What does a marketing strategist do?

The general public needs to understand my job as a marketing strategist. In this blog entry, I answer the question: “What does a marketing strategist do?” I get messages from local small-business owners who need a marketer that they’ll pay x-amount for each new customer the person signs up. That’s not what I do, people! My job as a marketing strategist is to evaluate your business plan and create a list of marketing activities to help your business achieve its objectives.

An example of what a marketing strategist does

For instance, if your business is a family holiday resort in Parys, you may want to increase December vacation bookings by 5%. This means that if you had 100 bookings last December, your aim is 105 bookings this year.

When I ask you, “who is your target audience?” I’d like for you to describe your ideal customer in detail. In other words, who pays for the family’s vacation? What does the person do for a living? How much does the person earn? What does the person do for fun? How much does the person spend on hobbies? What does the person’s family look like? Are they married or single? Are the children toddlers or teenagers? What group activities does the family participate in? What do they eat? What do they drink? What music do they listen to?

If I ask you, “what is your budget?” I’d like for you to be realistic. You cannot do marketing for R500. What was the income from last December’s bookings? Suppose your average visitor stays for seven days; then 100 bookings at an average of R500 per night equals R350 000. For your business to exceed last year’s bookings, you must take 12% of that income for this year’s marketing campaign. That means your budget must be R42 000.

With this information, I identify the marketing platforms to recommend. It may be the local newspaper and radio station. Flyers at the two 4-way stops at the town’s entrance. And the Internet. Where on the internet? Well, it depends on your budget. Three targeted ads on Google Search may be far better than one post a day on Facebook. Or I may find that your audience is on Instagram, so I’d recommend it over other Internet options. Perhaps 80% of your audience subscribes to News24, so I may suggest a banner advert on their website instead.

Then I draw up a plan for how you should spend your R42 000, and my role changes to that of a project manager. I source suppliers and quotes, see that the designer creates the adverts, and the receptionist books the newspaper placements and organises two promoters to hand out flyers. I appoint a social media manager if necessary and oversee the content plan. I manage all the campaign payments and ensure all expenses remain within the allocated budget.

Professional fees

I am not a marketer (Afrikaans: bemarker). I do not ‘do’ marketing, social media, or advertising for R500 per month.

I am a marketing strategist (Afrikaans: strateeg). I think of ideas, create a plan, put a team together, and manage the plan’s execution. And you pay a professional fee to use my ideas for your business.

In Afrikaans: Ek dink aan idees, skep ‘n plan, stel ‘n span saam en bestuur die plan se uitvoering binne die toegekende begroting. En jy betaal ‘n professionele fooi om my idees vir jou besigheid te gebruik.

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