In order to begin a marketing campaign, the initial step is to develop a marketing plan that aligns with your business goals. This plan will help identify your vision and determine your strengths and weaknesses. However, what should someone do if they have limited or no prior experience with marketing?

In many cases, small and medium-sized businesses lack dedicated Marketing Departments, resulting in a lack of structure and guidance for their marketing efforts. Therefore, it is important to prioritize establishing appropriate goals for our marketing strategies. However, before doing so, it is necessary to differentiate between marketing goals and communication goals. The reason for this is...

Every manager has their own opinion. The Business Director is seeking a quick sales growth of X% in a short time period, so they recommend focusing on sales. The Marketing Director wants to improve the brand image and invest in creative advertising. The Sales Representative is eager to make immediate sales. The Project Manager prioritizes client satisfaction and achieving profitable commissions. Each of them will advocate for their perspective, but this competition can undermine the overall effort if there is no long-term strategy in place. These objectives align with the company's strategic goals.

We have two categories of objectives here - marketing and communication. What distinguishes them and how do we outline their definitions?

Marketing goals

Recognizing marketing goals is a simple task as they can be quantified and assessed. Typically, these goals are represented by numbers such as the quantity of products sold, number of deals or orders made, number of showrooms or sales representatives, and the number of customers. These goals often serve as benchmarks to compare our performance with that of our competitors in the market, such as market share and sales growth.

There are various approaches to setting goals. Many companies aim to maximize sales and therefore offer significant discounts, but this can result in high advertising costs and little profitability. On the other hand, some companies focus on selling fewer products but at higher prices, which leads to higher revenues. However, it is important to be cautious because sometimes the goal may be to increase sales by 20%, but part of the plan involves reducing marketing expenses.

Communication goals

Counting your communication goals precisely is not feasible as it falls under a challenging category to handle. An effective approach is to establish and enhance your brand image. Without achieving this, customers will not include your brand on their shopping list. This is also applicable in B2B scenarios, as clients are unlikely to reach out unless they have a strong familiarity with the brand.

The next important step is creating the brand image. It goes beyond having a well-designed logo, catchy slogan, and consistent corporate colors; it involves the overall visual style. It is unwise to cut corners on this aspect since it is crucial for distinguishing yourself from competitors. By skimping on your logo and graphics, there is a risk that your brand will blend in with others. Even the color of your company vehicles plays a significant role in defining your identity, as it serves as a constant advertisement while on the road.

It is important to distinguish between the company's perspective and the customers' perspective when creating a brand identity, as they can have contrasting views. The key is to have a consistent communication strategy, which entails an evolving narrative that is easily comprehensible for customers. This is why storytelling has gained popularity in marketing.

Target group and segmentation

Regardless of whether you are focusing on marketing or communication objectives, customers are critical in helping you achieve them. However, it is important to convince them that your offer is the most suitable for their needs. Nevertheless, what is considered as the best option varies amongst customers. As it is highly impractical to personally reach and present individual offers to each customer, it is necessary to create target groups who will be the primary focus of your marketing endeavors.

When segmenting customers, it can be beneficial to categorize them according to the following factors:

• Geographical focus can encompass cities, regions, countries, or even continents.

• Demographic information includes factors such as age, gender, religion, and marital status.

• Socio-economic factors, such as income, education, occupation, and others.

Psychological aspects, such as interests, attitudes, and values, among others.

• Buying patterns (how often purchases are made, customer allegiance, etc.)

When you categorize your customers into specific segments, it becomes simpler for you to generate effective advertising content. Understanding your target audience is crucial.

Marketing tools

In order to achieve your marketing objectives, it is crucial to be aware of both your target audience and the specific marketing technique you intend to employ. Each marketing approach is unique and can be employed to reach different groups of people. One can opt for mediums like radio, television, or print media, which are no longer as widespread as they were three decades ago. However, measuring the effectiveness of your advertisement is challenging and has limitations.

In the past two decades, online marketing tools have gained significant importance in advertising. We will discuss these tools later on. Each online marketing tool provides the opportunity to reach a specific audience in a unique manner, such as targeting different stages of the buying process. In the upcoming chapter, we will focus on enhancing marketing communication during each phase of the purchasing process.

Marketing strategy

Once you have identified your objectives, target audience, preferred tools, and financial resources, you can proceed with developing your marketing strategy. The purpose of a marketing strategy is to achieve long-term goals by efficiently allocating funds and manpower in order to retain and attract clients, increase market share, and maintain a competitive edge.

As previously mentioned, the marketing strategy is closely linked to the overall company strategy. It can be utilized in the process of developing the marketing strategy. The creation of the marketing strategy should therefore incorporate the following stages:

Internal company analysis

Before proceeding, it is essential to thoroughly evaluate your business and its offerings. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses, as well as identifying potential opportunities and threats, is crucial. Conducting a SWOT analysis will assist you in this process.

Competitors analysis

Examine your rivals and consider ways to set yourself apart from them. Identify what makes you special and easily recognizable to your customers. Furthermore, leverage your strengths to your advantage. Additionally, observe what strategies are effective for your competition and draw inspiration from them. There are numerous monitoring tools accessible today that can assist you with this process, such as Similarweb, SEMRush, or Sprout Social.

Choosing your target group

The target group of a company is often determined by the products or services it offers. It is important to define your target group based on certain criteria and then choose the appropriate communication style accordingly. It is essential that your communication style remains consistent. Ultimately, customers from your chosen target group should be able to connect with your brand and product over a long period of time.

Establishing marketing and communication objectives

Create clear, quantifiable objectives for your marketing efforts and establish your communication objectives. Develop a blueprint of the buying journey your customers undertake. Your marketing goals should encompass the entire process, not just the number of transactions closed. It is important to focus on acquiring new customers, as well as fostering loyalty and satisfaction among existing ones. The succeeding chapter will assist you in this regard. Continuously track and assess your goals to ensure ongoing progress.

Selection of suitable marketing tools

In conclusion, it is crucial to select appropriate marketing strategies that align with your objectives. Various options, such as a company website, social media platforms, search engines, and email campaigns, can lead to success. Each tool has unique characteristics, and we will explore them further in upcoming sections. It is imperative to determine what methods will be favorable for your situation and construct your own collection of communication tools.

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