It is critical for the owner of a service business to understand the connections between marketing and strategy. Your strategy drives your marketing, and the marketing decisions you make determines your strategy.
Strategy Drives Marketing
Let’s look first at how strategy drives marketing. You create specific strategies to attain specific objectives. Once you’re clear on these objectives and strategies, specific marketing approaches necessarily are the correct choices.
Marketing Drives Strategy
It’s also true though that, as you work up your marketing, inevitably it affects your strategy. As you develop your marketing materials, methods and activities, it becomes obvious that your strategy must change to align with your marketing.
Here are a few ideas about the ways that strategy and marketing intertwine and drive each other.
1. Often the best place to start is your strategy.
Once you’re clear on your objectives, start to work out the strategy. One of the tactics for your service business strategy must be marketing. Start to delineate a marketing plan that will accomplish your business strategy.
2. The best next step is to work on developing your target market.
This is an area that many owners of service businesses neglect. It’s a mistake though to put together a strategy and a marketing plan that has no clearly defined target market. If you don’t know the target, where are you aiming? Until you know exactly the prospects you want to turn into clients, both your strategy and your marketing plan cannot be as complete and effective as they need to be.
3. Build your marketing plan on your skills, strengths and preferences.
Each of us have different skills, strengths and preferences. It’s important to choose marketing methods that agree with your strengths and skills. Don’t make marketing plans that require you to do activities that you don’t like doing. You have natural inclinations and preferences. You don’t have to try to force yourself to do things you don’t like doing. You’ll never do them, and what’s the point in planning to fail by expecting yourself to do things you don’t want to do?
4. Keep it simple.
Create a simple strategy and a simple marketing plan and get into action on them immediately. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to build an empire, but it’s very easy to get bogged down in creating the imperial infrastructure and never get the basic business off the ground. Start simple. Put together a simple strategy, and the marketing plan to support it. Get some marketing success as quickly as you can.
5. Observe how changes in your strategy affect your marketing.
If you’re taking a different approach to accomplishing your objective, what changes in marketing does that necessitate? You need to look at the methods, venues, and written materials required by any strategic changes. Changing tactics change the required action steps, and that will impact your marketing plan.
6. It’s an interesting phenomenon to discover that your marketing can impact your strategy.
As you implement your marketing plan, you’ll discover what is most effective and gives you the best results. This will inevitably drive resulting changes in your strategy. You’ll be surprised by how some tactics fail, and other inexplicably succeed. Obviously, you’ll delete the failing activities, in favor of the ones that bring desired results.
As you grow your service business, stay attuned to how strategy drives marketing and, in turn, marketing drives strategy. It’s an engine of growth for your business.
Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site.