Luck may favor the bold, but continued success prefers the prepared.
For those of us that struggle with impatience, it can be maddening to learn that detailed marketing plans are not done overnight.
A winning marketing strategy requires dedicated research, analysis, and a lot of brainstorming.
But if you’re itching to jump in with both feet, you might find yourself asking:
How long should I reasonably expect it to take? A few weeks, or months? Years!?
Well, the answer is not as straightforward as many would like – because there’s a whole lot of factors that come into play when determining a timeline for your strategy.
Still, it has to be done. Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy will always remain an essential step in achieving your business goals.
In this article, we will explore the art of crafting a detailed marketing strategy and talk about how long you should expect it to take.
So, for this practice in patience, go ahead and grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let’s dive in!
Successful Marketing Strategies Take Time — Here’s Why:
Survey results have found that organized marketing increased reports of success by 674% over disorganized efforts.
And it only makes sense.
Of course, a well-thought-out and organized marketing strategy would fare far better than any amount of spaghetti tactics thrown at the proverbial wall.
However, a study conducted by CMI found that only 40% of B2B marketing comes from a documented content marketing strategy. That study found that 33% of companies surveyed said they did have a strategy – but it wasn’t documented – and the last 27% were working from no strategy at all.
This leads us to…
Q: So why do so many companies skip creating a detailed marketing strategy when it could have such a significant effect on their results?
A: Because a successful marketing strategy is not something that can be developed overnight – and people are impatient creatures.
Truthfully, it takes time, effort, and expertise to craft a detailed plan that will align your business goals with the right marketing moves. Research is needed to gain a thorough understanding of your business, your industry, and your target audience.
Rushing that process can have detrimental effects. You run the risk of wasted resources and missed opportunities. An ineffective campaign won’t resonate with your audience or generate the results you want.
But taking the time to conduct market research, gather data, and analyze your competition helps ensure a marketing strategy that drives results. Now, let’s talk about how you can plan ahead.
The 3 Phases of Any Successful Marketing Strategy
Detailed marketing strategies are the result of a 3-phase process. These phases include:
Phase 1: Research and analysis
The research and analysis phase is the foundation of any successful marketing strategy.
This is the time for conducting interviews and surveys with key stakeholders and customers. By understanding your target customer’s needs, pain points, and preferences, you can develop a marketing strategy that resonates with them, thus driving results.
During this phase, you should also analyze your competition to understand their marketing strategies, strengths, and weaknesses.
This analysis will help you identify potential gaps in the market that you can leverage to your advantage.
Phase 2: Strategy development
The strategy development phase involves creating a comprehensive plan that aligns with your business goals and resonates with your target audience.
This phase involves:
- Defining your value proposition
Your value proposition clearly communicates the benefits of your product or service and differentiates you from your competition.
- Selecting the right channels
Depending on your audience and goals, you may need to use a combination of channels such as social media, email marketing, or content marketing.
- Setting marketing goals
This is the time to establish metrics, KPIs, and Rocks you can track to measure the success of your marketing campaigns in relation to your marketing goals.
Phase 3: Implementation and evaluation
The implementation and evaluation phase involves executing your marketing strategy and monitoring its performance.
This phase involves:
- Content creation
It is time to create and deliver content that is engaging and resonates with your target audience according to the insights you gained from research.
- Campaign launches
Using the channels you selected in the strategy development phase, it’s time to launch your campaigns with your target audience.
- Quarterly sprints
To maintain momentum, separate your overall marketing goal in quarterly sprints with a quarterly theme, budget, and action items. Then keep your quarterly priorities top of mind with weekly check-ins, execution and accountability.
- Strategy adjustments
Track your results to measure the success of your campaigns and adjust your strategy accordingly.
How long will each marketing phase take?
The time it takes to complete each phase of a marketing strategy varies based on different factors such as the size of your business, the industry you’re in, the marketing channels you want to use, and your goals.
However, here is a rough estimate of how long each phase typically takes:
- Research and analysis phase
Gathering data, analyzing your competition, and identifying your target audience can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the scope of your project.
- Strategy development phase
Defining your value proposition, setting marketing goals, selecting the right channels, and developing a messaging framework can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the complexity of your project.
- Implementation and evaluation phase
Executing your marketing strategy and monitoring its performance can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the scope of your project.
One Key Way Speed Up The Process – With Minimal Risk
Crafting a detailed marketing strategy is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time, effort, and expertise, but there is one thing that can slow it down even more: attempting to do it yourself.
When business balk at the amount of time marketing professionals propose, they will sometimes turn to DIY. However, attempting to do the 3-phase process yourself is sure to make it take longer – or open your company up to costly mistakes.
Hiring an expert, on the other hand, can help speed up the process, while also ensuring you develop a marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals and resonates with your target audience.
Another popular reason for DIY marketing is expense. Expert help is notoriously expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. More and more business owners are turning to marketing expertise via the fractional model.
The fractional model offers a solution for those looking for top-level marketing guidance – at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee.
As seasoned marketing experts, fractional CMOs (chief marketing officers) can help you develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals and resonates with your target audience.
And at yorCMO, we’ve proudly cultivated a team of these experts – all with years of experience in developing successful marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes and industries.
How We Can Help
All winning marketing strategies require market research, audience insights, and a comprehensive plan that aligns your goals with your moves.
Hiring an expert can speed up the process and drive results. If your business is ready for a low-risk, low-cost approach to strategic marketing, our team is here to help.
Schedule your FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our fractional CMOs today and see what we can do for your business.