Great strategy is the foundation for marketing and business successes – and great strategy is what we produce. From brand strategy, to creative strategy, to media strategy, to experience strategy and more. No matter the type of strategy, they all require a comprehensive understanding of your potential customers so that your business can sell to them.
How do people think and behave, and why? Which types of people are important to achieve business growth, and which are not? What social, cultural, societal, categorical and technological forces are shaping their actions, views and expectations? What messages and experiences will win in both subconscious and conscious thought and activities? While a brand strategy likely has a more macro scope than other types of strategy, these are some of the critical questions we work to answer for any assignment. A great strategy, no matter the type, has a 360 degree understanding of people with a focused application.
Once we truly understand people, we can then create tenacious communications that drive marketing and business success.
Brand strategy is about articulating, or rearticulating, a brand. It’s about uncovering an idea that is authentic to your company and services, resonant in culture, differentiating in your category and emotionally provocative to your consumers. When done well, a brand strategy can last a very long time.
Creative strategy is focused on applying your brand to develop a unique platform that is agnostic to specific media but can be expressed in any channel. Creative strategies tend to be refreshed either annually, when there is a new product launch, or if there is a need to sell existing product.
A communications strategy aims to uncover the buying journey of your consumers and assign specific roles for marketing assets within. These strategies might also inform how to best leverage a media and production budget, and often is integrated with a media strategy. This process occurs as part of the development of a marketing campaign.
Media strategy is the art of determining the best allocation of your marketing dollars across the most potent channels from online to offline media, and even uncovering and creating new opportunities. Media strategy requires balancing new options with proven ones, while ensuring that your key brand and/or performance metrics can be accomplished.
Business strategy is about uncovering product, price and distribution opportunities to generate additional revenue or identify ways to consolidate and increase efficiency. Business strategies can be specific projects, but also the result of ongoing engagements.
Experience strategy, sometimes called consumer experience (CX), identifies both gaps and opportunities for improvement within a buyer journey, and how to deliver a best -in-class experience. This work can be in tandem with technologists and can be a one-time initiative, or ongoing.
Content strategy is laser-focused on understanding what your audience is interested in, knowing when to deliver it and what channel or medium is most appropriate. Content strategies can be included in marketing campaigns but can also be separate initiatives.
Social strategy strives to create efficient and effective marketing in social channels. It identifies the topics and content that will capture your target’s mind and activity, but also uncovers the best tactics to leverage within each channel.
We have a rigorous, but flexible, strategy model called “STP-M”. It ensures that we have all the data to make informed marketing and business decisions. Specifically:
Segmentation research to understand the market and identify mutually exclusive buyer groups (and non-buyers). Segmentation work yields the best results when the entire consumer market is surveyed, not limited to known customer bases. This effort may include upfront qualitative work, or only rely upon a quantitative survey.
Once we understand the market, we identify and prioritize different targets, including their size and potential business value.
Once target(s) have been prioritized by business value, the goal is to craft a position in the market. Qualitative methodologies, such as focus groups, one on one interviews, or ethnographies (e.g. in-store intercepts or shop-alongs) can empower us with invaluable learnings and reactions to initial ideas and/or hypotheses. Our consumer learnings are then integrated with other insight buckets, such as culture, the category and your company, resulting in objective and robust brand and sales marketing.
The final stage is developing a marketing plan. This initiative identifies opportunities across the 4Ps (product, place, price, and positioning) that are best suited to drive business success within the budget parameters.
We create efficiencies by leveraging any existing knowledge and research, and complete only the phases that are relevant to a client’s specific needs.
Best of all, we work hard to complete strategy work fast so that it can be applied to your marketing efforts.