You are currently viewing Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategy – Plan, Implement, Optimize

Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategy – Plan, Implement, Optimize

Your business needs customers and if you want to be successful, your customers should be your brand advocates. To make that happen, you need a lead retention and lead generation strategy. To get your target persona to even know that you exist, you require brand awareness. Then you’ve got nurturing, and then there are several marketing channels to choose from and prioritize. And in general, the amalgamation of all these and more is what we know as a marketing strategy.

Nearly 50% of small business owners have next to no marketing strategy. And, astonishingly, 95% of the employees do not have a clue about why a company is going ahead with a strategy.

(Source: Stress, Time & Growth: Factors Affecting Small Busines Marketing in 2019)

If you are one of these, you should go ahead with a professional marketing strategy consultant who can guide you because the main question is – do you have a plan?

It’s one thing to say you have an overview of what you need from your marketing team but is your strategy in line with all the stakeholders onboard? Are you tapping into the right marketing channels to the best of your team’s abilities? If you have the strategy in place, do you have the right short and long-term marketing plan? Is your marketing strategy yet another cost center or do you have a robust plan that plays a crucial role in achieving your business goals?

So, let’s dive deep into the crux of all these burning questions that give sleepless nights to leadership, anxiety to marketing managers, and tons of complaints to the sales team. Just kidding, where would we be without sales?

So, what is Marketing Strategy?

Academically, a well-defined marketing strategy is a roadmap to reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.

But before you get cracking, you need to answer a very simple question – how?

In 2024, the omnichannel marketing strategy will take the crown. Why? Well, because the perception of marketing in today’s world has changed drastically. Your target audience knows exactly when they are being persuaded.

And if you are still investing in non-personalized ads or buyer-persona-less content, well, you will soon see marketing as a cost center.

There is a reason why your content in ‘English; is not ENOUGH. Because you are only reaching out to 1/4 (25.9%) of the overall internet users. So, simply using a translation plugin (if you are using WordPress) to make your website multi-lingual would be an example of a simple yet successful marketing strategy. But this is different from a marketing plan!


Marketing Strategy VS Marketing Plan

Majorly used quite interchangeably, these two terms separate the strategists and task-masters. A marketing strategist takes into account micro/macro analytics of what needs to be incorporated to provide an overarching direction.

On the other hand, a marketing plan outlines specific actions, and resources required to execute the strategy. Additionally, it contains budgets and metrics to measure the success of the marketing strategy. Following is an example of a marketing goal, 6 strategies to achieve that goal, and 3-4 marketing plans for each strategy to be implemented.

Example of a Marketing Goal/ Objective:

  • Target tech-savvy millennials and position our brand as a premium, innovative smartphone provider offering cutting-edge features and exceptional user experience.

Objective-driven Marketing Plan Example

For the above strategy, the following is a sample level-1 marketing plan by dividing the overall strategy into smaller objectives.

Objective 1/6: Increase market share among millennials

Marketing Strategy: Develop targeted marketing campaigns to engage and convert millennials.

Marketing Plan:

  1. Conduct market research to understand millennial preferences, behaviors, and media consumption patterns.
  2. Create messaging and visuals that resonate with millennials and highlight key product features.
  3. Implement multi-channel marketing campaigns across social media platforms and online advertising.
  4. Track and analyze campaign performance to optimize targeting and messaging for maximum impact.
Objective 2/6: Enhance brand awareness and visibility

Marketing Strategy: Utilize digital channels and strategic partnerships to expand brand reach and exposure.

Marketing Plan:

  1. Develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy encompassing social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing.
  2. Collaborate with influential tech bloggers and content creators to amplify brand visibility and reach new audiences.
  3. Leverage strategic partnerships with popular tech publications or online platforms for product reviews and endorsements.
Objective 3/6: Establish the brand as a leader in innovation and design

Marketing Strategy: Emphasize cutting-edge features, sleek design, and user experience.

Marketing Plan:

  1. Create marketing collaterals showcasing research and development done by us that enable us to innovate the latest and greatest smartphone features and functionalities.
  2. Communicate the brand’s commitment and testimonials from our Alpha testers to showcase design excellence and user-centric experience through marketing materials and campaigns.
  3. Design N categories of product photography, slides and videos and post them on the website, social media, and promotional materials.
Objective 4/6: Foster customer loyalty and advocacy

Marketing Strategy: Showcase our brand’s customer-centric approach through personalized engagement and loyalty programs.

Marketing Plan:

  1. Integrate with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to capture customer data and insights and close the feedback loop with them with less than 24-hour TAT.
  2. Design personalized customer experiences for the entire customer lifecycle, including pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase stages.
  3. Launch a customer loyalty program offering exclusive benefits, discounts and rewards for repeat purchases and referrals.
  4. Encourage user-generated content and testimonials to drive positive word-of-mouth and brand advocacy. Social media team to engage with top content pieces on a weekly basis.
Objective 5/6: Expand distribution channels

Marketing Strategy: Establish partnerships with mobile carriers, online retailers, and brick-and-mortar stores.

Marketing Plan:

  1. Conduct market research to identify potential distribution partners that align with the target market and brand positioning.
  2. Develop partnership proposals and pitch to mobile carriers, e-commerce platforms, and retail stores.
  3. Negotiate mutually beneficial agreements with selected partners to ensure the widespread availability of products.
  4. Provide training and marketing support to distribution partners to enhance brand representation and sales staff knowledge.
Objective 6/6: Measure and optimize marketing performance

Marketing Strategy: Utilize data analytics to track key metrics and refine marketing strategies.

Marketing Plan:

  1. Set up data analytics tools to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales, conversion rates, website traffic, and customer satisfaction.
  2. Conduct regular data analysis to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.
  3. Adjust marketing strategies and tactics based on data insights to optimize campaign effectiveness and ROI.
  4. Continuously monitor and report on marketing performance to stakeholders.

