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  • Writer's pictureGray Manning

Common mistakes when creating a marketing strategy

Over the years, our team have created many marketing strategies across multiple sectors. We have also worked with lots of organisations that weren't happy with the impact which marketing was having on their business.

I am often asked what makes an effective marketing strategy. As there are already many great articles covering this topic, I thought I would take a slightly different approach for this post, using our experience with clients. Below are some of the main issues we encounter when working with businesses. This list isn't intended to be exhaustive, just some of the main themes which we see.

Feel free to share more common mistakes with us on LinkedIn!

No link to the overall business strategy

Too often there is a basic marketing comms plan in place which was created in isolation to the overall corporate strategy. As a simple example, a business proposes to grow revenue by 15% over the year. However, there is no clear marketing strategy and associated budget which articulates how the increase will be achieved.

In these situations, the management team typically get frustrated because marketing isn't driving enough leads etc. But this should be no surprise because of the disconnect.

Lack of segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy

Most businesses have multiple types of customers. Whether B2B or B2C, different types of products and services are purchased by different types of customers. From experience, we tend to find that most marketing plans will have at least considered some basic segmentation and even produced customer personas. But all too often this work isn't then properly followed through into creating effective targeting and positioning strategies, resulting in somewhat homogenous marketing activities.

One size doesn’t fit all

Effective strategies can come in different shapes and sizes and although there are many books, online articles and templates available, it can be hard to know where to start. If you have lots of time, expertise and specialist resources the process can be easier, but let's face it, most smaller business don’t have this.

I am therefore a big advocate of finding a process and format which works for you and your organisation. A good starting point is to have an in-depth discussion with the senior team about marketing objectives and expectations. It is also good to remember that not all activities outlined in the marketing strategy must be completed by the marketing team! Very often colleagues from finance, data etc. all play a vital role, and these discussions help to share awareness and understanding of the strategy across the business.

Following on from this, we can set out what the strategy needs to include to ensure it is robust, sufficient, achievable and ultimately, relevant to the business and its future goals.

If you would like to talk about any of these points, or other challenges, please feel free to reach out.


Managing Partner

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