There could be a number of reasons:
A) You never get around to it because you (or your team) don’t have time.
B) You never get around to it because it seems too daunting.
C) You appear to be getting by OK without one. It's a luxury you don't really need.
D) Paraphrasing the messaging you’ve found on competitor websites and replicating the marketing activity of similar businesses seems to be doing the trick.
Let’s take each one in turn:
A) Not enough time
With all the other tasks on your to do list, it is easy to push working on your marketing strategy down to the bottom. It doesn't have the natural urgency of the other tasks you have to deal with. However, taking time out to work on your marketing strategy will pay dividends in the long run. You will have clarity on your goals and how to achieve them, you’ll be able to say exactly why people should buy from you and you’ll be able to focus your efforts on marketing to those people most likely to purchase your products or services.
So how do you overcome not being able to find the time?
- Put an hour slot in your diary each day starting now until the end of the week. That will give you a clear 4 hours to work on your strategy.
- Remove all potential distractions and set yourself a goal of understanding of the following by the end of the week: your objectives, who you are targeting, why they should buy your product or service (your value proposition) and a top line go-to-market plan.
You can find guidance on how to work through these steps in my Facebook group – The Secret To Standing Out
B) It seems too daunting
The idea of working on your marketing strategy can feel incredibly daunting. Not only is it hard to know where to start, many people relate strategy to something that goes on in a boardroom with long presentations based on complex models.
It doesn't have to be that way. It can be as simple as sitting down and asking and answering the right questions.
C) You’re getting by fine without one
Chances are you’ve got lucky. Not having a marketing plan or strategy in place is akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping it sticks.
It may be sticking now but all it takes is something like an ambitious new competitor and your luck runs out.
Without a clear understanding of where you are heading and how, who you are targeting, and why your customers buy your product or service, you could be left in a pretty defenceless position should that happen.
However, having a clear idea of what you’re doing and what it is that makes your customers love it so much puts you in a much stronger position to compete.
D) Copying from competitors appears to be doing the trick
You've been happily copying what others do and paraphrasing from competitor websites. Moreover, it appears to be doing the trick.
But do you want your business to do better? Copying others is going to only get you so far. We are all unique and tapping into what makes you special and how that can lead to a better customer experience (and competitive advantage) be that how you design your products, deliver your service or manage your teams will help push your business to the next level.
Not only that, no market is static. New technologies and changes to regulations are just a couple of factors beyond your control that can suddenly change the market you are working in.
Really understanding your target customer and what it is that makes them want to buy from you can put you in a stronger position to compete.
For example the enforcement of GDPR earlier this year may well have left your email database pretty depleted and you wondering how you are going to reach customers going forward.
Is there anyone you could partner with? A business with a similar target audience and fulfilling a similar need or job for that target audience?
You could piggyback one another's channels to market. I am NOT talking sharing each other’s data here!!! I mean working as partners. Putting on your thinking caps to come up with innovative ways to delight your customers and start rebuilding your respective mailing lists as well as getting new customers straight off. They could be one of those indirect competitors I talked about yesterday.
For example you could be a restaurant and you could be looking to partner with a fresh food delivery company. Are there innovative ways you could work together to reach and satisfy your joint target customer need for a quality food experience?
To be in the best position to make the most of this opportunity you need to have objectives, know your target market and your value proposition.