Please note that this is just a summary, the plan gets more specific. It includes KPI/KRA trackers for each team member, timelines of each task, and much more. And I sincerely hope that you guys are conducting daily/weekly/monthly standups to discuss the progress and meticulously optimize the plan.

Personally, to create marketing plans, Notion has been my go-to productivity tool. Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into the process of creating the right strategy!

5 Steps to Create a Marketing Strategy

Creating a marketing strategy involves several key steps that shape your overall approach. Let’s take a closer look at each step:

Step 1. Identify your goals & check the feasibility

Clearly define your marketing goals. In the next 3 months, do you aim to increase website unique visitors from XYZ country by N%, generate N leads, or improve MQL to SQL conversion rate by N%? Set specific and measurable targets to track your progress.

The contributing factors could be your current team strength and knowledge, marketing budget, and above all, if the ROAS (Return on Ad Spends) or ROI shows you moving in a cash-positive direction. If these make sense, it means you have a strategy viable for discussion!

Step 2. Know your target audience

Conduct market research to understand your target audience’s demographics, preferences, and pain points. Utilize tools like surveys, focus groups, and customer interviews to gather valuable insights.

The buyer persona(s) you need to target will be crucial for personalized and omnichannel marketing. Identifying the real customers, consumers and influencers can make or break your strategy.

Buyer Persona Example

Here’s an example of a detailed buyer persona for a SaaS product head. This persona includes various attributes and characteristics that can be used for omnichannel targeting:

Buyer Persona: SaaS Product Head

  • Name: Alex Parker
  • Age: 35-45
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Job Title: VP of Product Management
  • Company Type: Enterprise-level SaaS company
  • Industry: Technology
  • Drive product innovation and development to stay ahead of competitors
  • Increase operational efficiency and productivity within the organization
  • Achieve business growth and revenue targets
  • Managing a complex product portfolio with multiple teams and stakeholders
  • Ensuring seamless integration and interoperability across various SaaS solutions
  • Balancing short-term deliverables with long-term product vision
  • Staying updated on the latest industry trends and advancements
  • Identifying opportunities for process optimization and cost savings
  • Enhancing customer experience and satisfaction through innovative product offerings
Information Sources:
  • Technology and industry-related publications such as TechCrunch, Wired, and Product Management Today
  • Professional networking platforms like LinkedIn and industry-specific forums
  • Attendance at conferences, webinars, and industry events focused on product management and SaaS
Preferred Communication Channels:
  • Email newsletters with valuable industry insights and best practices
  • Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter for professional networking and industry updates
  • Webinars and online forums for knowledge sharing and interactive discussions
  • Personalized and targeted content on the company’s website or blog
Key Messaging and Content:
  • Highlight the SaaS product’s ability to streamline complex product management processes and increase team collaboration
  • Emphasize the integration capabilities and interoperability with other popular SaaS tools in the market
  • Showcase case studies and success stories of similar enterprise-level SaaS companies to demonstrate the value and ROI
  • Provide thought leadership content on industry trends, best practices, and product management strategies
  • Offer product demonstrations and free trials to allow hands-on experience with the SaaS solution
example of buyer persona for a saas product head showcasing how marketing strategy is important for omni-channel targeting
Omnichannel Targeting:
  • LinkedIn: Target Alex with sponsored posts, dynamic ads, InMail messages, and relevant content shared on professional groups and communities. Engage with Alex’s content on LinkedIn.
  • Email Marketing: Send personalized email campaigns featuring product updates, industry insights, and exclusive offers with relevant blogs and downloadables.
  • Webinars: Host webinars on product management best practices and invite Alex to participate as a speaker or attendee.
  • Social Media: Share blog posts, industry news, and product-related content on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Conference Sponsorships: Participate in SaaS conferences, product management summits, and exhibitions attended by professionals like Alex.
  • Website Personalization: Tailor the website experience to create webpages, help articles, guides, lead magnets, and case studies based on Alex’s role and interests.

By understanding the goals, challenges, motivations, preferred communication channels, and information sources of the target buyer persona, an omnichannel marketing approach can be implemented to effectively engage and target the SaaS product head, Alex Parker.

Step 3. Optimize value proposition & brand messaging that resonate with your ICP

Develop a compelling value proposition that highlights your USP (Unique selling proposition). Clearly articulate why your ICPs should choose you over competitors. Before you start putting out a marketing statement and asking your team to just publish as much content as they can, work on categorizing how you plan to showcase your brand. This way your messaging stays consistent across all the platforms.

Example of Value Proposition

Let’s take the example of a (made-up) POS provider – RetailEase.

The overall business statement for RetailEase may look something like this. You can have a more concise or very detailed version of the following on multiple platforms – website, social media, business listings, etc.

“At RetailEase POS, we revolutionize the way small retail businesses operate by providing an all-in-one, user-friendly point-of-sale solution that streamlines operations, boosts sales, and enhances customer experiences. Unlike our competitors, we offer a unique combination of advanced features, seamless integrations, and exceptional customer support that makes us the preferred choice for retail success.”

image that embodies the spirit of revolutionizing small retail businesses with RetailEase POS demonstrating its value propositions for small retail businesses
Tailored for Retail Success

RetailEase POS is purpose-built for small retail businesses, addressing the specific pain points they face. Our intuitive and feature-rich solution covers inventory management, sales tracking, customer data, employee management, and more, ensuring every aspect of your retail operation is streamlined and optimized for success.

Enhanced Sales and Customer Experiences

With RetailEase POS, you can effortlessly manage transactions, process payments, and offer personalized customer experiences. Our system provides real-time inventory visibility, enabling you to prevent stockouts, offer seamless click-and-collect options, and provide accurate product information to enhance customer satisfaction and drive repeat sales.

