A marketing strategy is a business’s total game plan to reach potential consumers and turn them into customers for their products or services. It contains the company’s primary brand messaging, value proposition, data on prospective customer demographics, and other significant elements. A comprehensive marketing strategy should cover the seven Ps of marketing.
A strong marketing strategy should be based on a company’s value proposition, which tells the consumers what the company is about, its operations, and why it warrants their business. It provides marketing teams with an outline that informs their initiatives across all company products and services.
A marketing strategy is outlined in a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a document that specifies the particular types of marketing activities conducted by a company and has timetables for implementing various marketing initiatives.
Ideally, marketing strategies should have longer lifespans than marketing plans as they contain value propositions and other major components of a company’s brand. In other words, a marketing strategy covers big-picture messaging, but a marketing plan describe the logistical details of particular campaigns.
The eventual goal of a marketing strategy is to accomplish and communicate a justifiable competitive advantage over it competitors by understanding the wants and needs of its customers. Whether it’s a social media campaign, mass customization, or a print ad design, a marketing strategy can be valued by how efficiently it communicates a company’s primary value proposition. A company can use market research to plan the effectiveness of a particular campaign and help in identifying untapped audiences to increase sales and accomplish bottom-line goals.
Cause Marketing. Also known as cause-related marketing, cause marketing links a company and its products to a social issue or cause.
Relationship Marketing. This type of marketing strategy focuses on customer satisfaction and retention in order to improve the relationship with existing customers to promote loyalty.
Scarcity Marketing. This marketing strategy creates a notion of a shortage with the aim of enticing customers to purchase now for fear of not getting the product in the future.
Undercover Marketing. Also known as stealth marketing, undercover marketing involves marketing without the consumers realizing that they are being marketed to.
The basis of your marketing strategy should always be your unique selling proposition (USP). This is the statement that outlines what distinguishes your business from others in the market. First create your USP and the build upon it by linking it to each of the 7Ps. The common drift through every stage of your marketing strategy should be how the business meets a need or solves a problem better than any other.
The information you put in your marketing strategy should integrate all of the research you carried out in your market analysis. Ensure that you are clear about who your model clients or customers are, what they expect, what they need, and what they like. This will make the marketing strategy more applicable and accurate to your potential customers.
While the 7Ps of marketing may work well for tangible products, you may need to tweak them a little for services. For instance, for the place part, you can use your website in place of a physical location. The website can also be part of your promotion section and any social media you take part in.
When deciding on your pricing, you are supposed to have sufficient data to support your decision. Include competitor ads, industry reports, and comparisons that show the research you did and how you arrived at the conclusion that you are correctly pricing your product or service.
As with other parts of your business plan, using images, graphs, and charts to display your facts can make it easier for your audience to understand.
While creating your business plan, one of the things to include is a financial analysis. Keep the numbers in mind while writing your marketing strategy. Your marketing process may seem good on its own, but until you directly tie it to your financial status, you will have challenges meeting your goals.
You need to align the marketing strategy to your business goals as they appear in your business plan and then define several marketing goals to sustain them. The business goals may include:
When setting your goals, it is crucial to be as specific as possible to enable you efficiently measure the outcomes against the goals. Use the SMART method to do this:
Outline a set of particular marketing objectives based on your business objectives. The objectives will inspire you and your team and allow you to track your success. Marketing objectives can include market development or increased market penetration. These marketing objectives could be long-term and may take a few years to accomplish. But, they should be measurable and clear with time frames for accomplishment.
Ensure that your overall strategies are also measurable and practical. An effective marketing plan should not be changed yearly, but revised when the strategies have been accomplished or your marketing objectives have been achieved. However, you may need to modify your strategy if the external market changes because of new technology or new competitor, or if the sustainability of your products changes.
Research is an important part of any marketing strategy. You should gather data about your market, such as demographics (family type, gender, and age), social trends, growth, and size. It is crucial to be aware of your market so as to recognize any changes with time, so that your strategy remains targeted and relevant.
Use the market research you did to develop a profile of your potential customers and identify their needs. The profile will expose their buying patterns, including what they buy, where they buy, and how they buy. Once more, constantly review trends so as not to miss out on significant opportunities or become immaterial with your marketing message. As good as it is good to find new customers, ensure that your marketing strategy has a provision for maintaining relationships with current customers.
Likewise, you should create a profile of your competitors as part of your marketing strategy. Identify their marketing tactics, pricing, supply chains, and products. Use the information to identify your competitive advantage, that is, what is special about your business. You ca also identify the strengths and weaknesses of your internal processes to help in improving your performance in comparison to your competition.
While deciding your tactics, conduct some online research, test new approaches and ideas on your staff and customers, and evaluate what works. Choose several tactics to meet the needs of your customers, reach those within your target market and increase your sales results.
After developing your marketing strategy, use the “Seven P Formula” to constantly evaluate and reevaluate your business operations. As customers, markets, products and needs rapidly change, you should frequently revisit the seven Ps to confirm that you are on track and attaining the maximum results possible in the current marketplace.
