It doesn’t matter whether you work for a large Fortune 500 company or own a small Mom and Pop grocery store, devising a sound marketing strategy is going to help meet monthly and annual goals and objectives smoothly and effectively. It doesn’t have to cost a million dollars and you don’t have to have an MBA from Harvard Business School either.
The keys to developing a strong marketing strategy include proper market segmentation, competitive analysis, product/service definition, and various marketing efforts from advertising, social media, Internet marketing, public relations, events and tradeshows, direct mail and networking.
Without a solid marketing strategy, you have no blueprint to follow. You will not be able to plan monthly and annual goals and objectives. You will also not be able to measure results. You will not know how to build the business, where to add products, where to spend more marketing dollars, where to hire more people, what events to attend, and what industry programs to join. Thus, it is imperative to conduct an overall marketing investigation and put together a marketing strategy before even starting your business.
Ways to Create a Strong Marketing Strategy
Market Segmentation – who is the ideal client/customer? Where does he/she live? What is the income target? What is the age bracket? What are his/her lifestyle, hobbies, and interests? If you’re trying to create a product/service for a business, you need to determine which organizations, industries, size of organizations by employees or revenue, and whether they are product or service based businesses you want to attract. How much market share will you have? Once you’ve refined the market segment, find a niche to start with because you can’t saturate entire market, especially when a business has a limited amount of funds available. Moreover, market saturate is usually not as effective as niche marketing because you spread yourself too thin.
Competition – knowing your competition is going to give you an advantage. Before determining your competitors, conduct a SWOT Analysis – Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats. Once you determine your direct and indirect competitors, you will be able to determine how much market share there is. When creating this part of your marketing strategy, you will also be able to determine your competitive selling advantage or your unique selling proposition. This is the defining factor of your business and brand, essentially what makes your product or service better than all of the competition; superior customer service, best prices, location and convenience.
Product/Service Definition – Do you really have a viable product or service? Do people or businesses really need what you are offering? Have you conducted the right market research? Are markets really interested in what you are offering? How are you going to package your product or service? How are you going to sell your products or services?
Getting your market to hear about your product/service – You have to determine the best ways to tell the world about your product/service. You have to create awareness and buzz through the media – print/electronic/television/radio. This is done through advertising, public relations, and publicity, direct mail, branding, networking, Internet marketing, and networking to name a few.
In your marketing strategy, you must create credibility because you want your market to trust what you are selling. You want to position your business positively and position yourself as an expert in your field by writing articles and lecturing at different public speaking events.
You also want to maintain a consistent message across all marketing materials. Study Target and McDonalds for consistency in message branding. It’s safe to say, you know what you are going to get every single time you go into either one of those stores.
For more information on building your marketing strategy, contact Kristin at [email protected].