Broadly, a marketing strategy aims to secure a competitive advantage by defining a pathway towards best meeting the needs and expectations of a specific audience. Typically a good strategy will identify goals, determine how to achieve them and lay out a plan towards success. The best marketing strategies enable project stakeholders and marketers to collectively understand the current state of the project, the position it holds within a given arena or marketplace, the desired rate of growth and how to both achieve and measure the growth along the way.
Marketing is such a fundamental element in the success of most projects that it needs to be taken as seriously as any other part – this makes planning marketing absolutely vital. Successful marketing is about more than simply communicating the value of a product or project to the wider world and so any plan for marketing activity needs to be both thorough and considerate of a broad range of topics - including economic factors, business challenges, world trends and general market activity. In this sense, a marketing strategy is part research, part analysis, part communication, part decision making and part marketing theory.In general, a marketing strategy will answer the following questions (among many others):
What are the project’s objectives and goals?
Who are the customers or end users of the project?
How can the customers/users becomes aware of the project?
How can the customers/users be inspired to become an advocate for the project?
Understanding how to inspire your end users to voluntarily promote your project themselves is key in lowering overall marketing costs and increasing the benefit of marketing efforts long term.
marketing strategy specifically focuses on the activities that will be carried out using digital technologies that typically include websites, mobile apps, multimedia content, email marketing and additional processes designed to increase awareness and usage of available digital assets (including Search Engine Optimisation
, Conversion Rate Optimisation
, Social Media Management and Paid Online Advertising
). Each project will requires a different mix of marketing elements according to the specific details that are unique to it, so there is no ‘one size fits all’
digital marketing strategy.
A complete strategy will include research and analysis of relevant markets, competitors in those markets, the competitor's own strategies and the available options that can be used to achieve the stated goals within the given project scope. The complexity of the devised strategy will vary depending on the project’s needs, the sophistication of the team and/or audience and also the available budget. Overall, the aim is usually to maximise the return on the investment (ROI) that is made into the project, typically by increasing the amount of direct revenue generated by the project or achieving other valuable goals that lead to greater income.
It is essential to be able to measure the financial benefits generated by marketing activity in relation to the financial costs involved in order to ensure that budgets are not being wasted and opportunities for growth are exploited to their full potential. All projects, whether their intentions are commercial or otherwise, need to balance their resources against their activities in ways that ensure they are sustainable and able to continually thrive. Doing this requires a willingness to carefully plan and think through as much as possible in advance of making important decisions.
While it is true that we need to ‘spend money to make money’, we also need to spend money wisely to make money!