WHY NEW MARKETERS NEED TO BUY INTO STRATEGIC MARKET PLANNING
When I first started picking up college internships where I got the opportunity to write, I did just that. I was motivated to use my position to tell my audience as much as I could about different educational issues.
Except I wasn’t thinking about my audience the way I needed to. That’s because I wasn’t developing marketing strategies and plans.
I didn’t anticipate the next 3 actions my audience would take when they finished reading, or see beyond the fact that my words were reaching some unknown, faceless human being. Being Strategic author and businesswoman Erika Andersen thinks strategy gets a bad reputation. Here are a few of her 5 reasons:
People don’t know what it means.
It sounds stuffy and intellectual.
People don’t get the point of it.
Free-form writing is not a technique for marketers. Our job is to convert our audience, so we need to communicate with an end game in mind. Here’s why new marketers have to buy into strategic market planning.
Your audience might get lost
No matter how eye-catching your flyer or email looks, it won’t serve its purpose if your prospective buyer doesn’t understand what they’re supposed to do next.
If you market education technology solutions, your messaging has to target the learner and educator needs of school admin and teachers…in a way that’s compelling enough to get them to buy. You can’t create successful, targeted messaging on a whim. By crafting a strategic plan you can effectively:
remind your audience what their needs are,
inspire them to take action,
and provide a clear path for them to take action.
You want your efforts to make an impact
However you communicate with your audience, you need to do so clearly. If they see your messaging and feel confused or unmotivated to take further action, the time and effort you took creating it are a waste.
The reason your audience might not be engaged is that you’re falling into the same trap I did during my early internships: creating content for YOU instead of THEM.
Here are some examples of strategic plans that can make your audience do something with the messaging and resources you’re providing them with.
Conduct market research → Solidify that the problem you’re solving exists and is important to your buyers.
Create a sales toolkit → Equip your sales team with resources and knowledge about your product(s) so they can communicate to the best of their ability with your buyers.
Design a nurture campaign → Lead prospective buyers through the funnel by reinforcing their needs with resources and offering to connect them to product specialists.
Finding success is possible if you can retrace your steps
Not every strategy you carry out will be a hit. That’s okay. What’s important is that you’re able to refer back to your plans, call out what went wrong in your process, and pivot to create something new, all with an adjusted strategic market plan in mind.
Be data-driven. By retracing your strategic steps and finding out the answers to what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be able to call out what marketing success and failure look like. Creating measurable outcomes might not only boost your productivity. It can keep you employed. Use trackable data to show your boss how you’ve contributed to revenue goals, leads, and other targets.
Strategy is one of the most hated, overused, and misused words in business. It’s also one of the most important ways to define and track progress toward goals.
Like any skill, strategic thinking becomes less confusing and scary when you face it head-on. Educate yourself on what it means to be strategic in your role and be sure this type of planning exists at the root of your projects!
The Edtech Marketing Effect takes a look at what goes into amplifying learning solutions that are changing the face of education.