Even if you are not aware of it, if you are taking any active actions to promote your businesses, you already have some kind of marketing strategy. That strategy might change every few days, but you have one.

How could it be, you ask yourself? Well, strategy means taking a set of marketing actions to promote the business. You already have a website, talk about the business on social media, and talk about it when you meet real people.

In this post, we will understand why it's important to explicitly define your marketing strategy, how to create one, and how to measure the strategy's effect on the business - all in plain English without fancy technical terms.

What is a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy is an action plan for promoting and selling a product or service. It has four pillars.

Target audience

who will buy from you? It is a simple question, but the answer could be more complex. The rule of thumb here is to be as accurate as possible.

You can target parents, but targeting parents of little children between the ages of 5 and 7 is better. Targeting such parents who also live in an urban area is even better. You get the point, try to be as specific as you can.
At the beginning, you will start with guesses, and that's okay. You will update the target audience as you learn more about who is actually buying.

In some cases, you need to convince multiple people to buy. In the parent example, you need to make the children want to buy and also make the parents think that it is worth paying.

Value proposition

It is a clear statement explaining why someone wants to buy from you. Students buy old crapy cars since they want to be independent of public transportation, while middle-class parents buy comfortable SUVs so the whole family can travel with complete equipment.

Even though customers will buy from your cars in both cases, the student value proposition might be "Go everywhere you want, whenever you want." For middle-class parents, the value proposition will be, "Don't give up any toy when traveling with the family." It's almost the same product but a different value proposition.

A value proposition describes what you sell, and no, in our example, you don't sell cars, you sell freedom or convenience.

Marketing channels

Where you will promote your business, this pillar depends on previous ones. You will probably not promote an elderly product in TikTok. There should be a collaboration between the audience, and the value proposition, and the channels you are picking.

Channels could include creating an Instagram account or selling on Etsy, but also people who find your website while searching in Google (which is called SEO, sorry for the technical term) or existing customers who keep promoting the business in SubReddits.

Try to focus on very few channels, give time to the channel before declaring that it is not working, and test new ones with caution. If you have a working channel, every time you spend on testing, it will take time for what is proven to work.

Goals and objectives

The marketing strategy exists to grow your business, which is true, but here is the part where you indicate how you will do it, and of course, it depends on the channel you choose.

If you choose email marketing as your channel, you grow the email list and send emails that make the readers click on your product or service page and buy.

In such case, you should have the following goals:

  • increase the email list
  • increase the open rate
  • increase the click rate
  • increase the click-to-purchase ratio

In the beginning, you will have to guess those steps, but after you monitor the goals, you might adjust the steps or even get rid of that channel.

After you are on track, every change in those goals will be translated directly to money in the bank.

Why is a Digital Marketing Strategy Important?

A marketing strategy does not come for free. You have to invest time in creating, monitoring, and adjusting it. In this section, we will see why it's worth the time and effort.
Here is a list of benefits of having a marketing strategy:

Provides direction and focus

You can keep trying different things, like throwing spaghetti at the wall, and see what sticks, but you depend on luck. A better long-term approach is to work systematically. That way, you also reduce the portion of luck and you also gain abilities that will always help you a lot.
By narrowing your audience and channels, you can focus on quality marketing, refine the message for each channel, and learn and apply the small, specific changes related to each channel.

Helps allocate resources efficiently

When you measure the strategy goals, it is easy to understand how changes in the messaging and target audience refinements affect the numbers.
You can adjust the messaging and refine the target audience, and by observing the number, you will better understand what resonates and with whom. The loop of change-measure-learn is the key point to understanding your customers.

Enhances customer understanding

When you measure the strategy goals, it is easy to understand how changes in the messaging and target audience refinements affect the numbers.
You can adjust the messaging and refine the target audience, and by observing the number, you will better understand what resonates and with whom. The loop of change-measure-learn is the key point to understanding your customers.

Improves decision-making

When you create or update the strategy you are take the hard decisions, what is is more important from the other. In the day-to-day tradeoffs, all you have to do is choose the option that aligns with the plan.

