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Business Solution Marketing Digital Planning

Why are marketing strategies important?

Marketing experts estimate the average person sees between 4,000-10,000 advertisements or related marketing materials every day, many of them before we’ve even left our homes in the morning.

Gone are the days when marketing was limited to billboards on the commute, jingles on the radio, adverts on television and product samples offered while out shopping. While these methods can still be highly effective – think of the astronomical costs of advertising slots during the NFL Super Bowl – nowadays, alternative methods have joined the mix. You can’t check social media or your news app without scrolling past an ad, open your emails without receiving a marketing communication, search the Internet without being served paid links, or show interest in a product or service without an algorithm taking note.

In our increasingly frenetic, time-poor and digital worlds, competition for our attention has never been greater, and brands around the world are spending huge amounts of money to try and ensure their products are the ones their target customers engage with. An effective marketing strategy – that takes a well-planned approach to marketing activities and initiatives as well as marketing mix – is critical to achieving this aim and helping businesses achieve their marketing goals.

What is marketing strategy?

A company’s marketing strategy is its planned method, or methods, for achieving a specific, marketing-related aim and is integral to a business’s overall strategic planning. A strategy should be achievable and focused, taking into account the current status of the business – including what it is doing well, and where it could improve – together with developments in the market and wider business environment. Taking a comprehensive, holistic approach to designing strategies means they are more likely to succeed and broader marketing objectives met.

The strategic marketing plans and tactics chosen by a business depend on what is dictated by the overarching strategy, short-term and long-term business goals, key performance indicators and available budget.

Why is marketing strategy important?

The importance of a marketing strategy that works, and works well, cannot be understated – for start-ups, small businesses and established, global brands alike.

Marketing strategies support brands and businesses to:

  • evaluate both the current business environment and their position within it
  • align a roadmap of company objectives with steps to achieve them
  • unite stakeholders together under shared goals
  • identify target markets and fulfil customer needs, both new and existing
  • raise awareness of a brand and its product offering
  • structure marketing efforts with metrics to assess performance
  • increase competitive advantage, customer base, market share and revenue.

Due to this, it’s unsurprising that most businesses spend between 5-12%, and some as much as 15%, of overall budget on marketing. Of course, spend varies widely between industry and sector. For example, B2B marketing typically costs more per-lead than B2C – though B2C brands spend more revenue on marketing as it requires more conversions to turn a profit – but the fact remains that, either way, it accounts for a not-insignificant portion of company finances.

Current marketing strategy trends

While marketing strategies vary, they share a common goal: to attract, inform and engage both existing and new customers with a view to selling products and services. Whether a business owner is looking to increase lead generation, launch a new product, encourage repeat orders from existing customers, penetrate new markets or any other number of ambitions, a solid strategy is integral to success.

With so many to choose from – and considering it may take a large proportion of available marketing budget – it can help to be aware of how the wider industry is responding to different marketing tactics. For example, marketing statistics suggest that, in 2022:

  • 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on its website design
  • more than 50% of companies say their highest return on investment (ROI) activities are search-related, including paid search, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and content marketing
  • 84% of customers expect brands to produce content that entertains, provides solutions, and produces experiences and events
  • omnichannel campaigns saw an 18.96% engagement rate, while single-channel campaigns saw just 5.4%
  • consumers are 27 times more likely to click on online video ads than standard banners
  • 73% of people prefer to learn about a company via video rather than text.

While these are just a handful of findings and trends, they indicate valuable methods businesses could adopt to boost marketing plans.

Types of marketing channels and strategies

Staying alert to competitive pressures, from new products and industry innovations to new market entrants, helps businesses pivot in response to changing environments and remain competitive. Keeping an eye on competitors also helps inform points of differentiation, unique selling points and value creation opportunities. After marketing teams have assessed the 4 Ps of Marketing – product, price, place and promotion – and conducted thorough market research, they can begin to match appropriate evidence-based strategies against their findings.

Common traditional marketing channels and strategies include:

  • ‘outdoor’ marketing – including billboards, flyers, vehicle wrappings, shop signs and posters
  • event marketing – including all public relations events such as pop-ups, trade and industry exhibitions, conferences, seminars and other promotional ‘hubs’
  • direct mail marketing – where advertising and promotional materials – such as flyers, coupons, leaflets, vouchers and catalogues – are delivered to a customer’s home
  • print marketing – including magazine and newspaper advertising
  • tv and radio marketing – both of which still prove effective as means of reaching target audiences and demographics

Common digital marketing channels and strategies include:

  • pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and paid search  – where the advertiser pays per click on a website ad or a paid ad, such as a Google Ad, is featured on a search engine page
  • email marketing – a form of direct marketing involving contacting customers and subscribers on an email list with business communications containing advertising and promotional content
  • websites and apps – such as ecommerce platforms and company websites
  • content marketing – including podcasts, blogs, customer testimonials, images and video content
  • social media marketing – including ads and posts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube
  • influencer marketing – where influencers that target audiences will resonate with, and who often have large followings of their own, are paid for product placement and endorsement content
  • SEO – a series of techniques that helps users find content through organic search results.

Any marketing strategy should be monitored and evaluated after a designated period of time to gauge its efficacy and so tactics can be adapted and improved. 

Develop key marketing expertise for the competitive global business environment

Gain the skills to stay ahead of the competition with the University of Lincoln’s online MSc Management with Marketing programme. Learn how to identify customer pain points, increase value proposition, match tactics to market segments and design impactful marketing campaigns that achieve business goals.

Are you ready for senior leadership roles in international branding and marketing? Our flexible course offers the specialist skills and expertise you’ll need to help brands succeed on the global stage – utilising both traditional and online marketing channels. As well as developing key understanding of leadership and management, you’ll study international marketing planning, organisational psychology, digital marketing, strategy making and more, preparing you to make effective decisions and problem solve at the highest levels.