Marketing Strategy Guide

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Launch & Go to Market, Playbooks | 0 comments

What is a Marketing Strategy for Customer Acquisition?

A customer passes through different lifecycle stages when interacting with a brand, from when they first become aware of your brand all the way until they turn into someone who actively recommends your products or services to their peers.

In each of the stages, a business needs to find the right mix of marketing and/or sales activities to first acquire new customers, then grow them into repeat customers, and finally retain them as brand advocates.

In the go-to-market phase, we will be looking into customer acquisition and we will deal with customer growth and retention within the grow & scale toolkits.

So, in this toolkit we will focus on your customer acquisition strategy. A customer acquisition strategy is a plan or set of tactics that you use to attract and convert potential customers into paying customers.  

The sales strategy and marketing strategy are both part of the customer acquisition plan, but they focus on different stages of the customer journey.

A sales strategy is the plan of action that a company uses to convert leads into customers. It typically includes tactics such as lead generation and qualification, product presentations, negotiations, and closing the sale. The sales strategy is typically more focused on the direct interaction between the customer and the sales team.

A marketing strategy, on the other hand, focuses on creating brand awareness and generating interest in a company’s products or services. It includes activities such as market research, product positioning, advertising, content marketing, and public relations. Marketing strategies typically aim to generate leads that can be handed off to the sales team to close the sale.

We can follow the AIDA model in customer acquisition as a framework for creating effective marketing and sales campaigns that move potential customers through the buying journey.

AIDA stands for:

  • Attention: In this stage, you need to capture the attention of potential customers and make them aware of your brand and your products or services. ➡️ Focus is on marketing.
  • Interest: Once you have captured their attention, the next step is to generate interest in your products or services. ➡️ Focus is on marketing.
  • Desire: Once you have generated interest, the next step is to create a desire for your products or services by showing how they can solve problems or meet the needs of potential customers. This can be done through product demos, testimonials, case studies, or other forms of social proof. ➡️ Focus is on marketing and sales.
  • Action: The final step is to drive action by making it easy for potential customers to take the next step and become paying customers. ➡️ Focus is on sales.

Note: 🍋 Throughout this guide we will use the example of a food supplement company to better illustrate each task and information.

What is a Marketing Strategy Good For?

Crafting a well-defined marketing strategy tailored for customer acquisition is pivotal for businesses aiming to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. This strategy serves as the cornerstone for attracting, engaging, and converting potential customers into loyal patrons, driving growth and profitability for the organization.

  • Optimized Marketing Actions: It enables businesses to implement targeted marketing campaigns and initiatives aimed at creating awareness, generating leads, and converting them into customers, ensuring that each action is strategically aligned with the overarching goal of customer acquisition.
  • Efficient Lead Generation Tactics: With a clear marketing strategy in place, businesses can leverage various lead generation tactics such as content marketing, social media advertising, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) to attract potential customers and nurture them through the sales funnel towards conversion.
  • Effective Conversion Strategies: By implementing conversion-focused strategies such as personalized messaging, persuasive call-to-actions, and optimized landing pages, businesses can increase the likelihood of turning leads into paying customers, maximizing the return on investment for customer acquisition efforts.
  • Continuous Optimization and Testing: A well-defined marketing strategy facilitates ongoing optimization and testing of marketing actions, allowing businesses to refine their approaches based on data-driven insights and feedback, thereby improving the effectiveness of customer acquisition over time.

Curated Lists 📋

💡 To save you some time, we have put together a free Marketing Channel Glossary, a free Content & Asset Creation Tools list, a free list with Marketing Execution Tools and a free Influencer Directory with which you can use to define your marekting strategy.

How to Define Your Marketing Strategy Step-by-Step:

Step A: Marketing Strategy Template

Step B: Customers Preferences and Marketing Objectives

Step C: Defining the Marketing Channels

Step D: Creating your Marketing Action Plan

Step E: Set your Marketing Metrics

Step F: Detailed Marketing Campaign & Activity Planning

Step G: Marketing Execution Deep Dive

Step A

Marketing Strategy Template

To work on your marketing strategy you can either build your own templates for example on Miro or you can use our ready-to-use templates along with this guide.

Included Templates:

Marketing Strategy Miro Board

Marketing Action Plan Miro Board

Marketing Brief Miro Board

Content Marketing Plan Miro Board

Step B

Customers Preferences and Marketing Objectives

Before diving into defining your marketing plan, we will start by setting the scene, by recapping your target customers’ preferences and defining your marketing objectives.

Identify your target customers’ preferences.

First of all we will recap your target customer personas and take a deeper look at their psychographic variables and preferences. At this stage of the business building process you hopefully have defined your customer personas and gained a clear understanding of your customers. We will now look into them briefly, however, if you want to work on your target customers in more detail you can use the customer deep dive toolkit.

So first, start by describing each of your target customer personas briefly, using the first part of your Marketing Strategy 📒 Template. Remember, the customer persona is a fictional representation of the ideal customer, and you can have various customer personas, one representing each of your target customer segments. Begin by giving them a name and using demographic variables to describe them briefly.

Then think about their psychographic variables and preferences, if you haven’t done that previously, and note them down on the post-its.

  • Values & beliefs: Values and beliefs are the principles and convictions that are important to your target audience. Understanding these can help you create messaging that resonates with them on a deeper level and build trust and loyalty.
  • Lifestyle: Lifestyle refers to the way that your target audience lives and spends their time. This includes things like their daily routine, work-life balance, and social activities. Understanding their lifestyle can help you tailor your marketing initiatives to fit their needs and preferences.
  • Hobbies & interests: Hobbies and interests are the activities and pastimes that your target audience enjoys. Knowing these can help you create marketing initiatives that appeal to their interests and engage them on a personal level.
  • Goals & motivations: Goals and motivations refer to the things that your target audience wants to achieve and the reasons why they want to achieve them. Understanding these can help you create marketing initiatives that highlight how your products or services can help them reach their goals.
  • Preferred information media & channels: This refers to the communication channels and media that your target audience prefers to use. Understanding these can help you choose the right channels to reach your audience and create content that is optimized for those channels.

