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What your marketing strategy looks like (or if it exists at all) is a crucial factor to the success of any business. And it’s WAY more complicated then just deciding who your target market is or what social media platforms to post on.

Your marketing strategy should encompass everything that your company plans to do to present yourself in the right way (both online and off), who you plan to market to, how you plan to reach your audience, and how you plan to measure your success. It should also contain the exact processes and procedures that you’ll need to use to turn it into an actionable marketing plan.

Below are 4 key areas that many business owners and marketers neglect before they activate their marketing strategies. If you focus on these 4 areas in addition to your every-day marketing plan, you’ll be in a great position to maximize your marketing ROI!

1) Evaluate your audience

A huge mistake that a lot of businesses make is not defining their audience. Who is your target market? Who will be buying your services/products? What do they want, and how are you going to give it to them? For a successful marketing strategy, you’ll need to have a sound idea of who you’re marketing TO. Everything else should be based around this crucial element of your marketing strategy.

2) Define your brand identity

Your brand identity is what people see when you communicate with them. Your logo, colors, fonts, business cards, social media posts, email templates, and more. It is VITAL that your brand identity matches your overall marketing strategy. If you’re a woodworking shop, for example, you probably don’t want a hot pink logo and a website with neon headlines. Before anything else, you’ll need to define your brand identity and create a style/design guide that complements your audience and is in line with your marketing strategy.

3) Create a killer content guide

Strong marketing content is one of the most important factors for your success. It’s also important to have consistent content across different platforms. It’s important to have a bulletproof content guide with a strong value proposition statement, key differentiating statements, captivating headlines and subtitles, and more. Each piece of content you create should be strategically crafted to convert your audience. This, combined with your design guide, will be your go-to guide for all things marketing!

4) Optimize and automate

This is where you make the magic happen. By automating and optimizing your marketing strategy and your customer acquisition process, you can bring in new opportunities for a fraction of the time, money, and resources it would normally take. Run an audit of your current automation and CRM software and make sure that it’s optimized to best help you meet your goals. Having marketing, sales, and project management systems that integrate and talk to each other seamlessly will maximize your marketing strategy’s output, and give you more time to focus on actually running your business.

Focusing on these 4 things will help your marketing strategy and overall marketing plan be as effective as possible. Knowing your target audience, having a cohesive brand identity, having go-to content that converts, and having automated systems and processes in place to maximize efficiency in the implementation process, are all crucial to getting the most out of your marketing.