Only 48% of marketers have a documented marketing strategy. So, what? Evidence shows that if you have a documented strategy you are almost 5 x more likely to achieve success! [1]

This is somewhat alarming when we think about what a marketing strategy is in it’s

simplest form: A marketing strategy is a road map defining where your brand currently is, where you want it to go and how you plan to get there. This guides your business to reach your target audience and turn them into customers, through effective delivery of products and services. [2] [3]. Without a road map, how would anyone reach their destination without encountering countless wrong turns, dead ends and running out of fuel?

In a more literal sense, these are some of the more prominent challenges businesses like yourself may encounter without a marketing strategy:

  • Who are we and where are we going?

Every company needs an in depth understanding of the brands underlining ambition, vision and direction. Whether it’s a one, two or five-year strategy, it’s imperative that it is clearly defined so it can be closely followed, tracked and achieved. Without a good knowledge of the market climate, thorough awareness of your brands overall performance and target market, it’s highly likely your brand will become reactive rather than proactive, resulting in the production of unaligned or disjointed campaign activations. Consequently, achieving little in propelling the brand forward as well as costing your company substantial amounts of money [5]

  • Lack of awareness of internal strengths and weaknesses

Keeping up to speed with these factors is crucial in defining a tailored strategy that drives a brand from within. In doing so, teams will have greater motivation to achieving a set of common objectives that subsequently feed into the overarching business strategy [5].

  • Budget problems and poor ROI

Without a plan to optimise resources, budgets can be misspent, resulting in unproductive investments into the wrong channels, poor performance and ineffective tracking. Thus, leaving your business with little scope to leverage your position going forward [5][6].

  • Weak outputs and low traffic

Lack of strategy may result in incoherent campaign deliverables, inconsistent messages and unappealing communications that don’t resonate with your target audience. Consequentially, your business might experience low traffic due to negative perspectives, lack of awareness or the absence of a USP amongst competitors [5][7].

The importance of having a clear strategy is emphasised by the enlightening statistics gained through a recent study conducted by CoShedule (which surveyed 1,600 marketeers across 83 countries). The results identified that successful marketing is comprised of strategy, research, process and goals [1].

  • Success is 5 X more likely to be achieved by marketeers who document a strategy [1]

This enables complete buy-in from all parties involved and serves as a template that can be referred back to, adjusted and optimised as the process rolls out.

  • Setting goals increases chances of success

Having a clear perspective of the available budget, human resources and value proposition allows marketeers to develop relevant, quantifiable goals and KPIs to work towards [2].  81% of those who set definitive goals are triumphant in achieving them [1].

  • Conducting market research at least once a quarter will increase chances of success in marketing by 2.4X

Being fully up to speed on your brand’s own value proposition, marketing mix, competitive landscape, target market and point of difference, ensures that your strategy and goals are accurately defined. Market research can also identify any untapped audiences so that you can tailor your marketing communications to achieve optimal outcomes [2].

In summary

The purpose of marketing revolves around connecting with current and potential target markets to build brand equity, customer loyalty and increase sales. This can only be achieved through the establishment of a comprehensive marketing strategy to guide the way [8].  In the wise words of Sun Tzu “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”[4]

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