The 3 Steps in Formulating Your (Ongoing) Marketing Strategy – Step 3

Marketing Strategy Tactics Step 1 and Step 2.

Step 3: What specific marketing tactics and activities should I be using?

I told you there would be more on this topic. Once you’ve identified generally where in the funnel you should be concentrating your efforts, it’s time to turn to which specific activities you should be focusing on for your marketing strategy.

Let’s turn back to the business that has a lot of people who know about it but only a few even consider purchasing from it. Of those that do consider purchasing from it, most of them complete the purchase and remain loyal customers. What should this business be doing tactically to get more of the many prospects who know of it to actually consider purchasing from it?

The key is to understanding the reason for why most of the prospects who are aware of it don’t consider it. There are several potential reasons, like they:

  • Are the wrong type of people (e.g. the people hearing about your pet business don’t have pets)
  • Are the right type of people but aren’t interested in it because of what they’ve heard (e.g. perhaps they’ve heard your quality is poor and don’t even want to submit an inquiry or perhaps they haven’t been made aware of your value)
  • Are the right type of people and are interested, but they find your website hard to use and find what they’re looking for
  • Know you’re not competitively priced
  • Can’t recall your brand at the time when they’re ready to purchase

These are all distinct issues with different solutions. If they’re the wrong type of people, you need better segmentation and targeting. If they’ve heard your quality is poor, you need to invest in your messaging. If your website is hard to use, you need a better website experience, etc.

The key is drilling down and asking why to discover what the optimal solution is. Part of the trick is figuring out how to do this. Two of the most common ways are to: 1) analyze internally (by asking your sales team for insights) and to 2) analyze externally (by asking customers how they feel). Both approaches have pros and cons but I favor a mixed approach, leaning on analyzing externally. This can be done using customer surveying, phone or in-person conversations with customers, focus groups, etc. As long as you have a specific goal in mind (in this case, identifying why customers aren’t considering the product), these efforts should provide at least directional assistance.

You won’t always be able to “ask why”. Perhaps your issues are early in the funnel, or neither customers nor the sales team really know why prospects behave the way they do. Whatever you do, be sure that your tactical solution 1) at least in principle fulfills the issue at hand (e.g. social media isn’t the answer to solve the problem of nurtured prospects not converting) and 2) fulfills the maximum CPA criteria from earlier to ensure cost-effectiveness.


Marketing strategy is a big topic to cover but we’ve gone through a framework to help you approach it:

  1. Define your business goals
  2. Determine where in the marketing funnel to focus
  3. Determine which specific marketing activities to focus on

Tips along the way:

  • Make sure that your business goals are ambitious but realistic
  • Calculate what you are willing to spend for a prospect/opportunity/conversation
  • Ideally calculate your customer lifetime value
  • Remember the 8 primary marketing levers you can pull to grow
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of current customers (retention, lifetime, and cross-selling) in achieving your growth goals
  • Think about your specific marketing/sales funnel and its shape and drop-off points
  • Ask why your funnel is shaped the way it is and use this insight to craft the right solutions for your needs