Let’s face it, marketing is overwhelming.
Digital marketing, social media marketing, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, email marketing — I can’t say the word marketing anymore.
It’s a valid stress! Marketing drives revenue, client connections, and the public perception of our brands, so it’s arguably the most important department in our companies. (At least in the top three. I mean, we can agree that it’s in the top three, right?)
I’ve been in this digital marketing game for over ten years, and I can tell you the number one factor that leads to an overwhelming and inefficient marketing approach: a lack of direction.
When you combine one of your most essential business functions with a lack of direction and pour in a million marketing options, BAM: instant recipe for a whole lotta stress.
The reality is, marketing doesn’t have to be this stressful. When you approach marketing with a clear, focused plan of action, you avoid a myriad of painful — and expensive — problems. That’s what I want for your business! This blog post is pulling back the industry curtain to show you how the benefits of strategic marketing protects your business from these six common problems.
6 Problems a Strong Marketing Strategy Solves
Problem #1: Lack of Direction
Wait! Before you breeze through the other problem headlines, we have to unpack the problem I introduced earlier: the lack of direction. When you begin a marketing approach without planning your objectives, discovering your target market, and strategizing efficient communication, your marketing efforts are directionless.
This lack of direction leads to a lack of purpose, which in turn develops a lack of confidence in your marketing efforts. And that’s what causes so many businesses to constantly switch between different marketing bells and whistles. When it comes down to it, you know marketing needs to get done, but you have no idea where to start, so you just do something. This approach eventually leads to discouragement when you’ve spent a ton of money, but have nothing to show for it.
Enter our hero: marketing strategy. (“Da-da-da-daaaa!” That’s the hero’s theme. I know, I know — I’m working on it.) Lacking direction is the exact problem that marketing strategy was designed to solve. With a strong marketing strategy, you discover who you’re selling to, what drives them, and how to effectively communicate with them. After you’re armed with that information, you can confidently focus your marketing efforts on tools and techniques that bring in results.
Problem #2: Wasting Money
Companies lacking strategy not only jump back and forth between marketing tools — they also constantly jump from agency to agency. This develops the habit I fondly refer to as the “throw money at anything that sounds good” practice.
Here’s the problem. Since you’re not spending the time and effort required to get the results you need, all that money spent chasing shiny marketing products and starting from square one with a new marketing agency goes to waste. You’re shelling out tons of money, but you’re not seeing revenue growth, client connections, or brand communication to match what you’re paying for.
That’s why one of the most important benefits of strategic marketing is found in the focus and confidence it gives your marketing budget. Remember how I mentioned that a lack of confidence is what causes you to jump around? Having the confidence to stick with marketing tools that have a defined purpose saves your company financial strain and allows you to feel better about the purchases you make.
Problem #3: Lack of Connection
Two young business women discussing business over coffee.
Most businesses are completely unaware of how disconnected they actually are from their target audience when they don’t have a marketing strategy. EXAMPLE: When you skip the strategic process of discovering your target audience, it’s impossible to understand who your audience is and how to effectively connect with them.
One of my favorite benefits of strategic marketing resolves this problem right here. Here at 8 Signal, our whole strategic process begins with thoroughly discovering your target audience through tools like the Buyer Persona, 8 Signal Marketing Blueprint, and the Before/After Transformation Model. Why? Because we know that your marketing approach becomes radically effective when you spend time and effort getting to know your customers.
Problem #4: Wasting Time
This issue is closely related to Problem #2. Without a strategic marketing plan, your company wastes time pursuing ineffective social media platforms, tools, and techniques that won’t actually reach your potential clients. No matter how your business conducts its marketing efforts, whether it’s through an internal employee or marketing team, a marketing agency or just you, wasting time just isn’t worth it.
But here comes our hero! The benefits of strategic marketing save you from these massive time-wasters, which will ultimately save more money and relieve stress for your team. (Double bonus!)
Tip to keep in mind:
It’s important to note that creating a marketing strategy requires an upfront time investment. During this time investment, your company will generate long-term internal marketing documents that will guide your marketing efforts in the long-run, so it’s really worth the time, money, effort, and stress that it saves.
Problem #5: Lack of Longevity
Without a strategic marketing plan, your marketing approach has a short-term mindset. It’s focused on surviving the year, the quarter, or the week rather than falling into an effective and fruitful rhythm. That’s not how you streamline any other operational structure in your business, and it doesn’t set you up for long-term success with marketing, either.
The benefits of marketing strategy free you up to focus on the long-term growth of your marketing efforts. Here’s why: With a marketing strategy, you’re not searching for something (anything) to work. You’re refining a well-built process. With a marketing strategy in place, you stop hitting the reset button and start moving forward.
Problem #6: Lack of KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
When you don’t begin your marketing approach with a strategic marketing plan, you skip the step of creating goals and objectives. And if you do try creating these goals without a marketing strategy, they’ll be incredibly hard to accomplish without a solid plan to guide you. It’s like jumping in a car and saying, “I’m driving to New York! But I don’t need Google Maps — I’ll just drive until I get there.”
Without clearly defined goals and a plan of action to accomplish them, it’s impossible to create KPIs to keep track of your marketing success and areas of improvement. We don’t function this way in any other area of our businesses, so why do we do this with the critical operation of marketing?
The benefits of strategic marketing give you the confidence to create long-term goals for revenue streams, client relationships, sales perspectives, etc. Plus, you’re able to create specific, practical KPIs that measure your progress. A marketing strategy unlocks so much potential for your business — you can do more than just check off your daily to-do list. You can make big plans for the big picture.
The biggest stress of marketing is solved by the best benefit a marketing strategy provides: direction. A strong marketing strategy will give your company a clear, focused plan of action for who you’re selling to, where to find them, and how to talk to them.
If your business is experiencing one of the problems I covered in this blog post or if this post sparked other questions or comments, 8 Signal would love to start a conversation and help your business thrive.