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Marketing 360® Blog

Marketing Questions That Shift You to Strategic Thinking

Many business owners struggle to move from a tactical to strategic mindset. Here are questions to ask that will help you make that shift.

Planning marketing at the strategic-level is difficult for many people because it requires a shift to abstract thinking. Tactical marketing and advertising, on the other hand, are more concrete.

For this reason, it’s easy to get caught up in marketing tactics and overlook strategy – but this is often a big mistake.

For example, we did a consultation with a client where the business owner – thinking tactically – believed he must do organic SEO. His reasoning was that SEO is a major marketing channel, so it must be done. He planned to put equal resources into this channel as social media.

Then we asked him: What if you could only use one marketing channel for your business? Then, which would you choose and why?

This question got the wheels turning. He began to visualize his audience and think about how his message would connect with them. As he detailed his answer, he realized social media was a far more important channel for him to start with.

This exercise helped him conceptualize his audience and conclude it was unlikely they’d do the types of organic searches that would lead them into his sales funnel.

We researched to confirm these assertions, but we wouldn’t even have taken that step unless we thought strategically.

Learn the difference between marketing strategy and tactics.

Strategic Marketing Questions

Getting yourself to think strategically requires a concerted effort. Asking certain questions will force you to shift into more abstract, “big picture” thinking.

If you’ve been jumping around between tactics and realize you’re not getting anywhere, answer the questions below.

  • If you had to choose only one marketing channel that your business would have to survive on, what would it be and why?
  • What type of buyer are you targeting? What buying modality?
  • What are your customer’s aspirations in life? How can you connect your product to achieving those aspirations?
  • Who is your biggest competitor? (name only one) How can you be better?
  • Are you targeting affinity/brand audiences or in-market/buyer audiences?
  • What will your customers tell their friends about your work?
  • What’s your tagline? How does it encapsulate what you do?
  • What’s your unique value proposition?
  • How do customer’s feel when they’re enjoying the benefits of your offer?
  • How do you visualize and estimate customer lifetime value?
  • Are you an entrepreneur (plans to build and sell the business) or an owner (plans to keep and run the business)?

Think carefully about that first question, because it has a lot of strategic implications. If you had to rely on only one marketing channel, the one you choose will say a lot about who you’re trying to reach and how you’ll communicate in a meaningful way.

When you think strategically, stay focused on your customers and how they respond to your offer. Shift from thinking about your product to the people who use it. Tell their story. This will let you visualize important characteristics that turn your target audience into a cohesive group.

We see too many businesses that invest in expensive website designs, build aggressive ad campaigns, and go flying into social media marketing with no underlying strategy to base their messaging on.

All the tactical execution makes it seem as if they’re striving towards success, but they end up targeting diffused audiences with irrelevant,
unpersuasive content.

Here’s one more question for you:

What’s your marketing strategy?