Updated: Apr 25
Strategy is a fancy word for creating a plan based on research and outlining steps to execute the plan. This is why you can see the word ‘strategy’ attached to almost anything in regard to business. Sales strategy. Marketing strategy. Product strategy. Customer acquisition strategy. Social media strategy. You get my point. If you replace the word ‘strategy’ with ‘plan’, it becomes a little clearer what you’re signing up for. But what ‘plan’ doesn’t take into account is the research and discovery phase, the insights that are gleaned from it, nor the steps needed to execute the plan. So, we go with ‘strategy’.
But let’s peel the curtain back a bit on what a ‘strategy’ project at UnderBelly would look like.
Step 1: Research & Discovery
The research and discovery phase is exactly what it sounds like. It’s part of the project where we dive right in with all questions and no answers.
We research and analyze your competitors.
What is their core value prop? How do they express that to their customers? What are their main marketing channels? Do they have a newsletter? What do they include in their newsletter? How much do they charge? How are the different from you? Are there any trends we notice?
We research your current customers.
What sort of trends are we seeing with the types of customers you have? Who are your most loyal customers? Why do they say they love you? Who are you currently marketing towards? Does your current marketing efforts align with your most loyal customers? How do your customers generally feel about you? What do your customers say are your biggest value adds?
We dive into your business.
What are your current value props? Do you have website analytics? How many people are visiting your website? What is your bounce rate? How often are people returning to your website? What web pages are they clicking? Are people following your CTAs? How are you marketing yourself across the different platforms? What is your current messaging? What is your current sales cycle? What is your current pricing structure?
And more! The goal of this phase is to build our own foundation around your business and the competitive landscape. We want to understand how you fit into the industry and where you can stand apart. We call this the foundational step for a reason. By spending time asking as many questions as we can while being as open-minded as possible, our hope is to provide insights that lead to new opportunities.
Step 2: Planning
In the planning phase, we take all of the information we’ve gathered about you, your customers, and your competition to build out an actionable plan and provide explicit recommendations.
Just as step 1 has a vast array of questions depending on the project, step 2 will be just as diverse. Some examples could include:
A new pricing structure
Are you considered a premium product?
Are you a more affordable option?
A content marketing plan
What kind of content are you creating?
Long form video
What channels are your sharing your content?
How often are you posting?
Who are you talking to in each channel?
A new sales pipeline
How many steps does it take to sign a contract?
Is that necessary?
Who is your target audience
What would a brand refresh include?
A new website
What is the flow of the website?
What are your core value props?
What pages need to be included?
The goal of the planning phase is to be as tangible as possible with our recommendations. For example instead of saying “Post to Instagram”, we would say “post to Instagram 2x a week about x,y, and z topics. Your target audience is ______ and in step 3 we will create initial templates to use for the accompanying graphic.” When we say tangible, we mean it.
Step 3: Implementation
The final step is when we actually make everything that we’ve outlined. By the end of the planning phase, we will create a final list of deliverables for the project. I’m sure it shocks you 0% when I tell you, the list of final deliverables in the implementation phase is endless. But here are a few examples:
A brand refresh or update
New colors New logo Updated mission/vision/value New illustrations + icons New icons
For social media
For the website
New marketing materials
Investor pitch deck
Social media grapics Blog posts Videos
Brand awareness campaign
Bus wraps Social media
Email marketing implementation
New package design
Shipping material design
The whole point of a strategy project is to build insights on how to achieve a specific goal, usually around the question: How do we take your business to the next level? And then give you the tools, assets, and confidence to charge forward.