Seamless Integrations

We understand the importance of integrating with other essential tools in your retail ecosystem. RetailEase POS seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software, e-commerce platforms, and payment gateways, allowing you to centralize data and streamline operations. You can easily sync sales data, automate inventory updates, and simplify financial reporting, saving time and eliminating manual errors.

Dedicated Support and Training

At RetailEase POS, we prioritize customer success. Our dedicated support team provides timely assistance and training to ensure you make the most of our solution. Whether you need help with onboarding, troubleshooting, or advanced feature implementation, our experts are available via phone, email, WhatsApp and live chat to provide personalized assistance and ensure a smooth experience.

Cost-Effective and Scalable

We understand the budget constraints of small businesses, which is why RetailEase POS offers flexible pricing plans that scale with your growth. Our solution eliminates the need for expensive hardware and reduces manual work, allowing you to optimize operational costs while expanding your business. As you grow, our system easily adapts to accommodate additional stores and locations.

Proven Success Stories

RetailEase POS has a track record of success with numerous small retail businesses across the industry. Our satisfied clients have achieved tangible benefits, such as increased sales of up to N%, improved inventory management, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Our case studies and testimonials highlight real-world examples of how RetailEase POS empowers retailers to thrive.

By presenting these specific benefits and features tailored to small retail businesses, RetailEase POS sets itself apart from competitors. The value proposition emphasizes the system’s user-friendly design, comprehensive functionality, seamless integrations, dedicated support, scalability, and proven success stories. This targeted messaging clearly articulates why small retail businesses should choose RetailEase POS to unlock their full potential and achieve retail success.

Step 4. Select the appropriate marketing channels

This is THE most crucial component of the strategy. Based on your target audience and goals, determining the most effective marketing channels to reach and engage with your audience is a must! In simple terms, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin just in hopes that you will throw everything at the wall and maybe something will stick. That’s a really bad approach.

But let’s talk more about these channels in detail in the section – ‘Types of Marketing Strategies’.

Step 5. Set measurable objectives, Implement and monitor

Once you finalize the activities, your goal has to be documented in a way that the entire execution team understands their individual goals and is able to contribute. And do not simply tell them, “hey, this is what you need to do.”

Create a marketing plan, and then check which variables will impact your end result and how can you optimize those variable components. And when you are in the execution phase, make sure that you periodically analyze data, measure key performance indicators(KPIs), and make adjustments as needed to optimize your marketing efforts.

If you need help with it, just let me know!

Types of Marketing Strategies – Inbound + Outbound

There are tons of resources already available on the internet, which can give you a list of all the types of marketing. So, while I was preparing this section of the guide, I wanted to go one step forward. So, instead of simply listing down the various types, I will let you know how you can get started with these strategies. Additionally, being a huge fan and an active user of hundreds of Marketing technologies, I will also recommend a few tools for you to get started, and optimize your current marketing operations.

Basically, you, as a reader, will not get not just a gist of what different types of marketing strategies are, but more importantly, how you can create them and personalize them as per your business requirements.

You can classify the entire marketing into 2 main categories:

  1. Inbound Marketing
  2. Outbound marketing
Image showcasing the difference and connection between inbound and outbound marketing strategy.

Now here is something to note – effective marketing cannot be simply classified into these 2 segments. For instance, if you create a blog, that is part of your inbound strategy – content and SEO. You convert it into a carousel and then run ads on them, that is outbound. So, even though these are all separate marketing channels, you can bet that both inbound and outbound marketing need to run hand-to-hand if you want to achieve the best results.

Following are some 2 examples of how you can leverage both of them together!

Example of Inbound + Outbound Marketing Plan

Here are 2 examples of quick-to-implement inbound marketing strategies for you to improve your conversions!

A. Formulize your CTA placements

I have a rule of thumb, especially with website inbound marketing. Let’s say you have created a guide or eBook of 4,000 words, just like the one you’re currently reading. I try to insert one CTA after every 800 words.

Now this strategy can be a bit subjective based on the content you are producing. And multiple CTAs only make sense when your content is taking the visitor to different routes and your messaging is different for all of them.

So, considering that you are using Google Sheets for your content calendar to plan and manage the operations, add another column with the heading – CTA and use the formula:


In this formula, AG2 is the word count of your page and your writer/designer needs to work around the content in those areas to make way for the CTA.

With this simple strategy, you can quantify MarkOps and increase your conversion rate.

B. Embed Actionable forms

The goal of an inbound marketing strategy is to shorten the path of a target audience from becoming a customer. Let’s say, you are a high-touch SaaS business and you want your target audience to schedule demos with you.

The traditional way is to have a ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Schedule Demo’ button/link which will take you to a different page where you will fill out the form and then the next step will be long email threads after which 80% of the interested audience will simply drop-off because of the tedious process.

So, instead of taking the email route where your objective is just to schedule a demo, directly embed the calendar. You can use Calendly or HubSpot meetings for that! You saw one of the examples in the above section where I had embedded a HubSpot meeting form. Another example would be CTA with a pop-up form so they stay on the current page. Following is an example of a Calendly popup text.

C. Set event-based conversion audience for retargeting

Now create a custom audience on social media channels using the pixels so you can retarget the visitors who clicked on your CTAs. Do not forget to add a custom audience list so you are not showing the same ads to those who have scheduled demos with you. And that is an example of how you optimize your outbound campaign.

Also, this goes without saying but based on the feedback you receive from the account manager or sales reps, who give the demo, you can change the form design, be it questions, form layout, or automated workflows.

Inbound and Outbound Marketing Tools Strategy

There are a range of tools to choose from. Here is a slide containing some of the MarTech tools I like to show during my demo. Now all the following may not be relevant for you but this is just to showcase a handful of tools I have expertise in. Now there is a reason why even I am not 100% satisfied with the categorization below. For instance, I have kept Ahrefs as a competitor research and analysis tool but it can be used for analytics and reporting. So, there is not a fine line but when you are working on a marketing plan, you need to clearly define exactly which tool you will use and what will it be used for by the team members.

