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What is Strategic Marketing?

Is strategic marketing a buzz word for just “marketing” or “really cool marketing”?

At MEMO, we don’t think so.

Strategic marketing is how it’s sounds. It’s about being strategic with your marketing. In this article, we will describe in detail how to be strategic, show some examples from other companies and tell you how to learn the steps you need to take to make your marketing efforts more strategic. 

So, Is Being Strategic the Same as Being Creative?

strategic marketing lightbulb

Obviously the answer is no but I often see people confusing the two in application. 

Just because a company has a really cool, eye-catching postcard or a memorable commercial doesn’t mean they are being strategic with their marketing.  Being strategic also doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the light bulb with every marketing effort.

The simple way to view strategic marketing is to identify the strengths unique to you as compared to your competition and market those. We will identify how you do this later in the article. 

In addition, strategic marketing also leverages all your marketing touch points in an integrated way to make the most of your marketing efforts. It creates a focused effort on your marketing message. 

With those thoughts as the 50,000-foot overview, here’s how we break it down even more.

Strategic marketing focuses on the main problem you solve for clients

It’s common to want to be a jack of all trades.  Most do this because they are concerned that they will lose out on a sale if they don’t say they can do something. 

But ask yourself this.  When was the last time you had a problem and said, “What I need is a jack of all trades to fix this problem? “

Never.

What you say is, “I need an expert to fix this problem.” And how a company is perceived as that expert is when they focus their message on that problem.

Strategic marketing focuses on a specific persona. 

Another key to successful strategic marketing is that you focus on speaking to the type of person that has the main problem you solve for clients.  We call it developing an ideal client persona.  This is a semi-fictious representation of the ideal person who has this problem — what they think, what their demographics are, what their situation is, what objections and preconceived thoughts they will have, etc.

This can be challenging, but honestly the more specific you can be, the more effective you will be.

Strategic marketing focuses on your points of differentiation from your competition.

Have you ever sat down and researched the differences between you and your competition?  I’m not referring to what you perceive as the difference like we are more responsive, or we have better quality.  Those are subjective and people can’t discern differences like that.  I mean objective differences.  Ones that can be qualified and substantiated.  Because when you find these, and talk about them in your marketing, you will attract clients that find these characteristics important. Characteristics like being family-owned.  Or the only one with a 30-minute response rate, etc.

When you can tout your differences, you will attract clients that find those characteristics most important.  It keeps you from being a “me too” kind of company.  And “me too” companies can only compete on price and most of us don’t want to do that.

What Are Some Examples of Companies Doing Strategic Marketing?

whirl-sites-homepage
One example to share is a local web development company that has created a really cool website product called Whirl Sites.  Simply put, Whirl Sites is a cross between a simple web solution like a GoDaddy or Wix site that is inexpensive to start, and a custom solution where the designer helps you with content.

For just a $399 setup fee and $39 per month, Whirl Sites will help you select a template from their rather large library of themes, and then set up your site with custom images and professional writing that is search engine optimized.

Do they know how to build completely custom sites?  Sure they do.  But what problem do they focus on solving?  How to get a really cool site set up fast and really cheap.

indy-tankless-water-heaters-homepage

Another local example is a plumber who is focusing on installing and maintaining tankless water heaters.  In other words, he’s not marketing his traditional plumbing services (which he still does by the way), or even water heater installation and maintenance in general (which he does).  He wants to be seen as the expert when it comes to tankless water heaters.

So who will you call when you are wanting to consider a tankless water heater for your home?  Well, Indy Tankless Water Heaters of course!

Now, How Do You Begin Marketing Strategically in Your Business?

The key to having success with your marketing is what you do before you even start. Most companies just jump head first with no planning or thought. You will be light years ahead of those other companies in your field if you just focus some time and attention on these areas:

Establish a marketing objective

Do you really know how much time and resources your company has wasted because you have not stopped to establish a specific company marketing objective?  Creating a company marketing objective will not only make you more focused but will focus the efforts of the entire organization.

Here’s an article that may help to see why it’s important to share your marketing objective with the entire company.

Identify a main problem you solve for customers

As was pointed out earlier in the post, a jack of all trade, master of none mentality just won’t cut it.  You need to learn what problem you enjoy solving, what problem clients say you are good at solving, and what problem you solve that makes you the most money.  When all three of those align on the same problem, that is the problem you market.  

Here is an article we wrote that will explain how to identify that problem and focus your marketing.

Create an ideal customer persona

Stop the madness of thinking you can solve every problem for everyone.  Think about the types of people that you work best with and they work best with you.  Then document those traits about them.  When you do marketing successfully, you must imagine you are speaking directly to that person every time you create something — a brochure, your website, a blog article, a social media post, etc.  You will be shocked how much more effective you will be.

Here’s an ideal client persona template that can help you get started.

Research competition for differentiators

Establish your marketing message based on these items and be focused and consistent in your marketing communication to support these differentiators.

Remember to market only objective differences, not subjective differences.  If you don’t have any, consider establishing them.  Try the thoughts out on your best clients and see how they react.  For instance, if you are considering offering 3 free months of maintenance on every new widget purchased, share that with those close to you that will give you real feedback and see how they react.

So, You’ve Hit A Nerve.  I Want More of This Type of Training!

If some of this resonates with you and your situation with marketing, you are not alone.  These are things that no one pulls us aside and tells us when we start a new business.  And often, the only way to get this knowledge is to hire it into the organization or learn it the hard way — by failing 100 times.

If this is you, I hope you see neither are necessary.  This is the training and service we offer business owners every day at MEMO Marketing Group.

At MEMO, we are outsourced marketing departments for companies that don’t need in-house resources.  And honestly, most don’t.  We also train business owners to be their own marketing directors.

Reach out to us to learn more:

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