BUILDING A MARKETING STRATEGY, NOT A MARKETING CHECKLIST

BUILDING A MARKETING STRATEGY, NOT A MARKETING CHECKLIST

By Micah Heykoop

 

I come to this topic because for the first part of my career I worked in the retail-marketing department of a shoe company and built strategies for Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Neiman Marcus each season. I have since moved on from the brand to this Agency as the Director of Strategy where I am able to step back from individual retailers and look at the entire representation of the brands that we work with. Building strategies has been my focus for both of these jobs, and while the scope has changed, the base principles have not. Here are three items to consider so your strategy allows you to be goal-oriented and creative

______

/ PUT YOUR GOALS FIRST:

I have always found that I am much more successful when I start with the end in mind. From the agency side, I always want to clarify with clients their top 3 goals before I put any recommendations onto paper for them. Once it is clear exactly what we are trying to achieve, I lay out a strategy and then note which goal each point in the strategy is aiming to accomplish. This is the “what” and the “why”, leaving only the “how” to be explored in the tactical side of things versus in the strategy itself. Starting with your goals on the top of the page will help you filter out any distractions and unnecessary items that you are building in, saving you time and energy to work of what is really crucial.

 

// CONSIDER THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE:

When building a framework that will allow you to be creative, keeping the customer experience in mind will help you focus on the top-level issue and keep you out of the minutia. For example; if you want to build customer perception of and engagement with your brand, don’t write down throw events and create more point-of-purchase materials. When putting this on paper, look at it as, “Create physical touch points for customers to experience brand in new and engaging ways”. While inside of that you are obviously going to be throwing an event, it also leaves room for you to consider a multitude of options when planning. If your strategy isn’t around product but rather an internal process, consider the employees who it touches as the customers. 

 

/// DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN HI-LEVEL AND TACTICAL:

What should you do with these checklist items then? While “post daily on Instagram” shouldn’t be on your strategy document, it is most definitely an important point inside an overall social media strategy. When building out any plans it is important to make a tactical document as well that outlines key actions, dates, and costs inside of the larger strategy. This document can be made after over arching strategy is approved and will serve as a great roadmap for whoever is executing on what you have laid out. 

Marketing strategies are built to be in a constant state of evolution and change. Even with the amount of analytics and insight available to us today, marketing will always be a science as well as an art. Make sure that you are constantly testing, adjusting, readjusting, and evolving. A well-built strategy will help keep the ship pointed in the right direction no matter how much of the detail changes. //