The businesses I meet with are often struggling to figure out which marketing tactics they should be using. This is where having a marketing strategy can help: It gives you permission to say “no” to tactics which will not clearly help you achieve your business goals.

No matter what the size your business or brand, I am willing to bet that you do not have the time or money to sign up for every marketing tactic you want. In fact, in all my years of marketing, I can honestly say that I have never worked with a business or a brand that felt that it had all of the resources it needed. Because of this, it is important to be extremely clear upfront about what you want your marketing dollars and staff to focus on achieving.

Once you know this, it is much easier to assess the myriad of tactics that are out there. You’ll be able to better decide things like:

  • Whether or not you should be on Facebook,
  • If you should sponsor a local baseball radio show,
  • If you should you buy a booth at a certain trade show.


Best of all, a marketing strategy will give you permission to say “no” to the tactics which do not obviously help you achieve your specific marketing strategies.

A clear marketing strategy does not have to take a lot of time to create. Try this down and dirty 3-step process to create some more focus for your team:

  1. Identify your overall business objective. For example: Grow your business +5%
  2. Identify THREE core strategies to help you achieve this. I say three because it is very important to focus as tightly as possible on only a few strategies. Oftentimes narrowing down to three is the hardest part of the process! In this case, the three strategies to help you grow your business could be:
    • Attract new customers
    • Increase referrals
    • Strengthen brand awareness
  3. Finally, identify the tactics which can clearly help you achieve these goals within your budget.


You may want to use this deceptively simple template to help you:


Obviously there is a lot more to successful marketing planning than this. But even taking the time to think about what you’re trying to achieve and how you will get there can go a long way to helping you better use your precious marketing dollars by giving you permission to say “no.”