Without getting into what each of these tools does, let me give you an example of how the right tools can save you time, and money and automate your marketing flow.

Example of how to use Inbound & Outbound marketing tools the right way

When it comes to inbound marketing overall, I would recommend HubSpot Marketing Hub and CRM Hub. Its free version along with a CMS like WordPress can be good enough for almost 80% of businesses. But if you are scaling up further and do not want to pay a premium for HubSpot, there is a cheaper alternative like Zoho One subscription that can take care of your entire business needs! Then you have other options like LeadSquared, PipeDrive, Zendesk Sell, and many more. But your choice will be based on the type of inbound marketing campaign(s) you will be running.

CRMs will be valid for outbound as well but you would like to see lead data on it instead of the ICPs. What I suggest is – to keep your ICP data in 3rd party tools like or Saleshandy for email marketing, Dripify or Expandi for LinkedIn outbound marketing. Once you acquire a lead from these tools, you can use automation tools like Zapier or Make to push relevant lead data to the CRMs so your sales team can take over and close the deals while the marketing team continues to supply them with quality leads.

Types of Marketing Channels

Now that we know an overview of the two main strategies, let’s jump into channels. The end goal of every business is to run 360-degree marketing or omnichannel marketing. it may sound cool but in reality, it takes much more than what you might think. We are talking about individual resources – both team and tools, then we need the right process so we can have smooth operations, and of course, we need the budget! And when all these things come together, you get the perfect omnichannel marketing.

For early-stage startups or SMEs, it is NEVER a good option to diversify too much. You can do a few one-time setups and place automation wherever required. However, if you are asking your team to manage your social media, content marketing, SEO, partnerships, newsletter, etc, well, I hate to break this to you but you are looking at a disaster! So, without further ado, let’s jump to the different marketing channels you can use and see which ones are the best for you and which tools can help you make the most out of them.

1. Content Marketing

I think this is one of the most well-known yet misunderstood marketing channels. In short, content marketing is about offering informative personalized blog posts, engaging videos, and helpful resources to organically draw potential customers to your brand.

If you take a look at the first and the last row of the following table, you will see an interesting correlation. Only 40% of B2B companies do not have a documented content marketing strategy and unsurprisingly, almost the same (42%) are able to generate sales/revenue from it!

Source: 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021

Simply pushing out bulk AI blogs and calling it content marketing is never going to work. And don’t get me started on using ChatGPT or Claude to write blogs for you. I can give you a million reasons why that is the worst path.

So, how to do it right, you may ask?

Before you start churning out content, you need a detailed content calendar containing a list of all the pillars, clusters and distribution plans you have for your content. Whether you need to create fresh content or leverage the age of old URLs and edit/update/optimize it, will be all part of it.

Content Marketing Tools

Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush can help you identify your best content, and help you point in the direction of the changes you need to make. Also, you can dive into your competitor’s content strategy and see how you can improve your approach. For publishing, WordPress/ Framer as a CMS, Canva/ Crello for designing infographics, and Buffer to create, optimize, and distribute your content is the way to pull off an organized and effective content marketing strategy.

2. MQL Engagement Strategy

You will always have tons of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) who have shown interest in your offerings but are not ready to make a purchase. For this audience, it is crucial that you have a sound strategy to nurture them. We know about the term – consideration in the marketing funnel. But the question is – how to engage your MQLs the right way?

Once you have a buyer persona, you need to create personalized content. By that I mean, that if I see that a significant percentage of my product sign-ups are coming from SaaS founders, I will conduct webinars, create actionable lead magnets, and offer valuable resources, to show how my B2B marketing consultation is relevant to them. This has 2 benefits:

  1. You work on demand generation, i.e. you imbibe a sentiment of why your ICPs and/or MQLs need a solution
  2. When they are ready to make a decision, you will be the first choice that they will recommend during the next team meeting.

MQL Engagement Tools

Remarketing is my favourite method. You can use the LinkedIn Insight tag, Facebook pixel, and Twitter Pixel to run targeted dynamic ads. Your email marketing tools like Apollo or can be used to distribute valuable content and resources that will be relevant to your ICPs. Zoom webinars and LinkedIn Live can help schedule and manage webinars and address the challenges faced by your target personas.

Within HubSpot CRM, you can categorize all these contacts based on where they are in the funnel and segment them into relevant contact lists. Now these contact lists can be based on country, industry, designation, or a combination of all of them.

3. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

in 2024, social media platforms offer incredible opportunities for businesses to connect with their audience, build brand awareness, and drive engagement. By leveraging platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can interact with your customers, share content that sparks an emotion, and showcase your brand’s personality.

Now here’s one thing – before you start your SMM, you need to have a clear plan of the types of content you will be generating – will they be usual single image posts which will take the least amount of time for design but more for copy-writing? or will you go ahead with carousel ads? or is it going to be a video? So, which one is it going to be?

image comprising of three distinct sections, each dedicated to representing one of the three types of social media content - single image, carousal and video

There are other things to consider as well. Only posting social media posts will not get you very far. You need to showcase your competitive advantage in your social media posts. And more importantly, you need to engage with your audience so they know that this is not a one-way communication. Engage in giveaways, get on top of trending topics and share your opinions. Sounds pretty simple, right? Actually, it is! but you need a well-defined SMM plan for this. And if you don’t, let me tell you what’s going to happen. You or your team will post a few social media posts on New Year and Christmas, share the blogs on social media, and that would be it.

Influencer marketing

A well-executed influencer marketing campaign can generate an average earned media value of $5.20 for every dollar spent.

Apart from your own posts, for hyper-growth, partnering up with influencers could be part of your primary social media strategy. By collaborating with influencers, you can tap into their audience and leverage their trust to promote your products or services. And if the influencer has a strong following and influence in your industry, it can significantly expand your reach and credibility. You can further increase your revenue by connecting influencer marketing and affiliate marketing. You can see it nowadays, where almost every big influencer is simply mentioning the product they use in their YouTube descriptions or Instagram captions.