These insights should be considered when working on your marketing messages and content and when selecting the marketing channels and media.

✅ Define your marketing objectives & goals

Next you want to set clear marketing objectives and goals, which you are aiming to achieve with your marketing plan.

An objective is a specific, measurable outcome that you aim to achieve as part of your overall marketing strategy. Objectives are typically broader in scope and relate to the overall mission or vision of the organization. For example, you might set an objective to increase overall brand awareness by a certain percentage or to enter a new market segment.

Goals, on the other hand, are specific, measurable targets that are set in order to achieve an objective. Goals are typically more specific and relate to a particular campaign or initiative. For example, a business might set a goal to generate a certain number of leads or to increase website traffic by a certain percentage.

They serve as the foundation for your marketing plan, making sure you choose the most effective marketing tactics, and are able to measure the success of your marketing initiatives.  They help you to focus your efforts, measure success, hold the team  accountable, and allocate resources effectively, all of which are crucial for achieving long-term success.

Marketing objectives and goals could for example include:





The objective of awareness-based marketing is to increase visibility and recognition of your brand or products. 

  • Increasing website traffic
  • Boosting social media engagement
  • Generating more brand mentions or press coverage
  • Increasing email list subscribers
  • Improving search engine ranking


The objective of positioning-based marketing is to establish your brand as a leader or expert in your industry.

  • Establishing thought leadership through content marketing
  • Generating positive reviews or testimonials from customers
  • Increasing the number of industry awards or recognitions received
  • Developing a unique brand voice or identity that sets you apart from competitors


Reputation-based marketing objectives focus on managing and improving your brand’s reputation among customers and the public

  • Improving online reviews and ratings
  • Managing negative press or social media mentions
  • Increasing customer trust and loyalty through transparent communication and ethical practices
  • Establishing a strong brand image that resonates with your target audience


Consideration-based marketing objectives aim to encourage potential customers to consider your brand or products when making a purchasing decision. 

  • Creating compelling marketing materials that highlight your unique value proposition
  • Developing targeted advertising campaigns that reach potential customers at the right time and place
  • Creating engaging content that educates and informs potential customers about your products or services


Acquisition-based marketing objectives aim to generate leads and new customers for your business.

  • Increasing conversion rates on your website
  • Generating more leads or inquiries
  • Improving the quality of leads generated
  • Boosting sales from new customers


The objective of retention-based marketing is to keep your existing customers engaged and satisfied with your products or services

  • Increasing customer satisfaction ratings
  • Improving customer retention rates
  • Boosting customer referrals and word-of-mouth marketing
  • Generating more repeat purchases


Revenue-based marketing objectives aim to increase revenue and profitability for your business

  • Increasing average order value
  • Boosting the frequency of purchases
  • Increasing profit margins
  • Expanding into new markets or product categories


Again use the corresponding area of your Marketing Strategy 📒 Template to specify your marketing objectives and define your goals for each objective. 

Remember that your objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Step C

Defining the Marketing Channels

In the next steps, we will define your marketing channel mix to achieve the goals you defined and reach your target audience. But before you start working and get your hands dirty, let us give you an overview of the most relevant concepts and channels.

A marketing channel is a method or platform that you can use to communicate with your target audience and engage with them in your marketing efforts. It refers to the various mediums through which you can promote your products or services, build brand awareness, and establish a relationship with your target audience.

We can differentiate between digital and traditional channels as well as between owned, paid and earned media:

  • Traditional media refers to the forms of mass communication that have been used for many years, such as print (newspapers, magazines), broadcast (TV, radio), and outdoor advertising (billboards, posters). These forms of media typically have a broad reach and are often consumed by large audiences.

  • Digital media, on the other hand, refers to the use of technology to distribute and consume media content. This includes online advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, and other forms of digital content. Digital media often allows for more targeted and personalized messaging to specific audiences, and can be more easily tracked and analyzed for effectiveness.

As technology has evolved, the lines between traditional and digital media have become increasingly blurred, with many businesses and marketers utilizing a mix of both to reach their target audiences.

  • Owned media refers to the channels and content that a business or organization owns and controls. This includes their website, blog, social media accounts, email marketing lists, and any other content that they create and distribute themselves. The benefit of owned media is that the business has complete control over the messaging, branding, and distribution of their content.
  • Paid media refers to any channels or advertising that a business pays for to promote their content or message. This includes advertising on social media platforms, pay-per-click advertising, sponsored content, and other forms of paid advertising. The benefit of paid media is that it can help businesses reach a larger audience quickly and can be targeted to specific demographics or interests.
  • Earned media refers to any organic or earned exposure that a business receives through word-of-mouth, reviews, shares, and other forms of social sharing. This can include mentions in the media, shares on social media, and positive reviews from customers. The benefit of earned media is that it can help build credibility and trust for a business or brand, as it comes from sources outside of their control.

A successful marketing strategy typically involves a mix of all three types of media to reach and engage with their target audience.

