5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Developing a Marketing Strategy
As the new year is quickly approaching, it’s time for you and your C-Suite executives to look back at the efforts for the past year and evaluate your investments in order to be able to set accurate budgets for the upcoming year. We, at ParkerWhite have witnessed all the obstacles CMO’s and marketing managers face on a daily basis and we worked hand-in-hand with them to identify their objectives and align all marketing efforts to ensure maximum returns for the year. That’s why for this month’s insights, we’re providing the 5 most essential questions that every marketing executive must ask themselves and their team before developing a marketing strategy for the upcoming year:
1. What were our previous year's objectives?
First and foremost, take a look at back at the previous year, what objectives did you set in place? Identify and prioritize these objectives based on level of importance or impact. This will paint a picture of what were the most important goals for the year and which ones did you achieve.
2. How much did we invest and what did we get out of it?
When reviewing your goals for the past year, you should take into consideration all the marketing channels, elements, and techniques that you invested in to achieve these goals. Whether its digital advertising, website, social, email. Rate each one based on its effectiveness and its returns. Which ones brought you the most returns? And which ones didn’t perform as well? This will be a great benchmark to leverage in the next year to fully understand which marketing channels were more successful and should be invested in.
3. What are our next year's objectives?
Now that you fully understand how the past year went, you should be prepared to strategically approach the next year’s marketing strategy. Your management team should set department and individuals goals and KPI’s for the upcoming year. Identify key campaigns or efforts that the company will invest in, specific goals for each, and assigned responsibilities for each employee. These objectives must be understood by all members of the marketing team and should align with the sales team’s objectives.
4. Who are we targeting and how will we reach them?
Nowadays, competition is vast in every industry. You can’t just create a product, put it up on a website, and hope customers will come flocking in. You have to clearly understand who your customers are, what their needs are, and what channels do they use. Depending on your product line offerings for 2016 or what markets you may be competing in; the target customer might change over time. Now is the time to identify key personas with persona mapping for all your target customers for 2016 so you can model your go-to-market strategy based on their needs. Share content that will resonate with them and introduce them to your product.
5. How will we measure and adapt?
With the steady growth of digital marketing in the past several years, marketing analytics is one of the most advantageous aspects that every marketing manager must take advantage of. If you are not continually monitoring your returns and acting accordingly, then you might be wasting a significant amount of your budget on channels that are not generating the wanted results. We are encouraging you now to set in place monthly/quarterly meetings to discuss the performances of your marketing efforts and designate your budget and focus accordingly throughout the year.
As a marketing partner, our team works collaboratively with our clients on a regular basis to ensure these questions are addressed and understood. Once you and your team have a good understanding of all these elements, you can now establish a robust results-driven marketing strategy that is well aligned with all your other efforts. It’s not a step to skip.
If you are not sure where to begin, let’s talk. We’ll set up a consultation with one of our strategic advisors and we can walk you through the process and its implementation.