The long-term goal of SMM is to build a loyal community that is more than just your customers but they are your brand advocates. And to achieve that, you will need a plan of action!

Social Media Marketing Tools

Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer are some of the best social media management tools that can help streamline your social media marketing efforts. Then there are tools like that will help your SMM team to improve their productivity and engage with similar-minded individuals and companies.

If you want some inspiration to create social media posts, you can check out TaplioX. it can help you create, post and schedule your social media calendar. Other options like and Sendible can help you with content planning and SMM team management. Obviously, you do not have to use all of them at once, but based on your team’s current bandwidth, and your SMM goals, it is crucial that you have a clear-cut plan of how active you want to be on social media platforms and what is the end result you want.

For influencer and affiliate marketing programs, you can choose influencer platforms. Upfluence, AspireIQ, and Traackr can help you find and connect with relevant influencers to execute your influencer marketing campaigns.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results is critical for increasing your online visibility and driving organic traffic. By implementing effective SEO strategies such as keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building, you can boost your website’s visibility and attract relevant visitors.

SEO goes hand-in-hand with content marketing and if you are separating the two from one another, I can guarantee you that in the long run, as generative search engines take over the searches, it’s not going to bode well for your inbound marketing.

Also, search engine optimization is a very volatile area. Basically, search engines and SEO experts play a game of cat and mouse. SEO experts are like organic growth hackers trying to game search engine algorithms and search engines try to catch up with them. And when the latter happens, it’s time for experts to identify and adapt to the changes again. And since 2023, there’s another talk in the SEO town – generative engine optimization (GEO).

That is why it is important for businesses to have a future-proof plan. So, if you are still paying for 200-300 high DA backlinks on Fiverr or Instagram, just STOP! Because you are just 1 Google update away from getting penalized. The right way to do it is co-marketing and A-B-C backlinking.

SEO Tools

You can use SEMRush, Moz and Ahrefs for intent-based content planning and backlinking. There are other tools like Ranktracker but it is part of Ahrefs. Then there is LSI graph that can advise you on the long-tail keywords. Again, you can get it in Ahrefs as well.

One of my favourite tools is the Domain Authority history checker which shows the overall change in the DA of any website. Club the numbers with results from GSC (Google Search Console) with Google Analytics GA4 to track the results and optimize your SEO strategy.

5. Email Marketing

if done right, email marketing can get you an average of $72 for every dollar.

(Source: 2023. Report – Email, SMS, and push marketing statistics for e-commerce, Omnisend)

Primarily, there are 3 types of emails you will be sending out. Let’s understand what each of them are and I will share a few tips and tricks you can implement if you plan to, or if you are already running these email campaigns:

A. Transactional emails

Unlike the name suggests, transactional emails are not just post-purchase emails but are more like trigger-based. For instance, if someone books a calendar, they get an email followed by a few other emails which you can create in a workflow. The triggers can be downloading a lead magnet, registering for your webinar or even newsletters.

B. Newsletters

Newsletters are part of your engagement and retention strategy where you share new product features, relevant information and trends in the market, and plug a few interesting content you developed. it enables you to directly communicate with your audience and nurture leads but the email copy must be top-notch. There are ways to make newsletters interesting, for instance, you can have a series dedicated to upskilling your newsletter subscribers.

One of the best examples of B2C newsletters is the daily and weekly newsletter by Groww called Groww Digest where they pick a 6-day course around a specific theme. If you are into investments in India, I would strongly recommend you to sign up for it, or no matter where you are, your B2C business can learn a lot from it.

Source: Groww Digest. Daily/Weekly newsletter by Groww

C. Cold emails

Are you pitching to your ICP via email? Here’s a tip: do not make it a 1000-word long-form content. Show your value proposition, and hyper-personalize it using tools like Clay so it feels like the email has been created especially for the recipient and it is not just another bulk email. Next thing – before you launch your cold email campaign, warm up your IDs and have multiple versions of the email and sequences so your email doesn’t get spam-flagged.

Email Marketing Tools

Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and Constant Contact are popular email marketing platforms that provide features like automation, segmentation, and analytics. Then you have and to work as CRM and cold email tools. And on the date of writing this, my favourite tool for data enrichment would be Clay. For newsletters and transaction emails, you can choose HubSpot. For automation and workflows, you may have to subscribe to their paid plans, but if you want to test your newsletters and see if you getting some good read-time, Hubspot email should be more than enough.

6. Thought Leadership Strategy

Thought leadership strategy involves positioning yourself or your business as a trusted authority in your industry. By sharing valuable insights, participating in industry events, and publishing authoritative content like surveys and reports, you can establish yourself as a go-to resource.

There are more ways to do that. You can launch a podcast like I have done with Market Pod where I discuss strategies relevant to my target audience.

You can collaborate with your peers, even your direct and indirect competitors. Here is an example of me being featured in a monthly ABM newsletter – Dashdot by StrategicABM where I shared my views on the topic – how AI will change ABM?

Tools: LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, and SlideShare are platforms where you can share your thought leadership content and reach a wider audience.

7. Audio-Video Strategy

There is a high chance that you are only focusing on those blogs and super-heavy guides and e-books. That is great, but undermining alternate content like audio and video, especially in the age of low attention span could become your Achilles’ heel in the long run.

Over 91% of businesses were using videos, back in 2016, and I am sure you must have seen videos of your competitors pop up on your LinkedIn or somewhere in your feed. And if you are on the other side of the table, it is you – who is creating those videos.
Now, here’s the biggest mistake that you may commit – NOT SETTING THE GOAL.

Why are you creating the video? Is it to improve your brand awareness and run ads? Do you want to embed the video on your highest-traffic blog page to increase the session time and decrease the bounce rate? Do you want to use it as a WoW factor in the events you are going to?

