1. PROJECT DEFINITION & SETTING GOALS
The first step in developing any market strategy, always, is to define organisational OKRs (objectives and key results), the corporate vision and mission—in addition to also building an understanding of major opportunities and threats:
- Main questions that should be defined and agreed upon by all stakeholders and communicated to the organisation when developing marketing strategies include:
- Corporate mission and vision
- Campaign rationale
- Organisational OKRs
- Major threats
2.THE DISCOVERY PHASE
After defining project rationale and OKRs, the work of establishing a market strategy can begin. The first part of this process, the discovery phase, aims to determine KPIs to track each stated OKR, and to build an understanding of the organisations current and historical marketing strategic work:
- 2.1 Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Market-related planning always should start with establishing the ‘Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)’ for each target audience as without knowing how much a new customer is worth, it is impossible to calculate return-on-investment (ROI) on performed activities. One method of establishing the CLV is by analysing historical sales data and mapping it to customer demographics.
- 2.2 Activity mapping
- Current- and historical marketing activities and their underlying strategies, objectives, outcomes and costs also should be defined, including:
- —Digital communication assets.
- —Advertising (AdWords, Banners, Print, E-mail marketing, PR)
- —SEO-audit (Keywords. SERP-positions, backlink stats and landing page audit)
- —Social Media audit
- 2.3 Analytics Audit
- Working with businesses of all sizes, I have come to learn that in most organizations there is no lack of analytics tools in place. Very often, however, these tools are not set up correctly, reporting on irrelevant KPIs not aligned with the organisations’ established OKRs. Another common problem is that the intelligence acquired from these tools many times only are accessible to certain members of the marketing team, resulting in critical intelligence not being shared with management. It is therefore imperative to perform an audit of all analytics tools currently in place to understand what KPIs is being tracked, how the data is being used, and that analytics data is accessible to all persons needing it.
- 2.4 Customer acquisition cost (CAC) analysis
- The key to cost-efficient marketing is to understand the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) for all planned activities to enable an assessment of marketing channel efficiency. If possible within the organisation’s current analytics structure, the CAC for all major campaigns and channels also should be defined.
- 2.5 Stakeholder Mapping
- It is critical that all stakeholders of a marketing campaign are defined so bottlenecks in the decision process are identified and resolved before starting the work.
3. THE MARKET INTELLIGENCE PHASE
This phase aims to build an understanding of the competitor landscape and is often based on multidisciplinary research methods, including web research, surveys and general market data analysis. The goal of this phase is to identify a positioning- and differentiation strategy. Some of the main questions this research should answer are:
- Main competitors and their product/service offerings.
- Competitors primary- and secondary audiences.
- The organisation’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to the competition.
- Competitors corporate communication assets.
- Competitors marketing activities and material including adverts AdWords, Banners, Print, e-mail etc.
- Competitors SEO-audit including backlink stats. and landing page audits.
- Competitors Social media activities.
- Competitors PR-activities.
Based on learnings and insights from the discovery- and market-intelligence phase, a market strategy structured around the following sections can be constructed:
- Organisational OKRs
- Time planning and stop-points.
- Available resources (monetary and staff).
- Main marketing-channels.
- Individual OKRs for each channel- and activity.
- Explicit agreements from all stakeholders that the OKRs are achievable within the limits of the timeframe and budget.
5. CONTENT STRATEGY
When the market strategy is established, strategies for content and marketing messages can be defined around:
- Strategies and messaging for each market channel.
- Editorial production strategies and budgeting.
6. ANALYTICS FRAMEWORK
In today’s diverse media landscape, customers integrate with organisations and brands in many different channels. A customer might, for example, start researching a product using a smartphone on the way to work, continue the research using the work computer, and finalise the purchase using an iPad at the dinner table. For organisations to understand customer behaviours, to establish CLVs and CACs, and to measure if marketing strategic work performs in-line with organisational OKRs; KPIs for all major marketing activities should be stated and analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Mix Panel or Optimizely put in place to track them. Some of the main KPIs that should be tracked and form the basis for an analytics framework include:
- Main keyword SERP-positions
- Backlinks (Growth, source, quality)
- Pages-per-session and average-session-duration
- Industry-average per KPI
- Visitor demographics- and psychographics
- Seasonal trends/fluctuations
- Campaign conversions
Hundreds of established models for creating marketing strategies exist. In this post I have shared the model I use which is based on defining relevant OKRs and KPIs, establishing where the organisation currently stands on the market, establishing CLVs and CACs for each marketing activity to enable a positive ROI on performed marketing activities, and to ensure that there is an analytics strategy in place reporting on the right measures.