so that no matter where you advertise, whether online or off, your goals and messaging are the same throughout.
Not having a marketing strategy makes achieving your business goals significantly harder, because you’ll just be implementing random activities. However, a detailed plan-of-action ensures that all the time, effort, and money that you spend on marketing your business are well-spent to produce the best results for your business.