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Overall Marketing Strategy Determines Project Strategy

If you do not already have an overall marketing program strategy that clearly defines your organization's marketing goals, objectives and tactics, it may be time to develop one.

A good marketing strategy takes many things into account -- competition, target markets and the best ways to reach them, the language and types of promotions your audience best responds to, industry trends, organizational resources and limitations, product positioning, untapped markets, content development, complementary marketing channels, website development, search engine placement, market response tactics and much, much more.

It is practically impossible to develop a timely and relevant marketing strategy without good market research, and equally impossible to execute that strategy successfully without some content development based upon that research. And without an umbrella marketing strategy, individual marketing projects rarely hit the mark as intended, quickly becoming irrelevant and obsolete. An integrated approach that considers all marketing initiatives in light of solid market analysis will always produce superior results, and residual increases in return on investment (ROI) over time.

The Brand&Web services page provides a good "at-a-glimpse" snapshot of the various service areas and individual tasks that all work together to create a fully integrated marketing program that produces optimum results. Here is another simplified breakdown of an integrated sales & marketing process to assist you in developing a marketing strategy that is appropriate for your industry and business model:

1. Market Research
Do you know your market as well as you think? You might be surprised. Market research is one of the most important things to do for a smaller organization that needs to get it right the first time. The big guys spend millions of dollars on this. Ironically, many smaller companies skip this step entirely. Performing adequate market research will focus all other activities in the most appropriate areas, putting you on track for success.

2. Market Response Plan
With the knowledge you gain from thorough market research, you will be able to develop a highly relevant plan of action that considers your best marketing channels, your precise target markets and their behavioral patterns, your order of action, unique market realities and more, all in the light of your available resources and scheduling factors. This plan MAPS out your strategy, and once you have it, you are on track to start developing assets you can use to execute your plan. Without the research and the resulting plan, you are likely "fishing in the dark".

3. Content Development
The words and images you use to reach your audience and effectively communicate with them will make all the difference in your sales and marketing success. This is the step where brand messaging and product/service positioning are developed in ways that are most relevant to the market segments who are looking for you. Your content tells much more than what you are offering -- it reveals your corporate culture, your business ethics, and it uses the most relevant language and concepts that allow your latent markets to identify you as their best solution. The content you develop should be considered marketing assets that can be used across all marketing channels.

4. Web Development
For most businesses today, a solid presence online is the most powerful marketing channel for identifying and capturing prospects. With market relevant content and user-friendly functionality built in, an organization's website forms the hub for all related marketing activities.

5. Peripheral Marketing Channels
With a brand identity and market capture tools and protocols firmly established with an appropriate website, businesses can now easily translate that messaging and corporate identity to other forms of market communications. These marketing channels may include all forms of print advertising, high profile press releases, social media, direct marketing vehicles such as direct mail, email marketing and direct response TV & radio, billboards, telemarketing, special events & promotions, etc. These peripheral marketing channels all work in concert to drive traffic to the company website or directly to a sales representative.

6. Conversion to Sales
At this point you have everything you need to develop the procedures, protocols and materials your sales force will need to effectively convert prospects to actual sales that will impact your bottom line. The previous steps are all designed to prepare your sales force and increase your sales conversion rate by cultivating highly prequalified and proactive prospects.

7. Performance Analysis
If you are interested at all in improving your company performance over time, then there must be tools and procedures in place for measuring performance. Sales and marketing performance analysis and measurement is truly the lifeblood of an organic marketing program that continues to respond to changing market factors over time. This measurement is crucial for effective program budgeting and for determining what specific adjustments can continue to improve results.

8. Content and Channel Refinement
With sales and marketing performance analysis, a business is now armed with the information needed to complete the sales and marketing cycle by making highly effective adjustments to content and marketing channels that consistently increase return on investment (ROI) over time. The marketing platform is consistently refined and adjusted to best respond to the changing marketplace.