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We’re fast approaching that time of year when businesses typically review their business strategy and plan for the year ahead. Especially if you’re a smaller company, business planning can seem overwhelming or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s really just an opportunity to take a step back, get a bird’s eye view of the direction your business is headed, and remind yourself of why your business exists. Then, with that information in mind, you can plan your priorities and activities accordingly.

So where does marketing come into this?
Your business strategy and marketing strategy go hand in hand. Because the marketing strategy considers – again, at a bird’s eye level – how you’re going to engage people with your product or service.

Therefore, a good marketing strategy answers questions such as:

  • Who is our target audience?
  • What market segment are we competing in?
  • What makes our product or service unique?
  • How will we price our product or service?
  • What market research do we need?
  • How might our product or service develop in future?

Turning the marketing strategy into an actionable plan
Having answered these questions, you can then create a tactical marketing plan that plots the steps you’ll take to communicate with customers and get them to buy. In other words, the marketing plan translates your marketing strategy into practical action – through a timetable of specific activities and campaigns.

For example, if you decide to advertise your service on local radio, which stations are the best fit for your target audience? What times of day do you want to advertise? How long will the ads run for? How will you assess the effectiveness of those ads? This would all be included in your marketing plan.

Again, this feeds into your overall business plan because your marketing activities must be linked to operational activities. Say you’re launching a new service, for example. You’d ideally begin marketing that service months in advance, with the campaign becoming more intensive the closer you get to launch date.

Bottom line, you can’t plan your business without planning your marketing. But don’t worry, OCTOPUS has the tools and expertise to help. For starters, why not request a copy of our free marketing campaign planner template? We’re also here to offer more hands-on support – from creating your marketing strategy and plan, to implementing campaigns.

(Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash)

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