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Strategy - critical to get right

Updated: Aug 4


I think strategy is critical for business. It underpins everything. It informs all decisions. It summarises what you are aiming at and from it you can plan how to get to that. It should be a living document, and should be reviewed at least quarterly.


A Business Strategy defines what you are aiming at in your business. A Marketing Strategy defines how you will market your business products or services.


In the absence of a strategy, activity is just ‘doing stuff’. It might be helpful, it might not. It might be a productive use of your time, it might not.


One of my favourite quotes is from Sun Tzu, The Art of War -


“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”


For me, a huge lesson in the entrepreneurial adventure of starting your own business – handle your time effectively. Do things that will best move the needle forward. For that, you need to know what actions will best move the needle forward. For this you need a strategy and a plan.


I’d like to share some principles of a Marketing Strategy. You have to start somewhere, and this is a reasonable place to start, if you don’t already have one in place. If you do already have one, maybe it can highlight areas that might be missing. If you notice ‘holes’ in my template, let me know - I'm always happy to learn.


Obviously, this does not constitute “marketing advice” – it is a sharing of what I have found useful, and hopefully it will be useful for you too


One of my aims in sharing this, is empowerment. I want to learn, to grow, to develop, to enjoy the journey, to share. Hopefully it is a win-win for everyone.


Business / Marketing Strategy – Guiding Principles


The essence of success in business is:

  • having a clear and achievable goal set clear achievable time-based goals

  • having a feasible strategy to achieve it specifics of how to achieve those goals

  • creating an organisation appropriate to deliver have some form of activity, a methodology or framework to achieve those goals

  • having in place a reporting system to guide progress. Have a way to judge progress, adapt activities towards better achieving those goals and refine those goals

Your Business Strategy should reflect these principles


Marketing Strategy Principles

1. Specific goals {know precisely what you are trying to achieve, what physical act does the marketing seeks to motivate – brand awareness, leads, sales, new customers/clients...?}


2. Prime benefit {what is the key competitive advantage, what is in it for the buyers, what problems can we solve for the customer?}


3. The Target Customer (persona/avatar) {Who is our ideal customer, what age and gender, where are they, where do they hang-out, where do they but, what do they do, how do they like buying things, what are their aspirations, what do they read, where do they shop/socialise, what drives them what are they interested in, where can you find them, why do they like what I do, what kind of customers might we want to aim for & how do they differ from our current customers, what troubles them, what are their issues/problems, what keeps them up at night, ..?}


4. Communication Channels {what medium / tools to use? Social Media, print, advertising,...}


5. Our USP {what makes us unique, how are we remarkable – and state it often?}


6. Personality of our company {What is our identity?}


7. Marketing Budget {Our marketing budget is x % of predicted sales. Marketing has to have a return on investment. How much could we make?}


8. Monitoring {have some means of measuring effectiveness of a campaign. Were goals met? Have numbers changed, has type of customer changed, was the marketing cost effective? What have we done before, and how effective was it? Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to guide progress }

What KPIs:


9. Distribution Plan {how will customers buy from us?}


10. Digital Marketing Strategy {in these time, this is a key one to understand and get right}

• Keywords

• SEO

• Social media


11. Content {What marketing material, copy, website, printed brochures, business cards, catalogues, blogs, social media engagement,…}


12 Joint Ventures and Partnerships {people to link up, what might customers buy before, during, and after buying from me, what other related products might they buy from someone else?}


Consider Also:

What Offers {money back guarantees, BOGOFs, discount offers, up-sells, bumps}

Referral Strategy {eg if each customer could refer a new customer, when to ask each customer, …}

Retention Strategy {how to keep existing customers loyal and engaged and to spend more?}

When is the best time to speak to customers?

Marketing Mix – a breakdown of the '4-Ps of marketing'

Monthly tactics {what time of the month is best for doing what?}

Call to Action {What do we want the target audience to do?}


Marketing Action Plan

What are the specific to-do's to make the Strategy happen?

For each defined goal, for each defined target audience we need steps to get the right message to the right target audience.

what communication channels?

what message, what wording, ...


What I can offer

I do chatbot marketing & strategy. This entails automated chat sequences or conversations in Facebook Messenger and upcoming in Instagram. In a nutshell, this enables "conversational commerce".


Key to what I do lies in understanding your specific issues and problems, your business goals and strategies, your marketing goals and strategies. Knowing this, we can see if my services could help bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to go. With over a billion users in both Messenger and Instagram, growing all the time, I think if this is not a part of your Digital Marketing Strategy, you are leaving a huge potential on the table untapped.


If you would like any more information, or have any questions or comments, please be in touch.

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