To start with, get used to looking at your product with the perspective of an outside marketing consultant hired to help decide whether or not the product is in the right business currently. Ask yourself critical questions like, “Is the product or service, or both, suitable for today’s customers and market?”
Every time you have difficulties selling as much of your products as you would like, normalize assessing your business honestly by asking questions like, “Am I selling the right products for our customers today?”
Is there a product that is currently in circulation that, knowing what you do now, you would not develop again today? In comparison to your competitors, does your product have a unique selling proposition? If yes, what is it? If not, can you make your product superior in some way? Is the product appropriate for the current marketplace?
The second P in the Seven Ps Formula is price. Get used to constantly examining and reexamining your prices to ensure that they are still reflective of the realities of the market today. You may need to reduce your prices sometimes and raise them at other times. Some companies have realized that the profitability of particular products or services does not rationalize the amount of resources and effort that goes into their production. If you raise your prices, you may lose a percentage of your customers, however, the remaining percentage still generates a profit for every sale. Can this work for you?
At other times, you may have to modify your terms and conditions of sale. You can even combine products together and give special promotions and special offers.
Just as with nature, in business when you experience frustration or resistance in any section of your sales or marketing plan, revisit that area. Acknowledge that your current pricing may not be ideal for the current market. Accept that you need and should revise your prices, if called to do so, to thrive, to survive and remain competitive in a fast-changing marketplace.
The third habit you need to adopt is to always think in terms of product or service promotion. Promotion includes how you inform your customers about your products/services, how you market and sell to them. A small change in how you sell and promote your products can result in big changes in your results. Even minute changes in your advertising can immediately lead to higher sales. An experienced copywriter can rise the response rate from advertising by 500% by just changing an advertisement’s headline.
Small and large companies in every industry constantly experiment with various forms of selling, promoting, and advertising their products and services. And here is the standard rule, whatever sales and marketing method you are using now will stop being effective, sooner or later. It may cease being effective for reasons known to you, and sometimes you won’t know the reasons. Either way, your sales and marketing methods will ultimately stop working, and you will need to develop new sales strategies, offerings, and marketing and advertising approaches.
The fourth P in this formula is the place where you sell your product or service. Develop a habit of reflecting upon and reviewing the actual location where your customers meet the salesperson. A location change can sometimes result in increased sales. Your product can be sold in various places. It can be through direct selling, using salespeople to meet and talk with prospective customers, through telemarketing, or at trade shows. Some companies use manufacturers’ distributors or representatives, and many other options.
In whichever case, the entrepreneur should make the right decision on the best lace or location for the customer to obtain essential buying information on the product for them to make a buying decision.
The fifth P in marketing is packaging. Get used to standing back and observing every visual element in your product’s packaging through the eyes of a critical viewpoint. Remember that people form a first impression about you or your product within the initial 30 seconds of seeing you or the product. Small improvements in the external appearance or packaging of your product can regularly result in totally different reactions from customers.
Regarding packaging, think about all that a customer sees from initial contact with your company to the purchasing process. Packaging is how your product or service looks from the outside. It can also refer to your staff and how they groom and dress, your correspondence, brochures, waiting rooms, offices and any other single visual component about your company. Everything helps or hurts. Everything counts and everything affects the confidence of your customers about dealing with you.
Positioning is the next P. Develop a habit of thinking consistently about your positioning in the minds and hearts of your customers. What do people talk and think about in your absence? What do they say about your company? What is your position in the market, specifically in terms of particular words used when people you and your products to others?
The way your customers see and think about you is a critical determinant if your success in the competitive workplace. Attribution theory states that customers think about you in terms of one attribute, positive or negative. It may be “service” or “excellence” or “quality engineering” or “the ultimate driving machine”. In each case, how deeply engrained of the attribute in your customers and prospective customers minds determines how readily they will buy from you and how much they will pay.
You should always be thinking about ways to improve your positioning. Start by identifying the position you would like to take. What would be your ideal impression in the minds and hearts of your customers? What steps would you take for every customer interaction to make your customers talk and think about you positively? Do you need to make any changes in your interactions for your customers to see you as their best choice?
The last P of marketing is people. Always think in terms of the individuals inside and outside your business who are in charge of your sales and marketing strategy and other activities. It is astounding how businesspeople and entrepreneurs work hard to think through every aspect of their marketing strategy, and then disregard the fact that every policy and decision has to be implemented by a particular person, in a particular way. Your ability to choose, recruit, hire and maintain the proper people, with the abilities and skills to do the job entrusted to them is more significant that everything else.
The most essential factor practiced by the best companies is first to get the right people in and the wrong people out. Once a company hires the right people, the second thing is to get the right people the right positions in the company. To succeed in business, you should always think in terms of who is going to execute each responsibility and task. In most cases, it’s impossible to progress forward until you hire the right people and place them in the right position. There are many excellent business plans sitting on shelves today because the developers could not find the right people to execute the plans.
Business students are sometimes required to write a business plan during their course of study. A marketing strategy is an essential part of a marketing plan that requires clarity and relevant details. Buy-Essay.com is a custom writing service providing services to students from all over the world. If you would like assistance writing a business plan, we can help you. Reach out to us through email or a live chat on our website. We will be glad to help.
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