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How Do You Create Marketing Strategies and Tactics? [Video]

If you asked 10 different people what a marketing strategy is, then you’d get 10 different answers. How do you figure out who knows what they’re talking about and who’s full of it? In this video, we’ll explain what it is, and why it’s important.

(Note: This was one of our first videos in this style, so please the forgive poor sound. These issues have been fixed in new videos.)

Here’s a still image of the whiteboard for reference:
Find out how to create new marketing strategies and tactics.

Video Transcription for “What is a Marketing Strategy”

If you asked 10 people, 10 different people what a marketing strategy is, not even their marketing strategy, a marketing strategy, you’re going to get 10 different answers. How do you figure out who knows what they’re talking about and who’s full of it?

Typically one of the first things I look for is simplicity. Can you explain something complex in a simple and easy to understand way? Any time you start hearing jargon and all these other words like ‘synergy’ that people use to make themselves look smart usually means they’re full of crap. So what we’re going to talk about today is what is marketing strategy and more importantly how is this relevant for today?

What we’re looking at here is classically known as the marketing mix. It’s the 4 P’s, and the 4 P’s were developed in 1960. 1960. And I think they still apply today, because even though consumer behavior has evolved, even though technology continues to evolve, a lot of the classic marketing principles still apply. So we’re going to take a look at each one, and we’re going to try to figure out once we’ve looked through all these things and see how they relate today.

I once read an article from a ‘social media expert’ (those are air quotes, so I’ll let you figure out which part of that sentence was bullshit) and what he was saying was that there should be a 5th P added to the marketing mix. The 5th P should be about people. And this is one of the reasons that I have issues with ‘social media experts’ is because that line of logic is false. And the reason it is false is because the reason the marketing mix exists and the reason the 4 P’s exist is to influence this thing in the middle. So people are already here.

Your target market is going to be segmented typically based on a couple of other factors. Usually common things such as your demographics or socioeconomics. Your psychographics or lifestyle issues and then also some behavioral ones. Usually where this gets tricky is that you’re going to have several subcategories under this target market. You might have several different groups of people that you are trying to reach.

And so that is where we talk about customer personas because customer personas take something somewhat abstract and theoretical and they try and make it really concrete. They bring this person to life in some way that you’re able to use on your daily basis when you write a blog post, write an email, or put together an ad campaign.

So typically what you’re gonna see here, is that you have a few different customer personas and understanding them is the first step, because without understanding them, how are we going to do these other things?

The most common thing that people are familiar with here is the promotion category. Typically advertising and PR. So obviously AdWords, blogs, inbound sales. Right? This is pretty commonly understood. The problem with the big promotion category is typically that is all a traditional marketing department does these days, is they only have control over this, and we are going to see why that is an issue.

The second most common or at least straightforward category here is the product one. This is everything from the features and function to the appearance. Even the customer support and warranties and quality you put behind it. Then also some product line or accessory-type things.

So, how is your product relevant today? Especially in a marketing discussion. One of the good things that has come out off the internet, in the age of the consumer, is that if a product is not up to par with some of these issues, you’re going to hear about it. If you have a 1 or 2-star rating on Yelp, or some other service that is just like it, it doesn’t matter how much promotion you do. You could sink all the money you want into this but you’re never going to make any meaningful impact till you figure this part out first (gestures to product category).

What about pricing? It is very very very uncommon today to find marketing departments who have any influence over the product, but especially not over pricing. And that’s a huge problem because pricing your margins here typically dictate what advertising channels you can use, what distribution channels you can use. Pricing typically dictates how much R&D you can put back into your product to make it better. So you can climb out of that 1- or 2-star rating. If you don’t have enough of margin, if you’re not making enough on each sale, then you’ll never be able to reinvest into other areas and you’ll never be able to climb out of that terrible destructive nosedive.

Finally, last but not least, “place” typically brings up physical locations. That’s the most obvious form. But you also think about your channel strategy and alignment… are you going to go direct to consumers? What are the pros and cons of that? You might not be able to get as many people as going through a third party like Amazon, but your profit margin is going to be a little better. You’re going to be able to take out or hopefully not incur that 30% fee or charge or whatever the commission might be.

So let’s go back to our original question. What is a marketing strategy? It’s all of this. It’s all of these things. I had an undergraduate marketing professor drill into my head, a marketing strategy is basically the sum of your target market and the 4 P’s. And until you can sit down and go through all these things, and until you get these things really working together, that’s why marketing fails or that’s why marketing doesn’t work that often.

Instead, you start going here to “promotion” because this thing is easy. You just pour more money into this. You pour money into this and you try to come up with.. ‘What’s the latest interesting buzz angle?’

Like I don’t know if you’ve heard about this crazy recent news article about Mountain Dew trying Dorito flavored soft drinks. I hope to God that that’s not true. I hope that’s just a PR stunt. I hope. But that’s what happens, you start throwing money at “promotion”, because you haven’t really thought through these other issues.

So the big thing today is that a marketing strategy only works if it’s really truly the sum of these interconnected parts that we talked about today.