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By: Carly Stec on February 21st, 2014

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Approach Your Next Strategy With These 3 Things in Mind

Inbound Marketing

Approach_Your_Next_Strategy_With_These_3_Things_in_MindWhile the road map to success is going to vary from business to business, each of our strategies should come from the same home.

No matter if you sell handbags to women, software to marketers, or sandwiches to the general public, everyone has to start somewhere.

Unless you've got time and money to waste, you're not going anywhere fast without putting a marketing strategy in place for your business.

When functioning the way it's supposed to, a marketing strategy will help your business come about the most efficient ways to reach your ideal customers and generate a healthy brand awareness. Without one, well, we hope you enjoy walking in circles.

So if your brand needs help getting started, we've come up with 3 things to keep fresh in your mind when approaching your marketing strategy.

Think Strategically, Not Tactically

While tactical thinking has its time and place, developing a strategy requires focused, strategic thinking.

What's the difference?

Strategic thinking and planning focuses on a broader course of action that is centered around your businesses overall mission or resolution. Strategic thinking is geared towards the development of identifying approaches that will lay the foundation for success rather than detailing the specific steps that need to be taken. 

Tactical thinking is about the specific steps. It's much less about a frame of mind or way of thinking, and more about small scale actions.

Simply put, while strategy functions as the "what", tactics function as the "how" in the equation. Strategies define your goals, where tactics work to define the actions that you will employ to reach those goals.

So before you jump the gun, start thinking about what you are trying to accomplish before you get carried away with how you are going to accomplish it.

Make Sure Your Goals Are Measurable 

Steer away from goals that aren't measurable, because when it comes down to it, you cant regulate something that you can't measure. 

Think about it this way, if there isn't a way to measure the results, how will your team know if they are making progress or moving things along in the right direction. How will they know when the goal has been met?

How do you know if your goal is measurable or not? Create them with questions like "how many?" or "how much?" in mind. Essentially you want to be sure that any indicators of success are quantifiable. 

While an unmeasurable goal would sound something like "our business wants to gain market awareness", a measurable goal would sound something more like "our business will double last month's traffic"

See the difference?

While market awareness would be tough to put a number on, your business would be able to easily indicate the success of the second goal by comparing the traffic from last month to the traffic at the end of the current month. 

Make Well-Defined Targets A Priority

It isn't until you define your personas that you can then begin to develop a strategy that aligns with their specific challenges. 

Don't just throw your line our their and wait for someone to bite, but rather do your research first. Find out where your ideal customers are hanging out and drop your line there. Well-defined targets help you narrow your focus and put forth a more concentrated message that lends itself to that specific group.

While information like age, gender, and demographics are certainly an essential part of persona development process, working toward uncovering information about their consumption behaviors will help to bring your efforts full-circle. A vague, generalized marketing strategy won't resonate, which is why businesses need to start diving below the surface when it comes time to define their audience.

By focusing on more detail-oriented questions like "where do they get their information?", "who or what influences their purchasing decisions?", or "what type of media do they consume?" businesses will find it is easier to inform your strategy. 

Essentially a better understanding of your customers translates into a competitive advantage. 

If you ask me, that sounds like a good place to start.

photo credit: Amanda M Hatfield via photopin cc

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About Carly Stec

Before joining the HubSpot team as a Staff Writer for the Marketing and Agency Blogs, Carly was the Content Marketing Manager at IMPACT from October 2013-January 2015. She has a strong affinity for anything Kate Spade, and always kept a wide variety of English Tea in her desk during her time here.

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