Any B2B marketer worth their salt will tell you that a marketing strategy is the key to success when it comes to company marketing efforts.

Most small businesses tend to take a reactionary approach to marketing rather than proactive, accepting tasks as they come. But to have a truly successful strategy, you need to know what you are trying to do, who you want to reach, and when you want to reach them.

To ensure your marketing efforts are set up for success across the board, follow these strategy tips:

1. Identify Your Audience

You might know your product or service better than anyone else, but do you know your ideal customer profile (ICP)? Determining your ICP and target audience is the first step in creating a marketing strategy that works for your business.

Take the time to evaluate who is buying your product, who your most delighted customers are, and use this information to craft buyer personas. You can also use general characteristics such as their average age, job title, and income range to define your target market with specific buyer personas. This information helps you understand where you can find new customers that fall into your ICP.

2. Establish ROI Goals

Digital marketing, particularly inbound, affords companies with any number of platforms and resources to share their brand. Before you can set the kind of goals you need to achieve ROI, you need to know what your team’s capabilities are.

This step is crucial for you to remain focused on the over-arching marketing strategy. When you set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) – you will be that much closer to achieving the greatest ROI for your marketing efforts.

3. Determine Your Plan

A fairly simple concept with a huge payoff. Marketing strategies are made and broken with clear timelines and deadlines. The foundation of your strategy will fall apart if the plan isn’t clearly laid out with specific goals, deadlines, project owners, and acceptance criteria to prevent anything from getting lost in the shuffle.

4. Set The Plan in Motion

What do you do after a plan is created? Get to work. Use weekly meetings to keep your marketing strategy and efforts top of mind. You can also track the progress of your efforts and ensure that ongoing campaigns align with the plan you have in place.

5. Monitor Everything

The final piece to kick start any successful marketing strategy is observation. Don’t just take note of what’s successful, either.

If you’re sending out email campaigns with little to no engagement but recently attended an event that provided you with more qualified prospects you could have ever imagined, chances are you probably have a pretty good idea of what works for your customers. It might also be a sign that you need to outsource certain pieces of your marketing strategy to an inbound agency – it’s possible your emails would be better received but the messaging isn’t quite there, yet.

The best part of digital marketing is the way you can take advantage of reporting systems to track the results of your campaigns and use the information to create improvements driven by data. Only with a strategy in place can you achieve the highest ROI, and maximize your marketing efforts.