Plan for a Win: The Most Critical Business Marketing Tactics

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Use these 8 marketing tactics to help drive sales and growth.

Never before has marketing been so aggressively—well—marketed.

Ad agencies no longer have the luxury of lounging around “conceptualizing” marketing strategies for their clients, and business owners have taken on the role of developing and rolling out their own marketing strategies, based on their knowledge of the market and their product’s position in that market.

New ways of doing business allow individuals with a good idea to provide niche products or services to a greater audience, not just a local one. Business owners have to think both locally and globally by devising a localized marketing strategy, but more importantly, a national marketing program. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable in their inability to think beyond the traditionally-sized shop, but for any business to survive, it has to have a wider reaching marketing program.

Related Article: How to Create a Transparent Marketing Strategy

As an owner, you need to have a solid, but adaptable, plan in place. Let’s have a look at how you you should build this tactical blueprint and what it should include.

Be Flexible

If you have a marketing program, you should be able to adapt easily to changing consumer opinion. For instance, many marketers are seeing a shift in marketing trends from social media marketing to content marketing. The Online Marketing Institute Digital Talent Gap Study, 2014 recently found that “77% of hiring managers said content marketing experience is their number one skill they sought."

Utilize Shifts in Advertising

A programmatic approach to advertising is essential. According to Ad Exchanger, “The truth is that the era of programmatic direct has arrived. Both the sell side and demand side either need to get ahead of the curve or take their antiquated media strategies back to the days of AOL Instant Messenger and MySpace banner ads.” There is a shift away from technology toward service in advertising and your business needs to stay on top of it.

To make the shift from technology to service, be conscientious of your business's data. Approach this information in a real-time way to optimize what is important to the business and its audience. A data-management platform (DMP) is useful for marketers, publishers and other businesses to pull and sort relevant information. You can currently purchase this software from major vendors such as Adobe and Krux.

Bend Your Budget

Having a larger audience is daunting and could cost more money to market to than a smaller target audience would. According to the National Business Association, once you have established your marketing budget, that doesn’t mean that it should be set in stone. You may need to host an event or create a television ad. What you ultimately need to decide is whether sticking to your budget is allowing you to meet your marketing goals, or whether the ROI is worth the extra marketing expenditures.

To have the most effective budget, create a plan for your marketing expenditures. Consider taking the time to track activities that performed well and those that didn't. By measuring the impact of certain marketing tactics on your business's revenue, you can properly allocate your budget to the areas that are performing well, or reallocate your budget from activities that are not performing the way you wanted. 

Related Article: Measure Me: The 10 Must-Track Data Points for Digital Marketing ROI

Be Open to New Advertising Ideas

Creative marketing can cause a 30% increase in sales and a potential decrease in budgets by 95%. Some ideas are to offer a free teleclass, write a series of informative blog posts that are designed to attract traffic for a competitive keyword or phrase, sponsor a sports team, enter business awards competitions (or start your own), or sponsor an event. 67% of B2B content marketers consider event marketing the most effective strategy.

Related Article: 6 Out of the Box Marketing Ideas for 2015

Use SMART Objectives

SMART objectives are defined as:

  • Specific: Does the objective define one goal?
  • Measurable: Can a quantitative or qualitative attribute be used to track your goal?
  • Achievable: Is the goal realistic for your business?
  • Relevant: Does the goal pertain to your business or marketing plan?
  • Time-Bound: Does the goal have a specific deadline?

This is too generic: “I want more website visitors, leads, and sales.”

This is SMART: “We need 20,000 visitors, 500 leads, and 12 customers within the next 12-months from our inbound marketing efforts in order to achieve our revenue goal of $600,000 from inbound marketing.”

A Health Check

if you have a national marketing program, you can constantly refer to it to see if you’re still on the right track. if you have a 5-year national marketing plan for your business, check it at least once every quarter to make sure things are still on the right course.

Revise Your Plan as Needed

Making revisions are similar to creating the initial marketing plan, but taking the time to do it is a necessary step.

  • First: Redefine your service or product, especially focusing on how it differs from the competition.
  • Second: Describe your target customer and then look at the market segments in which you would like to introduce or expand the demand for your product.
  • Third: Decide how to get your message to potential customers, how often to do it, and how much you can afford.

Choose the Proper Media

If you are seeking to market nationally, choose national outlets such as TV and print media to market your business: these will get the most exposure. Each outlet you advertise in has both its upsides and downsides.

Newspapers, for example, allows you to put your ad in quickly but have a short shelf life. Magazines are great for targeting a specific market and have a longer shelf life than newspapers, however, pass-along rates cause some advertisers to be skeptical. Like anything else, it will be an experience of trial and error in figuring out which media outlet is the best for your product or service.

Utilize Shifts in Advertising


A programmatic approach to advertising is essential. According to Ad Exchanger, “The truth is that the era of programmatic direct has arrived. Both the sell side and demand side either need to get ahead of the curve or take their antiquated media strategies back to the days of AOL Instant Messenger and MySpace banner ads.” There is a shift away from technology toward service in advertising and your business needs to stay on top of it.

To make the shift from technology to service, be conscientious of your business's data. Approach this information in a real-time way to optimize what is important to the business and its audience. A data-management platform (DMP) is useful for marketers, publishers and other businesses to pull and sort relevant information. You can currently purchase this software from major vendors such as Adobe and Krux.

 

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