What Makes Up a Good Marketing Strategy?

No matter what you’re selling, the way you sell it matters. We know that a well-crafted marketing strategy is the backbone of any successful business. It ultimately guides promotional efforts, builds brand awareness, and drives customer engagement. According to the former CMO of General Electric (GE), “Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.”

Even as we embrace new online platforms, endeavor to implement new technologies, and shift our strategies to serve our clients well, there are several foundational marketing pillars that will always remain true. Marketing your brand effectively doesn’t have to be a guessing game. We want to share six essential elements that will help you know how to create a marketing strategy that truly works. 

Build A Great Marketing Strategy in 6 Steps

Innovation in marketing is wonderful — but without a measurable plan, it can turn into throwing various strategies against the wall to see what sticks. Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be so complicated. A great marketing strategy builds upon itself, but it’s important to work through the steps in the right order. (Spoiler alert: most people start with step 5, which leads to a scattered strategy that doesn’t meet your key objectives. There’s a better way!) 

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer revisiting your current strategy or you’re beginning your marketing efforts for the first time, follow these 6 steps. You’ll be on your way to a rock-solid strategy that stands the test of time. 

1. Research your market. 

Before you launch a campaign or even define your goals, you must understand your market. Understanding your audience, your competitors, and the current landscape within your industry as a whole lays a foundation for an effective marketing strategy. “Market research” is a wide term, but it encompasses many important pieces. As you’re conducting your research, consider the following: 

  • Who is my audience? Successful marketing strategies know who they’re marketing to — which means you’ll need to learn about your target market. Build buyer personas or ideal client avatars to get a full understanding of who you’d like to sell to, and learn as much as you can about their demographics and consumer preferences.

  • What do they need from me? Want to know if you know your audience well enough? If you do, you should be able to answer this question clearly. Your product or service offers something valuable to your target demographic. If it doesn’t, you might need to tweak your selling points — or go back to work in finding the right audience. 

  • What is my strategic advantage? You offer something your competitors don’t. Identify it so you can use it as a unique selling point in your marketing efforts. To discover what sets you apart from others in your industry, you’ll have to learn about their companies. What do they offer? How is it different from your own approach? How can you highlight what makes you the right choice for your dream clients? If you can find an unaddressed need, build your strategy around it. 

  • What’s trending in my industry? To market well, you’ll need to keep a finger on the pulse in your field. This includes consumer attitudes, what’s attractive to them today (this may be different than the last time you did market research!), and supply and demand.

2. Create measurable goals. 

Once you’ve completed your market research, create some benchmarks that will determine success. We like to use the SMART method for goal setting, making sure our objectives are always specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. 

Contextual advertising is an excellent way to reach potential customers and meet SMART goals. It’s on the rise in 2024, along with a few other marketing trends we’re excited about. It’s important to know if you are actually accomplishing your marketing goals, and this method helps you see where you’ve clearly crossed the finish line and where you need to channel more effort along the way. 

3. Integrate your marketing. 

Successful campaigns are rarely one-note. They integrate various marketing channels, from social media platforms to influencer marketing to PR to display advertising. By marketing your brand in a variety of spaces and on diverse platforms, your odds of reaching your target audience increase exponentially. As an added bonus, you’ll get your brand in front of their eyes repeatedly in different ways, which builds brand loyalty and trust. Even before you’ve landed on a specific content strategy, determine which channels will serve your brand best. 

4. Create brand consistency. 

If you want to build brand trust across platforms, your brand must be recognizable and consistent no matter where it’s featured. If your brand assets are disjointed, you’re still using multiple iterations of your logo and typography, or your brand has outgrown its original design, it’s time for a rebrand. Establishing a consistent brand will serve your marketing strategies well every time. 

5. Build a content strategy.

This is the number one mistake we see in marketing — building a content strategy first. Of course, this is an important step! But in order to create campaigns that are effective and measurable, you should come to the table with predetermined goals, market research, and branding. 

Effective marketing campaigns understand the importance of consistency. As you consider what to post on social channels, print on deliverables, or implement into your digital marketing, remember that creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content is the key to attracting and retaining the target audience. This goes back to SMART goals — set a content strategy that is reasonable and attainable for you to implement consistently. 

6. Make data-driven decisions. 

You did it — you created a marketing strategy and implemented it! Now, the next step of the work begins. Track data from every aspect of your campaign to refine and optimize your marketing strategies along the way. Data points can show you that an idea you loved in the pitch meeting just isn’t hitting the mark in the real world — or, conversely, that one aspect of your campaign is doing unexpectedly well! Analytics help you measure performance, identify trends, and make informed adjustments to improve the success of your marketing over time.

Create Your Best Marketing Strategy Yet

When we zoom out from the specifics of strategy, we remember that marketing isn’t really about selling — it’s about connection. We all market our products and services because we believe that they can offer something positive to the world and serve customers well. At Redstory, we are passionate about helping you reach your target audience — because it provides you with an opportunity to make an impact far greater than a like or a share. 

If you want to implement a marketing strategy that puts human connection first, reach out to Redstory today. We’d love to refresh your current marketing strategy or help you build a new one from scratch. We can’t wait to hear from you!