So what is marketing? Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Although we are in a digital age it is good to remember an overall marketing strategy encompasses various opportunities and environments, not just digital marketing (like social media and SEO). We find so called marketing experts frequently discussed the digital channels, and other opportunities are not explored.

Developing an effective marketing strategy can be a daunting task for many businesses, especially those new to business. Recognizing the significance of having a marketing plan is the first step. Having a professional guide you through the process is great, although not everyone is at this stage to be able to. For this reason we have developed a downloadable easy step by step worksheet to get started. So get all your favourite pens and highlighters out and have a go. We are here if you need help or would like to explore a more comprehensive plan



Before diving into the tasks, we encourage you to read further to gain a deeper understanding of each step's significance and purpose.


1- Objectives

Start by identifying your top three SMART business goals. These goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, And Time bound (SMART). When setting future digital marketing objectives, it's important to evaluate each objective's feasibility and impact. Ask yourself, "Can it be done?" and "Will it help?". To ensure your marketing objectives are SMART, consider the following:


Measurable: Can the results of this objective be tracked or counted? Identify the key metrics that will be used to measure success.

Actionable: Will working towards this objective bring about positive change?

Relevant: Does this objective align with your overall marketing strategy?

Time-bound: What is the timeline for working towards and achieving this objective?


Examples: Double my leads from 20 per month to 40 per month



2- Target Audience

Identify your top three customer segments and develop 2-3 customer personas for each segment. This step is crucial and can be enjoyable as it allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your customers, ultimately focusing your marketing efforts for optimal results.

Begin by segmenting your customer base, based on meaningful and measurable criteria, such as their needs, behaviours, and demographic profiles. Once you have created these segments, proceed to craft fictional characters or personas that represent each segment. These customer personas will guide the type of content you create online to attract similar customers to your digital assets. It's a great idea when analysing this to focus on the clients you love working with, the jobs you love doing And what is most profitable.


Examples: Owner of 3+ businesses, busy, time poor, often over the age of 45. Has a family and their personal time is valuable. Stress free, not too many questions and feeling guided/taken care of is paramount



3- Channels

Document the channels online and offline that lead to your customers. The process of segmenting and creating personas will provide valuable insights into where your customers reside in the digital world. Additionally, consider real-life events and methods for finding and connecting with your customers, such as... [provide examples relevant to your business]. By mapping out these channels, you can effectively target and engage with your audience in the right places.


Examples: Local business networking events, Linked In, Business Sales for referal


4- Where are we now?

Analysis Use this section to conduct a brief SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats) analysis of your current marketing status, considering the challenges you face in achieving the business objectives defined in step #1. Assess various aspects such as:


Strength: what do you do well? What unique resources can you leverage? What do third parties see as your strengths?

Weakness: what needs improvement? What do competitors do better? What resources do you lack?

Opportunities: what market opportunities are present? How can you leverage your strengths? What trends can you take advantage of?

Threats: what is your competition currently doing? Do your weaknesses expose your business? What threats can hurt your business?


5- Core Brand Value

Your core brand values are defined as the beliefs that you, as a company, stand for. They serve as the compass that guides your brand story, actions, behaviours, and decision-making process. Once you know who you are you can define a compelling position statement that describes your brand and the value it offers. This value proposition should be customer-centric and resonate with the customer segments identified in step #2. Ensure that your brand value is consistent across all the channels documented in step #3.


Examples: Patagonia - Use business to protect nature. Starbucks - Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome



Brand Mission: The reason why a company exists and does the work it does.

Brand Vision: A company’s aspirations for the future and what they hope to achieve.

Brand Values: The standards a company will follow and uphold in pursuit of its mission and vision.


6- Competition

Analysis Research the top three competitors in your niche and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Keep the focus on the customer, referring back to steps #2 and #3. Look at how you sit in the marketplace, who is your competition and how are you different. You may find investigating this you have missed out on some opportunities or maybe in your marketing you need to address some important factors. Determine your competitors' weaknesses in terms of attracting and retaining customers. Consider factors such as customer service, website user experience, and product/services strengths and weaknesses.


7- Activities & Action

Plan In this section, outline the specific activities and action plan required to achieve your marketing objectives. This can include strategies such as content marketing, SEO, paid advertising, design, marketing technology, referral partnerships, paper adds, posters in the local area, try and get creative. Define clear steps and responsibilities for each activity to ensure effective implementation.


Examples: for local dog walking business having an A3 tear off poster, inside a plastic sleeve (upside down), thumbtacked to trees or posts in the local park so people can easily tear off tabs with contact details website and social media. This is a cost effective strategy that's in the local area where somebody would be walking their dog (maybe reluctantly)


8- Marketing Budget

Estimate the costs associated with implementing your marketing plan, taking into account various elements such as content marketing, SEO, paid advertising, design, marketing technology, personnel, and other relevant expenses. Strive to optimize your budget while attending to the previous steps with due diligence. In the early stages of a business if budget is tight looking for strategies where you're spending your time as opposed to your $ maybe the right avenues for you.



Create brief outlines for your marketing campaigns, considering different timeframes such as one week, one month, three months, six months, and one year. The one-page plan can be adapted for both short-term campaigns and long-term strategies. As you invest effort into sections like #2 and #3, you can tweak other sections based on your incremental learning experiences. Embrace a continuous experimentation-learning-feedback mechanism that aligns with the rapidly changing marketing landscape.



By following these foundational steps in developing a marketing strategy, you can gain clarity and direction for your business. Conducting a thorough analysis of your objectives, target audience, current marketing status, competition, and creating a comprehensive action plan sets you on the path towards success. However, we understand that navigating the intricacies of marketing can be challenging, and if you feel the need for professional assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is equipped with the expertise to help you further refine and execute your marketing strategy effectively. Together, we can drive your business towards its goals and achieve tangible results in today's dynamic marketing landscape.


If you need help or just want to ask a question please reach out.


"After working with the team to develop marketing collateral for multiple businesses, I wouldn't dream of using an expensive big agency again. Kelly and her team provide world class designs."