What is an Inbound Strategy?
Inbound marketing focuses on helping customers while simultaneously driving business growth. It revolves around a specific set of marketing tools and processes that allows you to attract, engage and delight prospects and customers — in short, to grow your business better. The inbound methodology matches the way today’s buyers make purchase decisions by requiring you to:
Look at the facts. Recognize that today, the internet is how people research, decide and buy — not just consumer purchases, but complex B2B products or services, too.
Focus on search engine optimization (SEO). Continually improve your best-performing content through keyword research and other inbound methodologies to help your website rank higher in search engines.
Emphasize user experience. Make it easy for your prospective customers to navigate your website and get answers. Eliminate friction from your prospects’ and customers’ experiences and provide interactive, personal touches so they’ll continue to look to you for answers.
Create valuable content that demonstrates your expertise. Make sure what's on your site answers your target audience’s questions, "What's in it for me?" and “Why you?” Add to it often. Here are some ideas that will be helpful as you develop content.
Convert traffic into leads, then nurture those leads. Execute a turnkey process that targets, then responds, to prospects' interests and guides them along their buyer’s journey until they’re ready to buy and beyond.
Build trust and credibility. Over time, prospects need to identify your company as a go-to resource for information and, by providing content that is focused on their needs instead of your own, you’ll earn their trust (and hopefully their business, too).
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is the combination of all the business’s decisions and actions to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by understanding and fulfilling the needs and wants of the customers.
This definition of marketing strategy stands on three key pillars. These are:
What: Marketing strategy is the overall game plan or the roadmap marketers use to achieve a business’s marketing objectives and goals.
Why: It aims to achieve a unique market position backed by a sustainable competitive advantage that results in more sales and profits for the business.
How: Every marketing strategy works directly or indirectly by fulfilling the needs and wants of the customers.
In simple terms, a marketing strategy is an achievable and actionable focused set of steps devised by marketers to achieve a marketing objective.
Every marketing plan derives its form from a set of marketing strategies it uses. These marketing strategies play an essential role in the marketing mix of a business.
Helps achieve marketing objectives: Marketing strategies lay down a set of steps to achieve marketing objectives focused on fulfilling the business’s short term and long term marketing goals.
Provides direction: Marketing strategies set roadmaps that includes apt steps towards achieving goals. This roadmap gives direction and ensures that the business doesn’t stray away from the set of listed steps.
Ensures coordination: The set of steps ensures coordination and avoids confusion among different business departments that work together to achieve the same goals.
Reduces Wastage: Marketing strategies ensure optimum resource use by reducing duplication of work and appropriate allocation of limited resources.
Ensures better control: It decides on the path to be followed and interim goals to be achieved. Hence, it becomes easier for marketers to control the marketing activities and ensure they are going according to the plans.
What is an Audit Result Strategy?
Internal audits serve various purposes. Some audits assess compliance with laws and regulations. Others measure compliance with the organization's internal policies and procedures. A strategic audit helps small-business owners assess whether internal processes move the needle toward their strategic goals. Based on audit results, management adjusts operations to maximize progress toward the goals.
A business needs a strategic plan that includes short-term and long-term goals. Long-term goals for a bicycle shop may be to dominate the market for a niche product category -- high-end off-road bicycles, for example. Short-term objectives that support the goal may be to offer customization services and to increase the number of different models the store carries in the product category. Establishing the strategic plan gives auditors a baseline for their work.
Implementing the Plan
With the strategic plan in place, auditors examine business functions and assess each function to see if the work it does furthers the plan. At the bike shop, the physical layout should feature a special area for high-end mountain bikes. Management should provide training on new products to the sales force, and advertisers should advertise on mountain biking websites and promote the shop at local bike races.
The Audit Report
The strategic audit compares the state of a business as it exists on the day of the audit to the state of the business the way it would have looked and operated had it achieved its goals. The auditor prepares a written report that evaluates each functional unit of the business and grades it according to its alignment with the goals. For example, if a bike shop that wants to increase its mountain biking business spends its entire advertising budget promoting children's bikes, it might receive a D or an F in the audit. If the shop's sales team formed a bike racing team that plans to ride bicycles the store carries in an upcoming race in the community, it might receive an A or a B in the audit.
The Audit Cycle
The strategic audit is an ongoing process. A business owner implements changes based on the audit report, and the auditor team checks in periodically to reevaluate the performance of each unit. As the business achieves its goals, management updates the strategic plan, and the audit cycle begins anew.