Why your marketing is failing and what to do about it
As marketing consultants to developers since 1982, we at Parker Associates have had the opportunity to constantly meet business leaders who have questions about marketing or are curious about how to market to their prospects.
Almost every conversation starts with “Our marketing strategy isn’t working…” or “We need a new marketing strategy that will help us reach more customers.”
After a few consultations where we dig a little deeper, there’s nearly one common reason why most companies struggle to generate success through their marketing efforts: They define marketing by thinking about tactics instead of strategy.
Marketing tactics vs. marketing strategy
The basis for the failing is in understanding the differences and similarities between Marketing Tactics and Marketing Strategy. Let’s take a step back and look at the difference between strategy and tactics. In marketing terms:
- Strategy equals defining the space where the business decides to engage, and how it plans to win in the market.
- Tactics equals identifying the tools and executions deployed in order to deliver on that strategy.
A strategy is an overall framework that is filled in by the tactics you use. It is essential for determining which tactics will be most effective.
When most businesses say their marketing strategy isn’t working, what they typically mean is that the tactics aren’t effective. When this happens, it’s likely an indicator that they didn’t take the time to develop a strategy in the first place. The reason their marketing strategy isn’t really working is that there wasn’t really a strategy to begin with.
How to develop a marketing strategy
There are a few key components we encourage brands to consider when developing a marketing strategy:
- Define your target market and understand your buyer to the extent possible. If you want your marketing tactics to work, you need to have absolute clarity about your ideal buyer and how they operate. You need to know their challenges and pain points. Defining your target audience and evaluating the buyer’s journey are essential for an effective marketing strategy.
- Identify your unique value proposition. What makes you better than your competitors? Answering this question is imperative for your marketing strategy. Your value proposition is a unique value that a buyer desires and will receive from your company, product or service. Think of the word “only” and how you can apply it to your business, products and services.
- Determine how marketing will support your larger business objectives. In order to develop and implement an effective marketing strategy, you need to be absolutely clear on what you’re trying to achieve. What are the larger business objectives your marketing strategy is supposed to support?
Once you’ve addressed each of the issues noted above in this article, you need to start asking which tactics you should use to reach customers. It’s only after your target market and buyer personas have been defined that you can decide which kinds of tools and processes might be deployed to reach them.
David WB Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry; President of PTC Computer Solutions, IT Specialist, and an active real estate sales professional with Barclay’s Real Estate Group based in Jacksonville, FL. He is also a principal partner of the REMA Team of professionals. He can be reached at 904-607-8763 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.