Good marketing strategy advice sits below the water line

Before you can focus on promoting your service, your organisation needs advice on a good marketing strategy.

Many people think of marketing as merely promotion.

In fact, promotion — also known as marketing communications — is just the tip of the marketing iceberg. Promotion is just the highly visible part: advertising, PR, digital outreach and social media.

But successful promotion is in fact the outcome of a good strategic process. Before we can focus on promotion, we need to work out our overarching marketing strategy.

There’s no point promoting something that doesn’t meet your target customers’ needs. Whether you manage your marketing in-house or reach out to marketing strategy consultants, your strategy should underpin all your marketing efforts.

Strategic marketing

When you begin with a clear understanding of your market, competition and customers, then you can build the foundation to deliver — and promote — products and services that satisfy your customers and stake out your position in the market.

This process is called strategic marketing. At Edmonds Marketing, it’s our specialty; we work with organisations to explore, well, the rest of the iceberg: the research and strategy that support effective marketing campaigns.

Focusing on the core strategy of your marketing campaign makes it possible for you to stake out your territory. Once you know what makes your business unique, you’ll know exactly who your customers are — and how your product or service can meet their needs.

Think of a business you return to time and time again as a customer. It might be your accountant, a mechanic or even your local café. What drew you to them in the first place?

No doubt they offer exactly what you need, when you need it — whether that’s support with a complex tax return or a flat white just the way you like it.

When you hone your marketing focus in this way, customers will know why they should buy from you and not your competitors.

An integrated approach

A marketing strategy is not about separate bits and pieces. A comprehensive strategy integrates all the different elements of your business so they work together to support your goals.

The outcome is clearer, more effective communications — and a much more consistent experience for your customer.

And more isn’t always better. In developing your strategy, you may determine you don’t even need to engage in more or different types of promotion. If your marketing mix — the product, the price, the place and the promotion — is out of balance, you won’t get the results your business needs.

For example, there’s no point in spending thousands of dollars on advertising on Facebook if all your customers are on TikTok, and no point undercutting your prices if your customers expect a premium service.

The adjustment in your strategy may come down to pricing, logistics, product/range design or distribution methods; any one — or all together — could be the lever that vastly improves sales whilst reducing organisational costs.

Okay, I need a strategy — but what now?

Your first step is to examine your marketing budget and assess if your most recent marketing plan is actually up to date. What are your goals for growing your business and are your present plan and budget robust enough to support them?

From there, it’s all about people power. Do you have an experienced marketing professional on your team — or even an enthusiastic team member who could use some training?

How recently have you sought out feedback from your customers on your positioning: do they know what you offer? What makes you different? Is your website clear and easy to navigate?

If no one is currently responsible for your marketing and digital strategy, you can reach out to a consultant.

At Edmonds Marketing, we act as an outsourced, experienced marketing director providing marketing strategy advice to small and medium businesses. We take you through every step of the process, with the aim of making your marketing strategy as transparent and user-friendly as possible.

If you would like to gain advice on your marketing strategy, please get in touch with our team. We are forward-thinking strategists who love unpacking complex brand and marketing challenges.