There must be a thousand ways of developing a marketing strategy. Surely, at least one for each industry. After all each industry is completely different form the next. Isn't it? Well, I'm going to stick my neck out and say no, not really. That is, yes each industry , and of course each company is unique. But, the essence of marking is common across the board. Just the way that the essence of accounting, or human resources, or facilities management, is common to itself. There will be differences in language and process for different industries, and it’s important to understand and use those. But there are a few tricks that a marketer can use in every client industry, no matter how diverse. So here goes. These are the marketing strategy 'pillars' that I believe in.
1. Targeting the audience
I start with the end-user, my client's audience. They are the key to effective marketing. The audience might be customers or suppliers, team members or supporters, service users or influencers. Whoever they are, I find out about their needs and aspirations, what makes them tick, and what marketing and sales messages will reach them effectively.Then I assess my client's objectives and develop a strategy that achieves their aims by creating content that we know will trigger an enthusiastic reaction.
2. Practical, it's the new sexy
Isn’t marketing meant to be a bit sexy? Practical doesn’t sound sexy. Practical sounds like M&S, not Victoria’s Secret, it’s a Volkswagen, not a Maserati, it’s easyJet not Virgin Atlantic. But sometimes practical can be clever. It’s practical to develop a marketing strategy which can actually be realised. It's practical to work within the constraints of a budget and resources. It’s practical to create a website that a client's internal team can edit and update themselves (without an in-house coding geek). And, it’s practical to create marketing assets and brands that get results. Practical, it is the new sexy.
It just has to look beautiful. That's a fact; modern, traditional, complex, sparse, pretty or organic -- its doesn't mater so long as it looks great.
3. The science is compelling
We all follow subconscious patterns when it comes to decision making. Nudging (behavioural economics) is the trick of combining aspects of social sciences, economics and neuroscience to understand the things that influence conscious and unconscious decisions.
By applying tried and tested approaches, anyone can create content and marketing assets, in a way that taps into those decision-making patterns. This encourages an audience to respond positively to the content that's put in front of them.
4. Balancing the budget
My policy on pricing is to be transparent and cost-effective. That means I work within my client's budget. That bit is a simple as that.
Post by Marc Bates
Marc is the founder of Balanced Agency. With more than 20 years experience, Marc has worked in advertising, content marketing and contract publishing for print and digital projects. At Balanced our aim is to develop targeted communications strategies and then to create practical, compelling and cost-effective marketing assets. Balanced is based in Camberwell in the London borough of Southwark but works with clients across the UK.