We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications.
For the first episode in series 2 of our podcast, we decided to focus on the importance of developing a sound marketing strategy. We wanted to go back to the beginning – the starting point for any company that is just starting out or, for that matter, an established one that is looking to expand its sales, reach or operations through a concerted investment in marketing.
We always tell our clients and prospects that marketing is an investment, not an expense. Like any investment, it requires planning, a careful strategy that is devised and executed with a clear goal in mind. Failing to come up with such a strategy before getting started amounts to nothing more than a gamble.
Tactics vs. strategy
Many clients who are looking to use digital marketing to grow their businesses tend to focus on specific tactics that have been proven to show results. These could include Facebook ads, Google ads, content marketing, etc. While these are all powerful tools, they may not yield the great results you’re looking for if they do not form part of an overarching strategy and then executed specifically to serve that strategy.
The importance of research
Developing an effective marketing strategy requires careful research into your market and your competitors. For us, research is one of the most enjoyable parts of developing a strategy for our clients. We get to dive deep into a specific industry – perhaps one we haven’t had much experience of in the past – and find out what makes it tick, what it takes to be successful in it, what our clients’ competitors are doing to promote themselves and how well it is working. The result is a data-driven strategy that speaks to the realities of the industry and the client’s current position relative to where they want to be. With this in place, we can then apply our skills and creativity to execute a strategy that can really show results in both the long and the short term.
A marketing strategy is indispensable for any business, regardless of whether you’re starting out or looking for something new to help you grow.