Running a successful business is an achievable goal and with specialised online social networking tools you can share your knowledge, promote your business, and network with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

Marketing is key to any business and as you develop or move forward with your marketing strategy I’m sure you will celebrate many milestones in building your brand. Now is the time to take a look at what marketing strategies work best.

How you drive your brand forward depends on your goals, personality, strengths and vision. There are two distinct ways in which we manage our marketing – strategic and tactical – and while some of us might prefer one way to the other, they complement each other and are both instrumental to the success of your business.

Before you start your marketing campaign set clear goals about what you want your business and marketing to achieve, know how your product or business fits into the marketplace, be aware of your competitors, and develop your own strategy and tactics.

Strategic Marketing – ‘The idea behind how the goal could be achieved’

Always keep in mind the long term strategic impact of all the steps you will take as you build your brand.

This is the part where you nut out the strategy for how you will achieve your goals. Write down the steps you will take to market your business, brainstorm ideas, make an action plan.

While it’s important to have an action plan to ensure you stay on track with your marketing, be comfortable in sometimes diverting away from your strategic plan.  There’s no point having all your plans written down but them being unachievable or something that just sit on your computer for the next 12 months. Keep your plans realistic and easy to follow.

However unexpected setbacks or distractions can throw even the most astute business owner off course at times, so be flexible in your marketing strategy and prepared to change at any stage of your company’s life-cycle.

When developing your marketing strategy display your goal in a prominent place in your workplace, or on the screensaver on your tablet or smartphone. This will keep you focused on your marketing strategy when times are challenging.

Tactical Marketing – ‘The actions you take to execute the strategy’

This is the part where you make your marketing strategy come to life. At this point you may call on other professionals – such as contractors and freelancers who offer their areas of expertise. Tactical marketing is when you action your strategic plans for advertising, retail and street promotions, website and social media promotion on sites such as SunZu.

Again, your brand and communication plan will not stay the same forever, so your tactics should be fluid to match the product life-cycle plan and reflect the various levels of customer engagement at different phases. At one stage of your life-cycle you may focus your brand communication towards existing customers, another stage your marketing targets new prospects, another stage media. The actions you take at each of these stages will be instrumental in building your brand.  

What have been some of your marketing highs and lows?

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