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How to Create a Marketing Strategy

Updated: Feb 27, 2023


A marketing strategy helps us to understand where to focus our effort and budget to get maximum return. It looks at the business objectives, reviews the target market, looks at competitors and customers we want to target and then turns all of the information into a strategy and plan of action.

To get a better understanding of a marketing strategy read our ‘Introduction to marketing strategy’ post.

In this post we will breakdown the marketing strategy and look at the following key elements:

The business’s current state and future objectives

The marketing strategy needs to focus on the business objectives. Looking at what it has achieved to date, the struggles it may have faced and the success it has achieved. This gives us a clear picture of what we are working with and provides a starting point.

We then want to look at the business objectives for the next year. Where is the business going, how will it grow and what are the targets. These objectives will shape the marketing strategy and define what we are working to.

A PESTEL analysis of the business is a great starting point here. A PESTEL analysis will analyse the external environment to identify factors that may impact the organisation. PESTEL covers:

Political – this may include government policy and stability, international trade, tax policy and trade restrictions.

Economic – the economy and its performance and the direct impact it may have on the business. This can include interest rate, employment rate and cost of materials.

Social – changes in demographics, population growth, education level, cultural trends, changes in lifestyle. All these factors can have a direct impact on how marketers understand their audience.

Technological – changes in technology and how this may impact the way we distribute goods and services and interact with customers.

Environmental – looking at the surrounding environment and the impact we are making. This links into our corporate social responsibilities.

Legal – Understanding of legislations and laws in the environment we operate - consumer rights and laws, health and safety, GDPR, advertising standards and equal opportunities to name just a few.

Marketing review

To be able to plan our marketing activities for the future we first need to look back at what has been achieved, what has worked well and what we can learn from. Gathering this information can help us understand what has been tried and tested.

In the marketing review I would analysis all channels and activities over the year to see what has worked well and elements we want to keep going forward. We also need to look at what hasn’t worked so we don’t repeat the same process.

Conducting an analysis of all channels over the last year will also help us to see spikes in interest and any emerging trends. We can also compare this to previous years to see any trends form year on year.

A SWOT analysis can be a great tool to also use at this stage. A SWOT analysis is a planning technique that helps you to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treats. Here are some of the common questions you might ask under each area:


· What are we good at?

· What has been working?

· What does the customers like?

· Look at brand recognition, innovation and ease of access to services.


· What hasn’t been working as well?

· What can we improve for customers?

· What do we want to strengthen?

· Where do we want to become more efficient?


· What can help differentiate us from others?

· New product development or services

· Changes in the industry

· Opportunity through new technology


· What could stop growth?

· Potential loss of customers

· Competition – changes in this environment or new competition

Target market and personas

The target market looks at the industries where you will sell your offering and reach out to customers. You may have a broad overarching market then be able to divide this down into sub industries to focus on as well.

For example, if you sell your products through a shop and ecommerce channels you might want to look at social selling, marketplaces or take things offline and look at events.

Personas look at the type of customer groups you want to target and creates a representative of the ideal customer from each group. A persona will be made up of the customers background, demographics, identifiers, challenges and how you can serve them.

A competitor analysis will look at who you are competing against in each target market. Here you can identify and review the following points – product / service, features, stand outs, strengths and weaknesses and an overall comparison against your offering.

Marketing mix

The marketing mix is a key element of the strategy and can be covered using the 4 P’s framework.


· Name and describe the product or service you are providing

· How will the product solve challenges the customer may be facing?

· How will your product differentiate from competitors?


· What price are you selling the product at?

· How does the price compare with competitors?

· What does the customers budget look like?

· Will you provide discounts or offers throughout the year?


· How will you promote your product?

· What channels will you use?

· What message will help promote it?

· What will help drive value?


· Where will you sell your product? What channels?

· How will your products be displayed?

· How will these channels get your products in front of the right audience?

Marketing objectives

The marketing objectives will link in with the 4 P’s you develop, and they should build upon marketing goals. These goals and campaigns need to be strategic and well planned out so we understand what success will look like.

A SMART goal is specific in defining exactly what you want to deliver. Measurable so you can track progress of the goal. Attainable by reviewing past data and setting out to improve within our scope. Relevant to the marketing and business objectives. Timely by setting deadlines and timescales to achieve them.

An example of a SMART goal is:

Specific – we want to boost traffic and increase leads for a certain service.

Measurable – the goal is to increase by 10%.

Attainable – over the last year the traffic has steadily been growing and we have gathered data from customers who have purchased the service.

Relevant – This is a high profit service so the additional revenue will help to feed back into the business objectives.

Time bound – We aim to achieve this by the second quarter of the year.

Reporting and communication

Our marketing strategy can utilise a key element of project management which is around roles and responsibilities, communication and reporting. In projects we ensure everyone who is involved understands their roles and how they fit to achieving the overall goals, this is just as important for the marketing strategy.

The strategy needs to be well communicated to ensure everyone is on the same page and we are all aiming for the same target. Communication should be ongoing throughout the year to show progress on the strategy and how it develops.

You should always report on your marketing strategy tasks to show how progress is being made and where lessons can be learned, and adaption is required. Lessons learned can help you analyse your day-to-day activities and learn for continuous improvement.

Marketing strategy creation

We have now looked at all the aspects that pull together a marketing strategy and create the framework. Remember it is crucial to have a well-defined strategy to ensure we are spending budget and time wisely and achieve success.

If you need help with your marketing strategy, take a look at our marketing strategy service page for more information.


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