About 50% of the inbound leads we get, approach us and say “we need a marketing strategy” because the initiatives they’ve tried in the past haven’t worked or they’re looking to grow but don’t know how. What we soon find out however, is that they don’t want a marketing strategy, they really want a campaign plan. Understandably, if you aren’t experienced in marketing, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were the same thing.
The difference between a Marketing Strategy and a Campaign plan
Marketing strategies are long term and cover critical areas in the business including the product or service positioning, differentiation, target market and situational analysis, pricing, distribution models, and promotional activities.
Campaign plans however only focus on promotional activities – generally for short term goals like lead generation. The rule of seven dictates that a prospect must see a brand or offer at least seven times before they will interact with it, so a good campaign plan will be highly targeted and incorporate a multi-channel approach.
Indicators that you need a Marketing Strategy
Every business needs a marketing strategy, so if you don’t have one, then this is an excellent place to start because the success of campaigns will be predicated on the quality of the marketing strategy. Understanding your audience and the positioning of your product or service within your market will enable you to communicate the right message, to the right people, at the right time and place. It will also ensure consistency across promotional activities which will, in turn, enhance your brand value and trustworthiness over time and increase your lead to conversion rate.
Indicators that you need a Campaign Plan
If you have a solid marketing strategy, you’re looking to grow the business, and you have funding available to spend then this is an excellent time to create a campaign plan and start running targeted, multi-channel promotions. A good campaign plan will have a clear objective, compelling messaging, a valuable call-to-action, and a set of metrics on which to measure its success in the short-term and also the long-term. Most promotional activities focus on last click attribution and miss all of the steps in between which contributed to the final conversion platform. Since sales cycles can be longer than the campaign itself, it’s important to measure all metrics within the average sales cycle timeline rather than within the campaign timeline. For businesses with a 12-month cycle for example, if they only measure success within a 6-week campaign, they will always fail if sales conversions are the only metric they measure during that time.
Marketing Strategy Template
We’ve put together a marketing strategy template which is perfectly suited to small and medium-sized businesses without fully-resourced marketing departments. It’s an abridged version which doesn’t include things like people and processes because for SMBs we feel like that’s a bit of overkill. Instead, we’ve added sections for content and branding which will be more helpful in ensuring consistency and maximising the performance of campaigns, especially when engaging outside specialists like agencies which SMBs need to do if they don’t have internal experts. You can get your Marketing Strategy Template here and feel free to reach out to us for assistance.