So your marketing channel can for example include:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): A type of digital advertising that involves placing ads on search engine result pages (SERPs) to increase visibility and drive traffic to a website.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The practice of optimizing a website’s content and structure to improve its ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and increase organic traffic.
  • Social Media Marketing: The use of social media platforms to promote a product or service and engage with customers through content creation, community management, and advertising.
  • Online Advertising: A form of digital advertising that involves delivering promotional messages through various online channels such as display ads, video ads, native ads, and social media ads.
  • PR (Public Relations): The practice of managing the reputation and image of a brand through earned media coverage, press releases, and events to create positive publicity and public awareness.
  • Partnerships: Collaborations between two or more businesses to achieve mutually beneficial goals such as co-branding, joint promotions, and sponsorships.
  • Direct Marketing: Targeted marketing communications that are delivered directly to individual customers through channels such as email, direct mail, telemarketing, and SMS.
  • Print Media Marketing: Traditional marketing through printed materials such as flyers, brochures, posters, and newspaper/magazine advertisements.
  • Broadcast Marketing: Advertising through television and radio broadcasts to reach a mass audience.
  • Outdoor Marketing: Advertising through outdoor mediums such as billboards, posters, and signage.
  • In-store Marketing: Tactics used to influence customer behavior and promote products or services inside a physical store, such as product displays, in-store promotions, and customer service.
  • Event Marketing: Marketing activities that promote a brand or product through events such as product launches, trade shows, and sponsored events.
  • Content Marketing: Creating and sharing valuable content to attract and retain a target audience, with the goal of driving profitable customer action.
  • Email Marketing: Sending promotional messages and newsletters to a subscriber list via email.
  • Community Marketing: Building relationships with customers and other stakeholders in a specific community through targeted marketing efforts.
  • Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with influencers to promote a product or service to their followers.
  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing: The practice of encouraging satisfied customers to share their positive experiences with others, with the aim of generating organic referrals and recommendations.

Below each of those types of channels, there is a long list of more specific channel subcategories that you can use for your marketing activities. The various marketing channels differ in terms of their associated costs and levels of targeting. The choice of channels depends on the marketing objectives and target audience, with some channels being more effective at reaching a specific audience or achieving a particular goal than others.

💡 You can find a comprehensive List of specific channels that you can use to identify potential marketing channels for your business above.

To identify the most relevant marketing channels for your customer acquisition plan, start by analyzing what your competitors are doing. Use the second part of your Marketing Strategy 📒 Template to jot down the marketing channels used by each of your competitors, and include screenshots, links, images, etc. as evidence.

Now select the channels that you plan to use for your marketing activities. Use the corresponding area of your Marketing Strategy 📒 Template to:

  • Note down the channel e.g. PPC ads on Amazon
  • Explain shortly how you plan to use this channel within your customer acquisition strategy e.g. regular sponsored product and sponsored brand ads based on a fixed monthly budget
  • Note down which objectives you aim to achieve with using this channel e.g. increase brand awareness and conversion
  • Note down a very high level estimation of the cost level e.g. 0.89$ CPC on average 
  • Note down the person responsible for managing this channel

Of course, just as with your pricing and distribution channel, you will also have to test and adjust your marketing channels. Over time you will figure out which channels work best and which don’t, you can add new marketing channels and decrease your investment in existing ones.

Also remember that at this stage, the go-to-market stage, focus is on customer acquisition, so you probably select those channels that you consider best for acquisition. In the next stage of growing and scaling your business focus will be on growing and retaining your customer, and you will probably have to add new marketing channels suitable for that phase.

Furthermore, as a new business established in the digital age and with probably a limited budget you probably want to focus on cost-effective digital marketing channels. Those can include channels such as social media marketing and search engine marketing, content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and influencer marketing. These channels can help you to reach your target audience, build brand awareness, and generate leads without the need for a large advertising budget.

Step D

Creating your Marketing Action Plan

Now that you have selected your channels, we will work on your marketing action plan and define the marketing initiatives that you will run on those channels to achieve your marketing objectives. 

The marketing initiatives that you are using can be broken down into campaigns, activities, and content.

  • Marketing campaigns are specific, coordinated efforts designed to achieve a particular marketing goal or set of objectives. They can be short-term or long-term and may involve a variety of different marketing tactics and channels.
  • Marketing activities are individual actions or tactics used to promote a product, service, or brand. A campaign can include several marketing activities.
  • Marketing content is the material created and distributed as part of a marketing campaign or activity. This can include written content as well as visual content such as images, videos, and infographics.

Before jumping straight into creating your marketing plan, we will again take a look at your competitors. Use the third area of your Marketing Strategy 📒 Template to analyze your competitors’ marketing initiatives and collect their most important campaigns, activities, and content on the post-its. Add any screenshots, links, or images as evidence.

Next research and collect ideas and best practices for marketing campaign, activities & content, not only from your competitors but also outside your sector, and of course also completely new ideas. Note them all down in the corresponding area of your Marketing Strategy 📒 Template (upper part). Then choose the ideas that you would like to include in your marketing plan and copy them to the lower part.

Now that you have collected your marketing ideas, let’s put them into a proper marketing action plan. Remember, we prepared a Marketing Action Plan 📒 Template that you can access here

Your marketing action plan provides you and your team an overview of all your tactical marketing activities over a certain period of time and helps you to plan and track them. It serves as a roadmap for the execution of your marketing strategy and helps ensure that all marketing efforts are aligned with the overall business objectives.

You can decide for yourself how long you plan ahead. For established companies it is common to set a 1 year marketing budget, plan ahead the marketing activities for the full business year and adjust them if needed. However, if you are starting a new business from scratch it makes more sense to plan for a shorter period to start with. Especially since, on the one hand, you probably want to focus your activities on new customer acquisition at this stage and add customer growth and retention focused activities later on, and on the other hand, you still need to test and figure out what works and what doesn’t. For now you could plan for example your customer acquisition activities for the next 3 to 6 months and of course iteratively analyze and adjust your activities to become more effective.

Also before defining your marketing activities you should be clear about what your total budget is for the defined time frame, meaning how much money you have available to spend on marketing activities.

So now, open your Marketing Action Plan 📒Template and let’s get started.

1. ✅ First of all take a look at the status icons library. You can use those icons to quickly indicate the status of each activity. Of course you always adapt the status icons to your needs, change them or add news ones.

2. ✅ Then note down your selected channels on coloured post-its/time-bars. Assigning and using a different color for each channel will make your marketing action plan clearer, since you can see in one view what channels you are using for the different activities.

3. ✅ Next adjust the calendar to your needs by entering the months and calendar weeks during which you plan to run your marketing activities.

4. ✅ In your marketing action plan you will find a table and gantt chart like calendar where you can now start listing and planning all your marketing activities by filling in the fields one by one: marketing activities.

