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How to Create Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

It’s the critical question every marketing director, specialist or consultant should be asking: How do I create marketing approaches that will lead to results?

Start with that last word – results. What does it mean specifically, to your business or organization? Are you looking to achieve greater brand awareness? Generate more leads or sales? You can’t have a great marketing strategy unless you have defined markers of success.

Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can start thinking about approach. Here at Red Sage Communications, we’re a full-service agency, which means we have an entire arsenal of marketing, advertising, web design and creative tools at our disposal (including the ability to create microsites or landing pages, manage social media content campaigns, and design award-winning graphics.) Here’s the key though. We don’t try to wield every tool in the toolkit at once. We select the tools we know will help achieve the greatest ROI for clients.

You should follow the same approach in crafting your own strategy. Let’s use this scenario as an example:

Client A has a limited budget but wants to generate more leads through its website.

This is the “result” the client is looking for. Since we’re big on data-driven ROI tracking here, we would ask Client A to set a specific benchmark (let’s say, 15% more leads year-over-year.)

To get more leads through a website, you need more traffic to the website. There are a LOT of ways to encourage this, and this is where knowledge of marketing options (or tools, if we stick with the theme) becomes critical for maximum cost-efficiency.

Client A could utilize a pay-per-click campaign to drive visibility of its website higher in search engine results. Or, it could create a Google AdWords display advertising campaign. It could do billboards, with a punchy slogan and website address. Maybe a content campaign on social media? Or paid social media ads? The options, quite honestly, are endless. And can get expensive, fast.

But what if I told you Client A is a medical practitioner specializing in hip-replacement. Now, we know the client base is older and less likely to be digitally savvy. We can winnow our suggested approaches down to a social media advertising or content campaign (on Facebook in particular, which has an older demographic profile) and perhaps print ads in highly-targeted publications, or direct-mail print collateral (which is still highly-effective for older audiences.)

Younger marketing professionals often forget (or never learned) about traditional avenues like print collateral or television advertising. But in today’s world; where audiences are more fragmented than ever before, being able to see all the pathways for messaging is more important than ever. If you’re unsure about your ability to see the full picture, Red Sage can be your partner. We can fill in the gaps where you need a little help – whether it’s designing “old school” print mailers that standout, or learning how to create social media content that actually generates engagement.

And if you’d prefer to go it alone, that’s OK too. Just remember these key steps for creating marketing strategies that actually work:

  1. Define your goal and set a clear, measurable marker for success
  2. Work backwards to determine your approach
  3. Consider all of your options for marketing pathways
  4. Customize based on your budget and abilities

Oh! And one more thing. Don’t forget about data-tracking as you execute. At Red Sage, we build in measurables to track the ROI of our marketing efforts (whether they are traditional, digital, or some combination of both.) This allows us to make adjustments on-the-fly and collect valuable insights that make our campaigns more effective in the long term.

Not sure how to pull this off on your own? Don’t worry. Just give us a call at 256.560.0098 or email, and we’ll help you get started!

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