Does your marketing plan put strategy before tactics?

It seems every week I get a phone call or an inquiry from someone who’s just paid for advertising in a local paper or just launched a direct mail campaign and is now questioning what they’ll get in return.  Because many of these businesses used the shot-gun approach to marketing, sadly they may have just sent good money after bad. 

I always talk about Strategy before Tactics and I will continue to drill on this point because it’s absolutely critical to marketing success.  I see so many who invest in advertising that isn’t targeted at their ideal customer or ‘copycat’ advertising which makes them look just like their competition.  Or, they call me right after they’ve gone live with their web site, and the web site doesn’t mention anything about the benefits or value they provide to their clients or why anyone should do business with them.

There are 2 key aspects to building a marketing strategy—1) identifying your target market; and 2) communicating a message that differentiates you from your competition.  Spending the time to clearly determine the best type of client for you means you can avoid spending time and money pursuing prospects that will never produce any revenue for you.  Once you’re clear on who your ideal customer is and you’ve developed your differentiating message, then engage in advertising and build your on-line presence keeping your strategy in mind.

Before forking over your marketing budget, spend the time to build a strategic marketing plan so you can feel good about getting some return on your investment.  And remember…Strategy before Tactics.

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