  • Marketing activity: Name your marketing activity 
  • Channel: Use the post-it to indicate which channel(s) you’re going to be using. Change the color of the post-it(s) to match the color  you selected for the corresponding channel.
  • Description: Describe very briefly what this activity will consist of so anyone who reads it can quickly understand what the marketing activity is about.
  • Target Audience: Describe very shortly who will be the target audience for the individual marketing activity. You are possibly targeting in general various customer segments but use different marketing activities to reach each of those segments. For example a supplement brand probably targets gen-z, millennials as well as baby boomers with its products. However, to reach them, the brand uses activities on different marketing channels and with different messages adapted to each segment’s preferences. 
  • Objectives: Define the general marketing objectives that you plan to achieve with the individual activities. Keep in mind the global marketing objectives and the objectives per channel that you define previously and think about which of those can be achieved through each of the activities.
  • Budget: Note down how much this marketing activity will cost or how much of your budget you can spend on it. To some type of marketing activities you can assign a clear cost, for example the sponsorship fee of a specific event costs XX EUR. For other activities, like most online ads, you can set a budget and pay for example per click or impressions, until the budget is reached.
  • Responsible: Define who is responsible for managing and executing the activity. Clearly defined responsibilities help to establish accountability in the team and to assure that all activities are executed on time. 
  • Status: Use the icons to indicate the status of the task. This field has to be updated of course as soon as the activity passes to a new status. 
  • Dates: Define the time frame during which you will run this activity. Here you really only want to consider the dates in which this activity will be launched and active, this could be only one day or several weeks/months. Then use the time bars to mark those dates in the calendar. Enter the name of the marketing activity, adjust the color to match the color of the marketing channels, and adjust the length and move it to the corresponding weeks.

By laying out all your marketing activities in the action plan you get a good overview of how much of your global budget is already consumed and if your activities are aligned and well distributed over time and aligned.

Step E

Set your Marketing Metrics

Once you define the marketing activities you want to run, it is also important to specify marketing metrics (your target KPIs) for each marketing activity.

Marketing metrics are numerical measures that you can use to track and analyze the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and campaigns. These metrics can include a variety of different measurements such as website traffic, conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, social media engagement, and more.

Defining metrics for your marketing activities is important because it allows you to measure the success of your efforts and identify areas for improvement. By tracking and analyzing these metrics, you can gain insights into what is working and what isn’t, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Metrics also provide a way to communicate the value of your marketing efforts to other stakeholders within the organization or to external investors. Ultimately, having well-defined metrics helps ensure that marketing activities are aligned with business objectives and are contributing to the overall success of the organization.

Category Short Definition Example Metrics
Exposure Metrics Measures the reach and visibility of marketing efforts Impressions, reach, views
Awareness Metrics Measures how well the target audience recognizes and recalls the brand or product Brand awareness, recall, recognition
Engagement Metrics Measures the level of interaction between the target audience and the marketing content Likes, shares, comments, clicks, time spent
Perception Metrics Measures the target audience’s perception and sentiment towards the brand or product Net Promoter Score (NPS), sentiment analysis, brand perception
Experience Metrics Measures the target audience’s experience with the brand or product Customer satisfaction (CSAT), user experience (UX) metrics
Acquisition Metrics Measures the number of new customers gained from marketing efforts Cost per acquisition (CPA), customer acquisition cost (CAC), conversion rate
Conversion Metrics Measures the number of desired actions taken by the target audience as a result of marketing efforts Sales, leads, sign-ups, subscriptions, downloads
Retention Metrics Measures the ability of marketing efforts to retain existing customers Customer lifetime value (CLTV), churn rate, repeat purchase rate


✅ Go ahead and first define which metrics you will use to measure each activity and then specify the corresponding target KPIs that you could realistically achieve. The metrics you choose to measure each marketing activity depend on the type of activity, the specific goals and objectives of the activity, and the channel used. Use the corresponding area of the Marketing Action Plan 📒 Template to note down your target metrics.

Step F

Detailed Marketing Campaign & Activity Planning

Once you define at a higher level when you plan to run which marketing activities, you want to dive into more detail for each activity or campaign and develop the messaging and content of the marketing activities. Therefore, start by creating a brief for each activity or campaign. Remember, we prepared a Marketing Brief 📒 Template that you can use, which you can access again here.

A marketing brief is a document that outlines the objectives, target audience, key messaging, and any other relevant details for a specific marketing campaign or activity. It serves as a guide for the team executing the activity or campaign, helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives, and builds a basic understanding of the expectations. It shall set the guidelines for creating the messaging and content.

✅ So go ahead and create a brief for each marketing activity using the Marketing Brief 📒 Template. Use one sheet for every activity/campaign and specify:

  • Marketing Activity: Specify which marketing activity you are talking about.
  • Channel(s): List the channel(s) that you will be using to carry out the marketing campaign. (Just copy them from your Marketing Action Plan)
  • Target Audience: Specify the audience and their characteristics that you will be targeting with this activity. (Just copy them from your Marketing Action Plan)
  • Objectives: List the objectives that you aim to achieve with this campaign. (Just copy them from your Marketing Action Plan)
  • Message: Note down the key elements of the message that this activity should convey.
  • Content/Assets: List the type of content and assets that you will need for this campaign (e.g. video, post, landing page, email design, etc.). Describe each asset/content briefly and add any inspiration such as links, images, screenshots, etc.
  • Mood Board: Put together a mood board, which is a visual representation of your ideas, concepts, and themes that can guide the look and feel and creative development of the marketing campaign or activity. Collect inspiration in the form of images, links, screenshots, copies, etc.
  • Storyboard: Use a storyboard to explain which steps your target audience should ideally complete when being exposed to your marketing activity.

Based on those marketing briefs the responsible team(s) or team members can then start working on the execution of those marketing activities. 

By first developing your messaging: Create compelling messaging that addresses the pain points and needs of your target audience, highlights the benefits of your products or services, and differentiates your brand from competitors.