How to Define a Marketing Strategy

There are four steps to define your marketing, and the order is important here. If you already have customers for each step, just write the answer. If you don't have any existing customers, you need to do some research in order to make an educated guess.
In any case, you will evaluate and refine the strategy along the way. It's like searching for a radio station on an old mechanical device; if you are not precise in the direction, there are strong background noises, but with a small tuner adjustment, you hear smooth and clean.

Step 1 -Identify Your Target Audience

The goal here is to find an audience that you can reach digitally with your solution for their pains, and they will decide to buy from you.
The audience could be composed of multiple homogenized groups. Each group will have its own reason for buying your products or services, but the reasons inside each group will be the same.
The group can be composed of people with the same profession and beliefs (veganism, productive methods, or demographics). The main thing is that they have a common denominator and are as focused as possible.
In the beginning, you will define the first groups from your customers or intuitions. The process is to start with initial groups and then try to improve their definition. Until you prove you have a solution to a problem, they will pay you to solve it.
With people from those groups, you need to talk. It could be small talk in your local pub, customer interviews, surveys, or social media polls. Any form that will give real people input on whether they might buy from you is valid.

Step 2 - Develop a Value Proposition

The goal of this step is to identify the pain point that the audience is suffering from and suggest a unique way to make this pain gone. The output is 1-2 lines explaining your problem and how your unique way to solve the problem.
A common pitfall is to state the solution and not the problem. The issue with this approach is that there are many other competitors who offer similar solutions. Another issue with this approach is that others provide totally different solutions to the same problem.
There are multiple types of products to help you manage your day. There are To-Do apps, digital and hard copy calendars, Notion/Trello templates, and even pen and paper.
By focusing on the solution, you are missing a large portion of the market that thinks the problem should be solved with other tools. Focus on the problem and your unique take on solving it and encapsulate it into 1-2 lines.

Step 3 - Choose Your Marketing Channels

You might have two types of marketing channels. The first type is a channel that closes the transaction you want. The transaction could be a sale or sales call. The closing channel could be your website, Facebook page, Shopify shop, or even Calendly page.
The second type is a leading channel, a channel that keeps directing leads into the closing channel. The same channel could be both. For example, a blog is a leading channel, but if you monetize the blog with affiliate links, the blog is also what closes the transaction that you want. Readers will click on your link, and if they buy, you will get your commission.
Make sure that you have those two types of channels. Make sure that the channel makes sense to the audience. LinkedIn as a channel for teenagers might not be the right choice. Part of why the audience is the first step and the channel is the third is to ensure the channel needs to fit the audience and not vice versa. The channel needs to be a place where you can reach your audience.

Step 4 - Set Clear Goals and Objectives

After you choose the channels, it's time to set the objectives for each channel. In the end, the ultimate goal of digital marketing is to make more transactions from digital assets.

The goals should be structured as a funnel that takes leads, pushes them toward the closing transaction, and eventually to money in the bank. The goals should reflect the main numbers that you want to measure; as a rule of thumb, for each channel, set a goal on the number of leads entering the channel and the number of leads continuing in the funnel.

For example, if the channels are YouTube that directs leads to the product page and buying from that page, the objectives might be:

  • YouTube - number of views in the videos
  • YouTube - number of click on the link to the product page
  • Product page - number of visitors
  • Product page - number of purchases

How to Adjust Your Marketing Strategy

Let's take the last example of a YouTube channel + Product page. The goals there will adjust the marketing efforts. If the number of views is low, you might need to make sure the audience and the value propositions are aligned. You can test different titles, topics, and formats. The number of views will help you understand what works and what doesn't.

By measuring the number of clicks on the link to the produce page, you can test attracting different variations of the audience, different calls to action, and different link copy.

When looking at the product page visitors, it is interesting to see whether they came only from the YouTube channel or from other sources. If so, you might have hidden channels that already work, and you should invest more in them.

Looking at the ratio between the product page visitors and purchases, you can learn of the copy of that page, a mismatch of the audience, or a value proposition. You can test and get feedback on whether the refinements are working.


Digital Marketing strategy can help you with

  • Provides direction and focus to the marketing efforts
  • Helps allocate resources efficiently
  • Enhances customer understanding
  • Improves decision-making

By iterating on the loop of change-measure-learn, you will improve and refine the marketing and increase the business's growth.

To read more on how to set better business goals

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