Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Photo source: Pexels, March 2021
Some business owners I’ve spoken to recently seem a little sceptical about marketing strategy. Their enthusiasm to ‘just get cracking’ on their marketing means a focus on the day-to-day (tactical) activities, like a social media post or a quick email or a website update. Often, they’re doing a lot of work on their marketing but not seeing the results or pay back. I also think the term ‘strategy’ strikes a note of fear. It’s perhaps associated with something challenging, out of their comfort zone or too complicated.
Here’s the thing, marketing needs a considered approach. Some detailed thinking before you dive in. But it doesn’t have to be complicated and the acronym KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) seems apt. (I know, I’m using the marketing clichés already!) Without that, you’re risking ineffective marketing and poor results.
The Iceberg Approach
I’ve been talking about the Iceberg Approach quite a lot recently. It’s a way to visualise all that marketing entails. It highlights that the top of the iceberg is only possible (supported) by all that’s underneath (the strategy).
Now, I get it, depending on your business you might not need (or want) a huge strategy document with lots of pages that you refer to once or twice a year! But if you can condense your marketing strategy into a couple of pages and have it in front of you every day then your marketing will be more focused, concise and consistent.
Strategy during the pandemic
During the pandemic, I’d argue marketing strategy has gone out the window. For most businesses, it’s been about survival and reacting to changing customer needs. There’s been little time or resources to think about strategy. It’s been all about the doing. And rightly so.
Even big organisations like Uber and the BBC, shifted their focus to a ‘we’re all in this together’ approach. Whilst they got plenty of marketing leverage for it, I’d question how strategic it was and definitely not sustainable in the long term. Guaranteed they’re both reviewing their marketing strategy right now.
I read an article recently about Beiersdorf (think of brands Nivea and Eucerin) deciding to develop an online, direct to consumer proposition. That’s a huge (business) strategy overhaul. But one that’s arguably needed given the last year and the impact it’s had on their customers’ behaviours. Beiersdorf are seeing this as a time of opportunity and development. It might mean some hard work developing a new strategy but it’s one they obviously believe is worthwhile.
To answer my original question - yes, you really do need a marketing strategy! But have I convinced you yet? Why not block a few hours out in your calendar this month to review your marketing strategy?
If you’d like a copy of the Iceberg Approach visual and a few kick-starter questions to review your marketing strategy, drop me an email and I’ll send it over.