And then creating your content: Create valuable and engaging content that aligns with your messaging and is optimized for your chosen channels. Also consider that the visual design of the content should be in line with the brand identity and guidelines for this activity.

There are a large number of tools that you can use to create your content and assets, like graphic design tools, image databases, AI tools and much more. Of course, if you have the budget you can also hire help from freelancers or design on demand services:

💡 We put together a List, with relevant tools and resources for your content and asset creation which you can find above.

Step G

Marketing Execution Deep Dive

Executing your marketing activities is something you will do over time just as you defined in your marketing plan and not in a day. However, at this point we want to give you a high-level overview of modern marketing methods at this point so that you can use this information when the time comes.

The execution of different marketing strategies varies depending on the selected type of channel and tactic. We won’t be diving into the execution of the marketing activities for each individual channel, but we will take a deeper look into some of the channels and tactics that we consider most relevant for new businesses in the digital age.

💡 Before we dive into the various marketing channels and tactics, check out the List of different tools that will be helpful for marketing execution, which you can find above. We will refer to this Marketing Execution Stack List at several places in the following chapter. 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the more cost efficient approaches, since you can execute content marketing activities without needing an actual budget. The only resources you need is your own (teams) time and effort.

Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 

The goal of content marketing is to provide helpful, informative and engaging content to potential customers, build a relationship with them, and establish trust and credibility, rather than directly promoting a product or service.

Types of content marketing activities can include for example: 

  • Creating and distributing engaging content in different types of formats (video, posts, live stories, etc.) through your social media platforms
  • Creating a blog with informative and useful articles
  • Creating an email newsletter
  • Creating podcasts
  • Offering digital assets like whitepapers, e-books, or infographics to download on your website
  • Holding webinars and other online events
  • Providing virtual spaces, assets, games, etc. on metaverse platforms

Social Media Management as part of content marketing 

We consider social media management as a (very important) part of your content marketing strategy. Social media management refers to the process of managing social media accounts and creating and publishing content for those accounts. 

It plays a critical role in the distribution of your content, as social media platforms provide an opportunity to share content with a wider audience and engage with followers.

So back to your content marketing strategy. To execute your content marketing activities you need to define your content marketing strategy and create a content marketing plan. A content plan is a detailed schedule of content creation and publication, usually focused on specific channels or platforms. It outlines the channels and types of content to be created, the topics to be covered, the format of the content, the timing of publication, and the responsibilities of team members.

Remember, we prepared a Content Marketing Plan 📒Template, which you can access here.

✅ First, use the first part of your Content Marketing Plan 📒Template to define your overall content strategy by:

  • Selecting your channels
  • Defining your general content topics
  • Defining your general content formats

Use the general content map to visualize when, and with what frequency you will generally post which type of content on which channel.

✅ Then, plan your weekly or monthly content based on this content strategy. Use the calendar in the next area of your Content Marketing Plan 📒 Template to plan the specific content for each day for the different channels.

✅ In the next step, you then want to create and publish the content as scheduled. You can publish all the content manually, or you can use so-called content scheduling tools to schedule and automatically publish your content on your social media channels.

You will find a number of content scheduling tools on the Marketing Execution Stack 📋List.

✅ Finally, just like for any other marketing activities, don’t forget to monitor and analyze the content performance on the different channels. By doing so, you will see which type of content generates more exposure and engagement. You can then keep optimizing and adjusting your content strategy to become more effective over time.

Influencer Marketing

Another popular marketing practice that helps you to create awareness, build trust, and acquire new customers is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing uses popular social media figures or “influencers” to promote a product or service to their audience by leveraging the influencer’s credibility and trust with their followers.

These influencers typically have a large following on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok and can use their popularity and influence to promote products or services to their followers.

Influencer marketing can take many forms, including:

  • Sponsored posts: These are posts, including social media or blog post, created by influencers that promote a specific product or service in exchange for compensation or other incentives.
  • Sponsored episodes: Brands can sponsor individual podcast episodes, where the host will read a pre-written ad or share information about the brand and its products or services.
  • Integrated ads: Brands can have their ads integrated into the content of a podcast or video, such as a segment where the host discusses the benefits of the product or service.
  • Product reviews: The influencer reviews a product or service often in the form of a video and provides their honest opinion to their followers. 
  • Unboxing videos: These are videos where an influencer unpacks a product and shares their first impressions and thoughts on it.
  • Tutorials: Influencers can create how-to or tutorial videos or guides that showcase a product or service and demonstrate how it can be used.
  • Brand endorsements: The influencer promotes a brand’s product or service by featuring it in their video, podcast or other social content.
  • Giveaways: Giveaways involve influencers offering their followers a chance to win a prize in exchange for engaging with their content or following specific social media accounts.
  • Brand collaborations: These are partnerships between influencers and brands where the influencer creates content that features the brand’s products or services.
  • Influencer takeovers: In a takeover, the influencer takes control of a brand’s social media account for a set period of time, creating content and engaging with followers on the brand’s behalf.
  • Affiliate marketing: In this type of influencer marketing, the influencer receives a commission for every sale or click made through a unique affiliate link they share with their followers.
  • Influencer events: These are events hosted by brands where influencers are invited to attend and promote the brand’s products or services to a live audience.
  • Brand Ambassador: Brands can partner with social media influencers, youTubers or podcast hosts to become a brand ambassador, with the host endorsing the brand’s products or services in their own words.


When choosing an influencer to promote your products or services, a large followership is not the only variable to consider. You also want to make sure that the influencer is relevant for your target audience. So when selecting an influencer, consider the following factors:

  • Niche or Industry Fit: The influencer you choose should be relevant to your niche or industry and share your target audience’s interest and values. Look for influencers who create content related to your industry or target niche, as this will help ensure that their followers are interested in your product or service. 
  • Target Demographic Fit: Consider the influencer’s audience demographics, such as age, gender, location, and interests. Look for influencers whose audience demographics match your target customer, as this will increase the chances that their followers will be interested in your product or service.
  • Reputation: Do your research on the influencer’s reputation and past collaborations. Look for any red flags or controversies that may impact your brand’s reputation.
  • Reach: Look for influencers with a large and engaged audience. Consider their social media following, website traffic, email list, and other metrics to determine their reach.
  • Engagement: Engagement is a measure of how much an influencer’s followers interact with their content. Look for influencers with high engagement rates, as this indicates a loyal and active audience. 
  • Cost: Influencer marketing can be expensive, so it’s important to consider the cost of working with each influencer. Look for influencers whose rates fit within your budget and whose ROI is likely to be high.