Depending on your goal, your production quality and audio/video distribution strategy will be a crucial factor so your content doesn’t become yet another archive in the internet grave.

So, is Viral Marketing the goal of Audio/video marketing?

The question that I get asked a lot by business owners is – Why on earth are we doing video marketing if it doesn’t viral?

Well, to that question – how do you want to go viral? Do you want us to touch on a super-sensitive topic? Because that is one way. I’m sure, that’s not what you’d want!

The other one is to tap into other emotions of the viewers, which will take more time. And the third one is – spend! There is a long list of viral video-related myths you must know if you can relate to this question. Because there is NO FORMULA to get viral! Yes, there are techniques but they may work for you and may not work for you.

But, if done right, you can easily quantify your returns from the videos and for that, you need to know what you desire from the videos you are creating.
And yes, it can be as simple as a 2-D explainer video just to showcase your product or service, or it can involve running a million-dollar ad where you will be investing in an influencer and ultra-high video production setup.

The bottom line is that podcasts and video content are not slowing down anytime soon. And it’s never too late to start if you haven’t already. In fact, you can start with even a solo podcast. But here’s the best part – no matter how big or small you are as a team, audio/video marketing is another channel that will make marketing fun for you and yes, it is for everyone!

How to get started with podcast and video marketing?

Incorporating an audio-video strategy helps you engage with your audience on a deeper level. By creating informative or funny videos around your genre, hosting thought-provoking podcasts, or even conducting webinars that give attendees value, you can not only captivate your audience and establish a stronger connection. but also showcase how you or your brand is different from your competitors!

Tools: This is a no-brainer but for video-hosting platforms, you can use YouTube and Vimeo. And for podcasts, Spotify and Anchor (now called Spotify for Podcasters) are my favorites. For editing, you can use Final Cut Pro or keep it as simple as using iMovie or Canva to begin with. And when it comes to audio quality, Adobe Enhance would be my strongest recommendation to make your audio recordings sound studio-level clear.

8. Marketing Communications Strategy

Not having a brand differentiation sends you down a vicious spiral. These are not words – let me tell you how. You have done great inbound marketing and people are visiting your website, however, during the consideration stage, they would want to visit your website or check out your social footprint, and the biggest turn-off they can get is seeing your brand voice all over the place. And this can be a big deal breaker, especially if your business model is high-touch wherever every touchpoint will act as a checklist before someone fixes the deal with you.

Sounds easy, right? Actually, it is, if you do it correctly. A well-crafted marketing communications strategy ensures consistent and effective messaging across various channels. It encompasses marketing channels like paid ads, public relations (PR), social media, content marketing, emails, and all external communications by your marketing and sales team.

Tools: To communicate your brand’s core values and key messages, start first with internal communications on how you want them to see your brand. You can try using internal communication tools like Slack, Discord or even WhatsApp to create channels so you can have a dedicated messaging strategy in place. So, before you jump into external communication, streamline your internal communication within your marketing, sales, and even account management team so you have a common marketing communication guideline for the entire organization.

9. Paid Advertising and Remarketing Strategy

One way to put paid advertising and remarketing strategies is ways to get quick wins. Right bidding strategy with targeting can put you miles ahead in the performance marketing game. But it may not be for everyone at every stage, especially if you’re competing with giants in your industry.

But overall, PPC helps you reach a wider audience and remarketing, as the name suggests, enables you to engage users who have previously shown interest in your products or services.

Now there are various ways to target, search engine search results, display ads, social media, and media buying. By leveraging platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and display advertising networks like AdRoll, you can target and retarget your preferred audience.

There are 2 ways to get started with performance marketing:

  1. Kick off a campaign and learn from your own mistakes.
  2. Get an expert onboard. if possible a full-time performance marketer or at least have someone in the team who can guide you through.

I would strongly recommend that you do not use the first method because even though you may consider yourself as an industry expert, there is a high chance that clicking/ not checking that 1 setting in Google search ads setup could send your hard-earned cash down the drain within 10 minutes of your ad getting approved. So, just be cautious before you hit that ‘Play‘ button! **Talking from experience in my early days!!**

Image showing Google search and display network representing the importance of right settings for optimum performance marketing

Tools: Google Ads, Facebook Ads Manager, and Google Analytics can provide insights and enable you to effectively manage your paid advertising campaigns.

11. Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy

We’ve all been there where without any incentive at all, we become the brand advocates of a product. The reason is very simple – the product/ service is so darn good!

The good old way of making a mark will never get old. Word-of-mouth marketing strategy harnesses the power of customer referrals and recommendations to generate positive buzz and attract new customers.

To enlist yourself in this tribe where your offerings become the de-facto recommendation if any one of your client’s connections faces an issue – that is the end goal of WoM marketing strategy.

Example of Word of Mouth Strategy

I am not going to mix influencer marketing with this where you could partner up with someone to talk about your brand, but talking about legitimate brand recommendations. One of the greatest examples is – how I am using a Keychron keyboard. And it’s simply because I saw MKBHD actually sharing why he liked this keyboard in one of his studio tour videos!

Now I am not saying that the KeyChron K6 keyboard doesn’t have its flaws. In fact, it does, and there are several issues raised by a lot of users over the years. But KeyChron’s exceptional customer service and active engagement with customers has got them another loyal customer – me!

Tools: Word of mouth can be tracked using 3 things – social listening tools, the efficiency of your affiliate and referral marketing strategy, and CX metrics. To track customer experience, you can use CSAT and NPS survey tools like SurveySensum. The good part about them is unlike any other CXM tool, their customer service a dedicated CX consultant will guide you through the way. There are other options like Qualtrics who provide this, however, I would not recommend them because of the high price point!

At the same time, if you would like to accelerate sales, you can always use tools like ReferralCandy, Ambassador, and Mention Me which are referral marketing platforms that can help you create and track your referral programs. This way, you can support your brand ambassadors and it’s a win-win!

