Picture the scenario. Charity ‘Y’ has created an intriguing fundraising event*, which it uploaded to its website. Someone has spotted the details and shared it on social media, which has now gone viral. However, Charity ‘Y’ didn’t put together a marketing strategy for this event and is now receiving lots of offers to promote it via various channels. Should Charity ‘Y’ review all opportunities being presented to them and hope for the best?
Our answer would be ‘no’. Everyone would love to have a new product or service that went ‘viral’ organically. It can happen. However, with no strategy in place, Charity ‘Y’ would be chasing its tails and perhaps not spending their budget in the most cost-effective of ways. If Charity ‘Y’ had put a strategy together beforehand, it would know exactly who the event is aimed at; which would be the best channels to promote it; what budget it would have in place; and what it is looking to achieve from this event. Put simply, that is why a company needs a marketing strategy, to set the future direction of the company, product or service.
So, what are the first steps in putting together a marketing strategy?
Initially, you should ask these three key questions about your company/ product/ service:
- Where are we now?
- Where would we like to be?
- How are we going to get there?
The more work that goes into this part, the better the results will be. Read some further pointers on this here. Based on the Charity ‘Y’ scenario, each of the questions above could be broken down into the following tasks:
- How many events are already organised for the year? What is the anticipated amount to be raised from these events? Does this meet the annual goal set?
- Is the charity looking to target a new customer base or grow its existing one with the proposed event? What specific goals would the charity like to achieve with this event?
- Devise a plan that will achieve these goals, by reviewing targeted cost-effective methods. When should they be done? How much will they cost? What are the anticipated results for each method?
Once A Strategy is in Place, What Next?
It is a good idea to document the strategy and share it with relevant people within the company so that everyone shares the same future vision for the company/ product/ service. Communicate an overview of the plan with other members of the team, so that they are aware of the planned activities and can deal with any queries accordingly. Start putting the plan into place, carefully reviewing all the outcomes as they come in. Are the goals being met? If not, it’s OK to make adjustments to the plan. With your strategy and goals in place, you are in a much better position to make informed decisions, rather than the scattergun approach of the Charity ‘Y’ scenario at the start.
*based on a fictitious scenario
To view an example of a marketing strategy and plan we put together for one of our clients, click here.
Or click here to view a link with examples of marketing strategies from big brands.
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Contact us to organise a free 1 hour meeting with our Director, Emma Estridge, to talk through your company’s marketing or PR queries.