💡 We have compiled a List of popular global influencers in various niches above. Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive, as there are millions of influencers out there, but it can be a good starting point.

There are also several platforms available that specialize in helping businesses find the right influencers for their needs. You can find a variety of influencer marketing platforms on the Marketing Execution Stack 📋list.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is another essential part of your marketing strategy. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which refers to the practice of optimizing web content and websites to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords and phrases. The primary goal of SEO is to increase the visibility and organic (non-paid) traffic to a website from search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

We already looked into SEO within the “Build and Validate Toolkit” as part of the chapter on website creation. So if you completed the previous toolkit and defined and executed your SEO strategy when creating your website, then you can probably just skip this part. Otherwise, let’s take a look at it now.

Effective SEO requires you to gain an understanding of search engine algorithms and user behavior. That’s why you will need to test and analyze your SEO activities continually to refine and optimize your strategy over time.

Keyword Research

The first thing you want to do is to conduct a keyword research to identify and define relevant keywords that you will focus on.

Keywords are words and phrases that people enter into search engines when looking for information, products, or services related to a particular topic or industry. The purpose of keyword research is to understand the language and terms used by your target audience, so that you can create content and optimize your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for those specific keywords.

Effective keyword research involves using SEO tools and techniques to identify the ideal keywords. To identify “good” keywords you can for example look at the following factors: 

  • Relevance: A good keyword is relevant to your business, industry, and the content on your website. It should accurately reflect what your target audience is searching for and the information they are looking to find.
  • Search volume: A good keyword has a sufficient search volume, meaning that it is searched for frequently by your target audience. You want to target keywords that have enough search volume to make it worthwhile to invest time and resources into optimizing your content for them.
  • Competition: A good keyword has relatively low competition, meaning that it is not too difficult to rank for in search engine results pages (SERPs). You want to target keywords that are not already dominated by established competitors.
  • Specificity: A good keyword is specific and targeted, rather than broad and generic. Specific keywords can help you reach a more targeted audience, while broad keywords may lead to less relevant traffic and higher bounce rates.
  • Intent: A good keyword reflects the intent of your target audience. For example, if your business sells products, you may want to target keywords that indicate buying intent, such as “buy [product name].”
  • Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that have lower search volume but may have higher conversion rates. Targeting long-tail keywords can help you reach a more targeted audience and increase your chances of conversion.

Some common methods include analyzing search trends and competitor websites using keyword research tools like the ones that you will find on your Marketing Execution Stack 📋List.

With those keywords defined you can then apply different types of SEO techniques, that include a number of activities to improve your website ranking:

On-page optimization:

  • Use your target keyword in the page title, URL, and meta description
  • Optimize headings (H1, H2, etc.) with relevant keywords
  • Provide (blog) content that is high-quality, original, and provides value to users
  • Optimize images with descriptive file names and alt tags
  • Include internal links to other relevant content on your website
  • Use schema markup to provide search engines with additional information about your content

Off-page optimization:

  • Build high-quality, relevant backlinks from other websites to your content
  • Leverage social media to promote your content and engage with your audience
  • Participate in online forums and communities related to your industry or niche
  • Guest post on other relevant websites to expand your reach and build authority
  • Monitor your online reputation and address any negative reviews or comments promptly

Technical optimization:

  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on all devices
  • Use HTTPS encryption to ensure data security and improve search engine rankings
  • Implement structured data to help search engines better understand your content
  • Optimize site architecture and navigation to improve user experience and search engine crawling
  • Regularly audit and update your website to ensure it is free of broken links and other technical issues.

You will find various of them on your Marketing Execution Stack 📋List

SEO performance 

Finally, you want to continuously monitor and analyze your website’s SEO performance, and keep optimizing and adjusting if needed. The SEO tools on your Marketing Execution Stack 📋List can help you to understand, not only your own search engine performance as well as the one of your competitors. The different tools use different, sometimes proprietary, types of KPIs to evaluate a website’s  search engine performance, examples are:

  • Domain Authority (DA): a metric developed by Moz that measures the overall strength and authority of a website’s domain. It is calculated based on a variety of factors, including the number and quality of backlinks pointing to the site, the age of the domain, and other factors.
  • Page Authority (PA): another metric developed by Moz that measures the strength and authority of a specific page on a website. It is calculated based on factors such as the number and quality of backlinks pointing to the page, the content on the page, and other factors.
  • Domain Rating (DR): a metric developed by Ahrefs that measures the backlink profile of a website. It ranges from 0 to 100 and is based on the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to a website, as well as other factors such as the diversity of the backlink profile and the freshness of the links.
  • Referring Domains: a metric that shows the number of unique domains that are linking to a website. A higher number of referring domains generally indicates a stronger and more diverse backlink profile, which can positively impact a website’s search engine rankings.
  • Backlinks or Backlink Profile: a metric that measures the number and quality of backlinks pointing to a website or specific page. Backlinks are a key factor in SEO, as they signal to search engines that other websites consider your content to be valuable and relevant.
  • Organic Traffic: a metric that measures the amount of traffic a website receives from organic search results. Organic traffic is an important indicator of SEO performance, as it shows how well a website is ranking for relevant keywords and attracting visitors from search engines.
  • Organic Keywords: a metric that shows the number of keywords a website is ranking for in organic search results. A higher number of organic keywords generally indicates better SEO performance and a stronger overall online presence.
  • Keyword Rankings: a metric that shows where a website or specific page ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases. Higher rankings generally indicate better SEO performance.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR): a metric that measures the percentage of people who click on a link to a website after seeing it in search engine results pages (SERPs). A higher CTR generally indicates better SEO performance, as it shows that a website’s title and meta description are compelling and relevant to searchers

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a marketing channel or tactic that involves sending commercial messages to a targeted audience via email. At the stage of customer acquisition email marketing is a great and cost efficient tool to generate leads, for example through newsletter or promotion email sign ups, and convert those leads into first time customers through targeted emails with highly personalized content. 

