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ENTREPRENEURISM

Defining Your Marketing Strategy Building an effective marketing strategy has less to do with Tik Tok and more to do with uncovering strategic ways to serve your clients. By Clare Richards

A key step as you outline your marketing strategy is to uncover the current state of the market. Who competes in the market? Who buys? What are the trends?

your marketing efforts? Here are two critical ideas to consider as you align marketing with your strategic plan:

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isruption is the name of the game in 2021. This year, many companies set out to reclaim the momentum — and even the market share — they held before the pandemic. The fortunate companies were able to pivot and expand, while many remain on shaky ground. As we prepare for the new year, one thing is certain: defining your marketing strategy for 2022 will be critical to how you survive — and thrive — during whatever comes your way.

If your company functions like many, you may push marketing to the side when working through the fine points of your 2022 strategy. You might assume the folks on your marketing team will handle the tasks of keeping the social media platforms up-todate, adding pages to the website, and producing the next round of promotional materials. But in a world of disruption, can you allow anything to fall to the wayside? Furthermore, what if you expected more from

Contributor ________ Clare Richards is the marketing manager at Vye, a digital marketing agency based in St. Cloud.

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What can you learn from the market? A key step as you outline your marketing strategy is to uncover the current state of the market. Who competes in the market? Who buys? What are the trends? You can start by compiling information about your own brand and your competitors. Take a look at metrics such as: Brand keystones: The messaging and visual framework that tells a story and ultimately sells a product or service. ______ Audience profile: A high-level assessment of the buyer(s). What motivates them and influences them? How has the buyer changed recently? ______ Website traffic rank: How

a site ranks compared to every other site on the Internet. This impacts the likelihood

of a search engine serving up your website. ______ Number of website backlinks: This is the number

of links that drive traffic to your website from other websites. If you’re receiving links from websites that rank well, this will improve your ranking. ______ Organic traffic: The amount of website traffic received from organic search results, typically driven by keyword optimization within your website content. A simple competitor comparison grid will help get internal stakeholders on the same page. Being open and honest about where you fall compared to competitors is the best way to begin the process of differentiation and growth.

What do the customers say? The world revolves around human-centric buying practices. How does this change the way