Insights | February 21, 2019

Developing a Marketing Strategy for 2020

“Marketing Strategy is more than great creative.”

By Josh Cairns

Q4 is a busy time of year for most entrepreneurs. With year-end around the corner, targets are closing in and the focus is on finishing strong and setting a clear strategic direction for the following year. Planning a marketing strategy for 2020 can be a difficult process and the heavy lifting often falls to the entrepreneur or leadership team. There are many great frameworks available for developing a corporate strategic plan, like P&G’s OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures) or Vern Harnish’s Rockefellar Habits OPSP (One Page Strategic Plan) to name a few, which can be effective resources in this hectic season.

But one trend we’ve seen increasingly over the years is that the planning process will uncover a marketing need. This could be the need to increase awareness, strategize against new market entrants, or push out new innovations or product lines. Answering these questions and others like them involve the development of a marketing strategy.

Trust the process.

While the OGSM and OPSP frameworks are great at leading corporate strategy, marketing strategy remains a mystery for most. Consultants and agencies all have different approaches and unless you’re a marketing strategist, it’s hard to assess the quality of a brand or promotional strategy.

At CREW, we depend on our 8-Step Strategy Process, which we developed over a decade ago and since have successfully applied to hundreds of clients and business models, and now use to train marketing professionals throughout the country. The Framework was developed to simplify and streamline the necessary steps a company must go through to land on an effective strategic marketing plan. Here’s what you need to know:

  • All strong companies are built on a solid foundation starting with the mission, vision, values and key objectives for the upcoming fiscal.
  • Our first step is aligning on these critical elements. This should be understood and lived out by your entire staff, not just printed on the wall in the lobby.
  • With a solid internal foundation, we look to assess the business, the market, the target audience, the competitive landscape, define a unique value proposition (UVP), support the sales and distribution process and derive some strategic insights. These are steps 2-5 in our core marketing process.
  • With a strategic foundation in place and some key insights uncovered along the way, it’s time to develop a promotional plan that will inspire our audience to take action, connect with them in the right channels and empower them to engage authentically.
  • This is the phase that people often think of when you mention marketing, but to get the results you want it must be anchored to a solid strategy.

Get help with your marketing strategy.

Whether you have no marketing team in-house or a small team that is looking to grow, our marketing process has helped entrepreneurs scale their businesses across a number of verticals including consumer goods, natural food products, manufacturing, professional services and real estate. Each industry faces unique challenges, and so we leverage our industry experience to tackle those challenges head on.

What’s important is to not wait until the last minute because failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Put a solid strategy in place and follow through with disciplined execution to achieve the growth you’re striving for in 2020. And if you’re looking for a second opinion or some guidance on how to proceed, reach out and we’ll set up a meeting to get you started.