At a later stage it can also help you to foster customer engagement, build brand loyalty and stay top-of-mind with prospects and customers.

But before you can send out the first email to your lead or client you will need to get them to sign up to your email list and collect their email address.

There are various channels and moments where you could collect emails, for example:

  • In person sign-up: You can use sign-up forms (physical or digital) at events, in-store, or in other physical locations to capture email addresses from interested prospects. This could include asking for email addresses on comment cards, sign-up sheets, or flyers.
  • Website pop-up: You can use pop-ups on your website to encourage visitors to sign up for your email list. This could include offering an incentive like a discount or free resource in exchange for their email address.
  • Leverage social media: You can promote your email list on social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and encourage followers to sign up by providing a link to a sign-up form or landing page.
  • Landing page: A landing page can be created specifically for the purpose of capturing email addresses. This page could offer a free resource or incentive in exchange for the visitor’s email address.
  • Website user registration/check out: Businesses can require visitors to provide their email address during the registration or check-out process on their website. This email address can then be added to the business’s email list.

To get them to sign-up faster you could offer incentives such as:

  • Discounts or promo codes: Offering a discount or promo code on a future purchase can be a compelling incentive for leads to sign up for your email list.
  • Free resources: Offering a free resource, such as an e-book, whitepaper, or guide, can provide value to leads and encourage them to subscribe to your email list.
  • Gated content: Providing access to exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes information or early access to new products, can incentivize leads to sign up for your email list.
  • Giveaways and contests: Hosting a giveaway or contest, such as a free product or a chance to win a prize, can encourage leads to sign up for your email list for a chance to participate.
  • Free trial: Offering a free trial allows potential customers to try out a product or service before committing to a purchase. Businesses can require potential customers to provide their email address in order to access the free trial, and can then communicate with them through targeted email campaigns to encourage them to become paying customers. This can be particularly effective for SaaS companies or businesses with subscription-based services.
  • Loyalty rewards: Offering loyalty rewards, such as points or discounts, for subscribers who remain on your email list can incentivize leads to sign up and stay engaged with your brand.

✅ Once you have some leads or even customers on your email list, you will, of course, have to keep your promise and send them relevant emails. So first, define the type of emails that you want to send to your clients. These could include, for example:

  • Newsletters: A regular email update that shares information, news, and updates about a business or organization.
  • Promotional emails: Emails that promote a product, service, or event, typically with a call to action (CTA) to encourage recipients to make a purchase or take action.
  • Onboarding emails: An automated email sent to new subscribers or customers to introduce them to the brand, set expectations, and provide helpful resources.
  • Abandoned cart emails: Emails that remind customers who have added items to their online shopping cart but not completed the purchase, with the aim of encouraging them to complete the transaction.
  • Event invitations: Emails sent to invite customers or prospects to attend a virtual or in-person event, such as a webinar, conference, or product launch.
  • Feedback emails: Emails that ask for feedback or reviews from customers, which can help improve the brand’s products or services and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Re-engagement emails: Emails that target inactive subscribers or customers to encourage them to re-engage with the brand by offering promotions or new content.

Then you will need to create the email itself the layout and design as well as the content. There are a number of great email marketing tools out there that allow you to create beautiful email marketing templates. You will find a selection on your Marketing Execution Stack 📋List. Here are some best practices that you can follow when creating your emails to increase the opening and click-through rate.

  • Personalized Subject: Personalizing the email subject with the recipient’s name or other relevant information can increase the likelihood of the email being opened and read.
  • Clear subject line: The subject line should be clear, concise, and compelling to entice the recipient to open the email. Avoid using spammy or clickbait-like subject lines.
  • Mobile optimization: The majority of people check their email on their mobile devices, so it’s important to ensure that the email is optimized for mobile viewing.
  • Clear call-to-action: The email should have a clear and prominent call-to-action that tells the recipient what action they should take.
  • Simple layout: The email should have a simple and clean layout with a clear hierarchy of information. Avoid cluttering the email with too many images or text.
  • Clear branding: The email should have clear branding that is consistent with the business’s website and other marketing materials.
  • Engaging visuals: The use of engaging visuals, such as images or videos, can help capture the recipient’s attention and improve engagement.
  • Personalized content: In addition to personalizing the email with the recipient’s name, the content should be personalized to their interests or behavior. This can be achieved by segmenting the email list and sending targeted content to specific groups.
  • Value-driven content: The content should provide value to the recipient, such as useful tips, insights, or exclusive offers. Avoid sending overly promotional or sales-focused content.
  • Conversational tone: The email should have a conversational tone that is engaging and easy to read. Avoid using jargon or overly complex language.
  • Clear and concise writing: The content should be clear and concise, with a focus on the most important information. Avoid lengthy paragraphs or irrelevant information.
  • Segmenting email list: Segmenting the email list and sending targeted emails to specific groups based on their interests or behavior can increase the relevance and effectiveness of the email.
  • A/B testing: Testing different email elements, such as subject lines, images, and call-to-actions, can help determine what resonates best with the audience and improve the email performance.
  • Consistency: Maintaining a consistent schedule and format for the email can help establish trust with the audience and improve engagement.

✅ To manage your email list, and create and send out your emails, we recommend to use an email marketing tool. There are a lot of tools out there like Sendinblue or  Mail Chimp, most of them even offer a free version that serves its purpose for smaller, new businesses with little subscribers. 

Most of those tools also offer email automation. Meaning they allow you to automatically send targeted and personalized emails to a specific group of recipients based on their behavior or preferences. This can be done through automation flows, which are a series of triggered emails that are sent based on specific actions or events.

