In the first blog of this series, we address how a marketing strategy can help to build your brand and why it is valuable to invest time in planning activity for next year, in spite of uncertainty.
Why do you need a marketing plan?
For businesses of all sizes, marketing remains an integral part of your business plan and details the activities that will help you to achieve your overall business objectives. Whether your ambitions are to grow, to be sold or to achieve captaincy in your field; your marketing strategy will build brand equity and support sales and enable you to measure progress.
A marketing strategy should outline your long-term ambitions for your brand and its position in the marketplace. Identify the actions that you need to take and prioritise them, considering ease of accomplishment and the short and long-term impact on the business. For example, creating blog content will not be as effective without a functioning website to host it. This to-do list forms the basis of your annual marketing plan and identifies where you need to allocate budget to.
Building a brand identity
Formalising your tone of voice and verbal messages, your visual identity and corporate values is an important first step to ensure every message you communicate with your audience stays “on brand”.
Over time, consistency develops your brand into a recognisable entity – strong brands are distinguishable in all communications even if their logo, name or slogan is missing. With the fundamentals in place, you can tailor your message to suit specific platforms and target audiences.
Operating in a rapidly changing environment
For some, creating a strategy after the most disruptive year in living memory may seem counter-intuitive. After all, plans will have to change according to current trends and circumstances. However, without a clear framework to guide progress, it is easy for businesses to get carried away and release knee-jerk campaigns that do not fit your brand’s usual style.
While it is good to be innovative and adapt to new environments, veering away from the identity, your consumers are familiar with will lack authenticity and integrity. Referring to the key messages and tone of voice established in your brand strategy will ensure that any reactive or adapted campaigns still reflect your brand’s personality and continue to build brand equity.
In our next post, we will explore how to start a marketing strategy.
To discuss marketing and communications strategies, contact Caroline Walker or call 01732 779 087.