There’s no denying it.
Achieving your business goals and objectives is not easy when there are fierce competitors and way too many options for the consumer. But, there’s one thing which, if you get right, will pave the way towards profitability and achievement of goals.
It is a marketing strategy and forms a part of the overall business plan.
Simply explained, marketing strategy defines how you are going to find clients and customers by marketing your products or services to the target market.
Sometimes, people confuse it with a marketing plan, but the two are different. Whereas marketing strategy defines what you want to achieve to fulfill your business goals, marketing plan explains how you are going to make that possible.
A marketing strategy is developed before the business starts or at the beginning of a business year.
When you approach marketing, it’s vital to develop a marketing strategy.
It should be able to answer questions like how the product or service you are creating fits into the marketplace, who your competitors are, how you can effectively market your product or service and what you should achieve to reach your financial goals.
Once your marketing strategy is ready, you should start developing your marketing plan to give shape or reality to your marketing strategy.
Here are a few things that any effective marketing strategy should achieve.
Once you know why it is essential to build a marketing strategy and what it can achieve, you should start making it by incorporating the 5Ps of the marketing mix viz. product, price, place, promotion, and people.
A well-informed marketing strategy lays a strong foundation for a solid marketing plan.
So, are you ready to prepare a killer marketing strategy and lay the foundation of a thriving business?
Let’s do this!
How to build a marketing strategy, step-by-step?
When you have to formulate a well-informed and competitive marketing strategy, you should be specific, use visuals to explain essential points and keep your brand promise when you offer your product or service so that the cus experience is impeccable.
Here are the steps to create a marketing strategy that resonates with your business goals.
1)Identify your goals and objectives
As your marketing strategy is a part of your overall business plan, the goals and objectives you set for it are broadly guided by the overall business objectives.
Your marketing strategy objectives should be realistic (achievable within a set time-frame), measurable and thereby help the marketing team evaluate their success and effectiveness in achieving marketing goals.
2)Define your USP
Every business is unique and has something special to offer its customers by way of products and services. Find out as much about your product or service, how it will benefit the end customer and its Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Your product or service has something your competitors don’t have, and that’s your USP that you need to focus. Highlight this USP and its benefits for the consumer in your marketing messages.
3)Identify your target customers.
You should know the demographics of people to whom your marketing communication is targeted. After all, you want to have focused marketing efforts to increase the return on investment and profitability.
To get this right, create a ‘buyer persona’ of your ideal customer. Do market research and be as detailed as possible concerning age, gender, location, preferences, occupation, likes, etc. This will make your efforts laser focused.
4)Do market and competitor analysis
The dynamic marketing landscape is constantly changing. Preparing yourself to new business challenges and threats from competitors is what should be done.
It’s a good time investment to identify who your direct and indirect competitors are and how they fare regarding sales and marketing like customers, brand, locations, customer service, price, etc.
Analyzing what advantages, disadvantages, strengths, and weaknesses they have over us will make you much better prepared to face the challenges later on.
5)Describe your product positioning and how your customers will benefit
By now, you have identified your target customers, analyzed your products or services for their USP and known pretty well about competition.
It’s the time to position your product in the minds of your prospects.
How they will perceive the value derived from your offering will be determined by how you position it. Positioning presents the benefits of your offering to the target audience. This is also determined to an extent by the price-point at which it is being offered.
6)Define marketing methods and marketing channels
When it comes to the marketing methods and channels, there’s no shortage of choice. You can use online marketing, offline marketing or a combination of both.
But don’t decide the methods and channels randomly. You should put your marketing efforts depending on your target audience and where they are found most frequently.
Marketing strategy is not a rigid piece of document. As you develop your marketing plan, you might need to tweak it and make it more accommodating.
There might be shifts in demand or other factors having a direct impact on sales. You also need to change it with the changing business requirements, marketing conditions or your competitors’ strategies.
Marketing strategy assumes even greater importance when you are raising a round of funding from potentials investors. Both your marketing strategy and marketing plan give a complete insight into what your business is set to achieve.
As a marketer, it lays the foundation of all your marketing efforts. How efficiently your business employs the tactics to execute these strategies is the challenging, yet the most rewarding part of any business.
After all, it all comes to the fulfillment of business goals. Is your marketing strategy geared to crush your business goals and achieve the bottom line?