Automation flows are pre-built email campaigns that are triggered by a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. These campaigns typically consist of a series of emails that are sent over a period of time, with each email serving a specific purpose, such as introducing a product, providing helpful tips, or offering a discount. By automating your email process, you can save time and resources while also improving the overall effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns.

Paid Online Advertising 

Another effective way to create awareness, generate leads  and increase sales, but at the same time a very costly one, is paid online advertising. In paid online marketing you pay to display your ads on various online platforms such as search engines, social media, websites, and mobile apps. It requires careful planning and monitoring to ensure a good return on investment (ROI) and it is important to research and understand the target audience, set clear goals and budgets, and continuously test and optimize ad campaigns.

Different types of paid online advertising include for example:

  • Search Engine Marketing – Search engine marketing is a type of paid online advertising where businesses place ads on search engine results pages (SERPs). These ads are typically displayed at the top or bottom of the search results and are marked as “sponsored” or “ad”. Advertisers bid for ad placement and pay each time a user clicks on their ad.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: Advertisers pay each time someone clicks on their ad. This type of advertising is often used on search engines like Google or marketplaces like Amazon.
  • Display advertising: Advertisers pay to display their ads on third-party websites or apps. These ads can take many forms, such as banner ads, pop-ups, and interstitial ads. Display advertising is often sold on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis.
  • Native advertising: Native advertising is a type of paid advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. The goal of native advertising is to blend in with the surrounding content and appear more like editorial content rather than an ad. Native ads are commonly found on social media platforms, news websites, and other digital media.
  • Social media advertising: Advertisers pay to display their ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Video advertising: Advertisers pay to display their video ads on platforms like YouTube, Instagram or TikTok.
  • Affiliate advertising: Affiliate advertising is a type of online advertising where you pay affiliates to promote their products or services. Affiliates are typically other website owners, bloggers or influencers who receive a commission for every sale or lead they generate through their promotional efforts.

How you pay for your campaigns can also differ depending on the type of advertisement and platform. Common ad payment models include:

  • Cost per click (CPC): Advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their ad. This is a common payment model for search engine advertising.
  • Cost per impression (CPM): Advertisers pay for every 1,000 ad impressions. An impression is counted each time an ad is displayed on a webpage or app, regardless of whether or not the user clicks on the ad.
  • Cost per action (CPA): Advertisers pay only when a user completes a specific action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  • Cost per view (CPV): Advertisers pay each time their video ad is viewed by a user. This is a common payment model for video advertising on platforms such as YouTube.
  • Flat fee: Advertisers pay a fixed amount for a specific period of time or for a specific ad placement. This model is often used for sponsored content or display advertising.

The first thing you want to do when you decide to go for online advertising is to select the appropriate platform to place your ads. Ad space could, for example, be provided on:

  • Search engines: Google, Bing, and other search engines offer advertising platforms where businesses can display ads on search engine results pages.
  • Social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms offer advertising options where businesses can create and display ads to their target audience.
  • Video platforms: YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch, and other video platforms offer advertising options that allow businesses to display ads before, during, or after videos.
  • Affiliate networks: Amazon Associates, ClickBank, Commission Junction, and other affiliate networks allow businesses to pay affiliates to promote their products or services.
  • Display networks: Google Display Network, AdRoll, and other display networks offer display advertising options that allow businesses to display their ads on a network of third-party websites and apps.
  • Online media: News websites, blogs, and digital magazines offer advertising options such as banner ads, sponsored content, and native ads.
  • E-commerce marketplaces: Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other e-commerce marketplaces offer advertising options such as sponsored product listings and

Most of them offer their own ad management platforms, where you can create and manage advertising campaigns in those spaces. 

For example to advertise on…

Each platform of course works a little differently and has its own process, but in general we could say they usually follow these steps:

  1. Create an account on the advertising platform’s website and set up a payment method, to pay for the ads you run on the platform.
  2. Choose your ad format and create your ad campaign by selecting your target audience, budget, and other campaign settings. (consider using the marketing brief from the previous chapter to define your campaign)
  3. Design your ad creative, which could include images, videos, or text depending on the platform and ad format.
  4. Submit the ad for review by the advertising platform. The platform will review the ad to ensure that it complies with their advertising policies and guidelines.
  5. Once the ad is approved, launch the ad campaign and monitor its performance.
  6. Analyze the results of your ad campaign and make any necessary adjustments to improve its performance.

Design your Ad (Image or Video)

Finally, once you have chosen your channel and defined your campaign, you will need to get creative and design your ad. 

The format of the ad will depend on the platform and the ad type you are creating. However, there are great, easy-to-use design tools like Canva or Adobe Express that allow you to quickly create beautiful ads by offering thousands of templates in different ad formats. You will find a number of design tools on your Marketing Execution Stack 📋List.

When creating your ad, take into account following practices:

  • Choose the right file format: Most platforms support image formats such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF, while video ads may require formats such as MP4 or MOV.
  • Size the ad correctly: Each platform will have specific size requirements for different types of ads. Make sure to review the platform’s guidelines and create the ad in the appropriate size to ensure that it displays correctly.
  • Make the ad visually appealing: Use high-quality images, videos, or graphics to grab the viewer’s attention.
  • Keep the message simple: Use concise, clear language and focus on a single message or call-to-action to avoid overwhelming the viewer.
  • Include a strong call-to-action: Use clear and compelling language to encourage the viewer to take action, such as “Buy Now” or “Learn More.”
  • Make the ad mobile-friendly: Since a large percentage of online browsing occurs on mobile devices, it’s important to ensure that the ad is optimized for mobile viewing.
  • Be consistent with branding: Use consistent branding elements, such as colors, fonts, and logos, to maintain a cohesive brand identity across all ads.
  • Test and iterate: Create multiple versions of the ad and test them to see which one performs best. Use the results to make adjustments and improve the ad’s performance.