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How to Write a Marketing Strategy Plan

How to Write a Marketing Strategy

business strategy marketing tips Jun 28, 2021

For many small business owners, marketing your business can be a challenge—especially if you don’t have a strategy behind your marketing activities.⁠

Even if you’ve never sat down to write your marketing goals or a formal plan, I can help you get clear on your marketing strategy with a simple, 5-step framework. This is the exact framework I use with my clients and I’m excited to share it with you, too.

I've found that when you do the work to create your marketing strategy (and write it down!), everything that follows is so much easier. You will have the clarity you need to streamline your path to more clients and more sales. Heck yes!

STEP 1: Write down your vision, mission, goals + objectives and your brand purpose

Vision: What is your business aiming to achieve? What are you building? Focus on the future and what you want your business to ultimately become.⁠

Mission: What is the purpose of your business? Why does your business exist? Focus on today and what you want your business to achieve.⁠

Goals + Objectives: What does your business need to accomplish over the next month/quarter/six months/year? List your top 3 business objectives, which should be measurable targets of business aims.⁠

Brand Purpose: Why do people do business with you? What problem(s) are you trying to solve? Why will customers choose your business? Is it because of quality, price, location, innovation, trends, customer service or something else? How do you want to be perceived in the marketplace? How and why are you better than all the rest?⁠

STEP 2: Do a SWOT Analysis of your business

A SWOT Analysis is my favourite way to do a *quick and dirty* pulse check on your business. ⁠⁠

The intent behind a SWOT analysis is to explore external and internal risks and opportunities that might impact your marketing strategy.⁠⁠

S - Strengths (internal)

What characteristics does your business possess that give it an advantage over others? What is working?⁠⁠

W - Weaknesses (internal)

What places your business at a disadvantage compared to others? What are areas for improvement?⁠⁠

O - Opportunities (external)

What conditions or situations in the marketplace or in your competitors’ offerings/activities could you leverage to your advantage?⁠⁠

T - Threats (external)

What conditions or situations in the marketplace or in your competitors’ offerings/activities could work against you?⁠⁠

This is an activity that I recommend my clients do yearly, quarterly, or as often as monthly!

STEP 3: Do a competitive analysis

Even if you don't view colleagues, peers and others in your industry as "competitors," I believe it's still important to have a pulse on those who do similar work as you.⁠

Because if you don't? It's difficult to know what makes your products, services and offers different from all the rest. ⁠⁠Knowing your key differentiators is key to nailing your brand messages.⁠

It's also key to having marketing strategies that improve upon your competitors. When you know where they're falling short, it's an opportunity for you to fill the gap and serve your audience better.⁠

A competitive analysis doesn't have to be complicated, but it's a necessary step in having a stellar marketing strategy. Here are the basics:⁠⁠

1. Determine who your competitors are

Who in your network is doing similar work as you? You can search for others in your niche on Google, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. by searching keywords for your niche and in your area e.g. holistic nutrition consultant, wellness coach, yoga teacher near me, etc.

2. Analyze ⁠competitors' products, services and offers

Do they offer something similar/different than you? How do they package them? What is their sales funnel? How does their pricing compare to yours?⁠

3. Analyze competitors' marketing and content strategies

What social media platforms do they use to connect with their audience? What sales and promotion tactics do they use? What content gets the most engagement from their audience?⁠

STEP 4: Get clear on your target audience

You don’t have a business without customers. Get clear on exactly who will buy what you offer.⁠⁠

When identifying your target audience, describe your ideal customer avatar (ICA). Be specific. Include details about where they live, their age, their concerns/problems, their behaviours and what motivates them. ⁠⁠

If you could summarize the top questions that your customers ask you, what would those questions be?⁠⁠⁠

Bright Idea >>> Knowing your ICA's favourite podcast, what they read or where they shop is not as important as identifying the problem(s) they have that you can help solve.

⁠⁠Sometimes your target audience will include people in a range of demographics BUT they all have one thing in common: the same problem.⁠⁠

The clearer you are on who your ideal customer is, the easier it will be to offer a solution to their problem and to communicate with them in a meaningful way.⁠⁠

STEP 5: Outline the customer buying journey and your products/services

Your customer journey includes the steps you guide them through to work with or buy from you. It starts with their entry point [how do you want them to find you?] through to your first offer, any upsell/downsell offers, and future offers that can deepen their relationship with your brand.

  • What are your main products or services? Describe your offering(s) and the benefits it provides to your target audience.
  • Describe how your products/services differ from others in your niche. What is unique about what you offer?
  • Where, when and how do you sell your products/ services?
  • What is your pricing structure and any current upsell/downsell/after the sale strategies?
  • Which products/services do you want to promote right now? What are the timelines?
  • What new offerings, products or services do you want to promote in the future? When? Include pricing and any special discounts, sales or offers that will resonate with your ideal customer.

Now that you’ve written down your answers to each question in the above steps, you should have more clarity on your marketing strategy and how you can streamline your path to more clients and more sales.

If you’d like 1:1 support with writing your marketing strategy or need someone with experience to bounce ideas, you’re invited to schedule a FREE 30-minute Marketing Strategy Call with me, where we can discuss your business, your marketing strategy and how I can help.

Keep shining bright!

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