Benefits of a Marketing Strategy

Implementing a well-defined and documented marketing strategy offers numerous benefits for businesses.

1. Increased ROI

I can list down several numbers and all sorts of marketing statistics from the likes of Ahrefs, CISCO, Backlinko, HubSpot, Hootsuite, and Search Engine Land, but the fact is – marketing can help you get those quick wins and get your long-term dividends.

If you are into paid campaigns, your goal needs to follow a very simple pattern – ROAS < ROI < Cash-flow. At the end of the day, marketing only works if it generates value and the right marketing is a mix of awareness but more importantly, if you do not want to double-question your decisions, make sure that you follow the ROI-driven marketing approach and rest everything will fall in place, which then become secondary benefits of a marketing strategy.

2. Enhanced brand visibility

Implementing effective marketing strategies such as SEO, ABM, social media marketing, and/or content marketing can increase your brand’s online visibility, leading to higher website traffic, WoM, and brand awareness. A combination of the right tactics gets you on top of searches and more importantly, you become the preferred choice when your prospect is ready to make that purchase.

Brand visibility comes automatically if your demand generation and thought leadership are on the right track. So, your marketing can be your backbone for lead generation overall while strengthening your brand position.

3. Customer engagement and loyalty

As we are diving deep into the AI era, you can bid adieu to the same old descriptive content, if you are not bringing to the table a unique perspective. And this is where personalized and relevant content will be your best friend!

And this does not only mean website personalization or chat or using a variable like {first name} and {company}. The days of using those and wooing your customers are long gone!

Think of it this way, even you would want to respond to a message that you feel is made for you! Right from strategies like email marketing, content, and thought leadership, you have to engage customers and laser-focus your actions to solve their problems.

Cold emails and messages are not dead, for sure but attention to detail and hyper-personalization, i.e. 1:1 messaging is more important than ever!

AI multi-modal chatbots have made things easy for your live chats, sending 1-to-1 messages and engaging with your customers is the new cool.

It’s weird to think that these are now being categorized as “old ways”. But sometimes old is gold and there is no better time than today to see the results of those old tricks for customer relationship management. Just automate your redundant and repetitive tasks using AI tools so your team can focus on what matters the most – the customers.

Do it right and see how your customers not only stick to your brand but stay loyal to you and even become promoters!

4. Competitive advantage – The moat

A carefully crafted marketing strategy enables you to differentiate your business from competitors. in the words of Warren Buffet, a moat is the competitive advantage that protects your long-term gains and market share.

Now this moat can be your pricing, patents, size advantage, migration cost, or even soft moats like your investment in customer service. And this stays true for marketing as well. You can have A-1 content, top-notch email newsletters, top-of-the-shelf video ideation and production, or loyal influencers and partners.

Even placing yourself as an environmentally conscious brand, especially if you are into manufacturing or via carbon offsetting can set you apart. Clubbed with good marketing communication, you set a moat around you that guards your brand in the present and the future.

5. Data-driven decision-making

A well-defined marketing strategy allows businesses to track and measure key performance metrics, enabling data-driven decision-making.

If someone classifies every metric not attached to ROI as a vanity metric, because it sounds cool, they have no idea of how marketing works. Yes, as a business leader, you don’t have to follow CTR but your marketing manager and copywriter do; so they can improve their copies and get more clicks. Session time is not relevant to the leadership directly but for website design and inbound team, it is extremely crucial.

For you, the primary metric will be the number of leads or MQL, number of SQLs, and ticket size along with gross margin, or CLTV depending on the size of your company and how involved you are with the day-to-day operations.

Right from initial to periodic audits and real-time dashboards, marketing strategy along with an actionable plan allows you a clear line of sight of what needs to be done by who, how the team needs to optimize ongoing campaigns, and when to just let things go!

These insights into your audience’s behaviors, preferences, and conversion patterns help your sales, marketing and overall business identify areas for improvement and allocate resources effectively.

6. Business scalability and sustainability

Your marketing, in itself, can become your moat, if and when it becomes a self-sustainable machine that drives revenue. The best part – the right marketing strategy helps you tap into growth and prepares your business for scalability.

Yes, both scaling and growth have different meaning in business. Growth is when your resources are proportional to revenue. On the other hand, you scale up when your revenue improves significantly with respect to the cost!

Source: QAREA. Blog – Scaling vs Growing in Startups

Marketing strategy enables businesses to establish a strong foundation. For instance, your content pillars once created will keep generating leads without you assigning a lot of content resources while you focus on creating moment marketing-related content and focus on optimization.

The brand awareness you will earn through event sponsorship and a memorable keynote will pay you dividends for a long time. Your Bid learning, once at its optimum level will get you the highest conversions, and in all cases, if you are consistent, you can expect your brand to stay at the top!

Marketing Strategy Mistakes – Don’ts of marketing

Creating and executing a marketing strategy is not an easy task. It requires careful planning, research, analysis, creativity, and evaluation. Moreover, it involves avoiding some common mistakes that can ruin your marketing plan and hurt your brand reputation.

Now that we are done with the advantages of marketing strategy, there are five of the most common don’ts of marketing strategy that you should avoid at all costs. I will also provide you with some examples and tips on how to avoid them and create a more effective and efficient marketing strategy for your business.

1. Take inspiration but Don’t copy your competitors

I can’t recall the number of times, I have heard this from the leaders – let’s copy-paste what X is doing! Now, I am all in for good ideas but copying them blatantly because someday you wake up with an idea bubble and plan to push it on your team – is not the way marketing strategy works.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, only 14% of companies that imitate their competitors’ strategies achieve above-average profitability, while 37% of companies that pursue differentiation do so.

Copying your competitors can also harm your brand image and reputation, as customers may perceive you as lacking innovation and originality. For example, in 2017, Pepsi released an ad featuring Kendall Jenner that was widely criticized for mimicking Coca-Cola’s iconic 1971 ad “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” and for trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement.

To avoid this mistake, you should focus on identifying your value. In branding terms, it’s about communicating your unique value proposition to your customers. You don’t have to put out a funny meme on your social media just because your competitor is doing so. Find out what is your marketing strength – now it will obviously depend on the team you have and the marketing strategy you have finalized!

What makes your products or services different from or better than your competitors? How do you solve your customers’ problems or fulfill their needs in a way that no one else can? dive deep into these questions. Preferably, conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to assess your competitive position and find ways to leverage your strengths and opportunities while minimizing your weaknesses and threats.


2. Don’t ignore your target audience

“This product can be used by retail managers, B2B SaaS founders, banks and NBFCs. So, we should target all of them” said every failed business.

According to a report by HubSpot, 68% of marketers say their top priority is generating more leads, but only 16% of marketers say their efforts are very effective. One of the reasons for this gap is that many marketers fail to understand and segment their target audience properly.

Without knowing who your ideal customers are, what they want, and how they behave, you cannot create effective marketing campaigns that resonate with them and persuade them to take action. Now you can create 300 pillars but not even a single one will have enough authority if you do not focus on one. Please remember – it’s not only about putting content out there on your website, it’s about adding value in every way possible for that target.

To avoid this mistake, conduct market research and use data to create buyer personas that represent your ideal customers.

Buyer personas are fictional profiles that include demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and situational information about your customers. They help you tailor your messages, offers, channels, and content to their specific needs and preferences. Use segmentation tools to divide your audience into smaller groups based on criteria such as location, age, gender, income, interests, purchase history, etc. This way, you can deliver more personalized and relevant marketing messages to each segment and increase your conversion rates. Build all sorts of materials from written content to videos, social media posts, ads, lead magnets, email marketing messages and if possible, events and webinars for them.


3. Don’t neglect your online presence

Your website and online presence are your 24×7 sales reps and you won’t want to disappoint your visitors when they finally check your stores.

Stanford University’s web credibility research stated that 75% of consumers judge a company’s credibility based on its website design. And this gets better – this research by Stanford is from 2004 – more than 2 decades. So, if you are still not updating your website and online presence, I am sorry to say, that that’s a cardinal marketing sin!

A poor or outdated website, social media profiles, or online reviews don’t just damage your credibility and visibility online and make you lose potential customers but also put your existing customers in a bad light. So, do them all and yourselves a favour and just get it updated!

If you’re already on top of that, that’s awesome. Additionally, you should regularly update your website with fresh and engaging content that showcases your products or services, testimonials, case studies, awards, etc. Keep it fresh so your website doesn’t show the copyright mark (©) with 5 5-year old date – let’s start with this. Then your header and footers need adjustment.

What if you don’t have a dedicated team for social media?

If you don’t have a dedicated social media team, it’s completely understandable that you will not be able to post daily. However, try to maintain an active and consistent presence on social media platforms. You can do this periodically. Start with monthly, then if and when you see a relevant opportunity, grab it and market it!

With a small team, it is not mandatory to be active everywhere like Threads or Mastodon, but where your target audience is most likely to be found. And while you are active, social media is a platform for 2-way interaction. So, please do not just share your blogs there if you don’t want to get unfollowed!

Monitor and respond to online reviews, both positive and negative, and encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback on platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, Twitter and/or Facebook. If you are a B2B SaaS company, keep a close eye on aggregator platforms like G2, Capterra, etc., and respond!


4. Don’t oversell or overpromise

Marketers have a tendency to go with the flow and sometimes, this comes to bite back. Your marketing claims need to be in line with your product and/or service. In the short-term, it may look like it is fetching your results but in the longer haul, it’s a nightmare.

According to a study by Label Insight (Neilson Consumer), 94% of consumers say they are loyal to brands that offer complete transparency.

Overselling or overpromising can result in disappointed customers who may leave negative reviews. This can damage your brand reputation and trustworthiness.

Always provide accurate and clear information about your products or services’ features, benefits, prices, availability, delivery times, etc. You should also set realistic expectations for your customers and communicate them clearly throughout the customer journey. And there are ways to market that as well.


5. Don’t spam or annoy your customers

Cold emails are a great way to generate quality leads if you or the tool you’re using has done the data mining correctly. But there are limits – you cannot expect your thought-provoking content to be received well if your email subscribers are not signed up for your newsletter. At the same time, too frequent cold calls and spam messages, just because someone viewed your website or app is not the right way to go about it.

Side note: if you are using the same tool for sending newsletter as cold emails, just stop!

According to a study by HubSpot, 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails.

Marketers need to respect their customers’ preferences and privacy and avoid sending them too many or irrelevant emails, ads, or messages. Spamming or annoying your customers can irritate them and make them unsubscribe or block you. It can reduce your email deliverability. And if you are not using the right tools, your cold email open rates, click-through rates and conversions, are bound to take a hit!

if you have a newsletter team, it’s best to leverage the organic traffic you have and ask them to sign up or opt in. While sending the emails, have a clear option of opting out of different types of messages, frequencies, and channels. Technically and professionally, this practice will incentivize your internal team members to create valuable and personalized content that adds value and builds trust with your customers.



In conclusion, a well-defined marketing strategy is essential for businesses looking to achieve sustainable growth, build brand awareness, and forge meaningful connections with their target audience.

By exploring various types of marketing strategies, leveraging online tools and software, and tailoring your approach to suit your business goals and target audience, you can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that sets you apart from competitors.

Remember, a successful marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment, analyze, and adapt your approach based on real-time data and feedback. Embrace the power of technology and automation tools to optimize your marketing operations and stay ahead of the curve.

So, go ahead and create your marketing strategy, unleash the full potential of your business, and forge meaningful connections with your audience. With the right strategy and tools at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to achieving marketing success.