Surviving today’s business world may be difficult. Especially if you are fighting with the wrong weapons. This competitive environment does not forgive poor marketing strategies. Whether you start an online store or decide to make money blogging, a well-done marketing strategy will boost your chances to succeed.
But what does marketing strategy really mean? It is a social and managerial process that refers to the art of strategic advertising and selling. This must, however, be tailored to a rigorous research process. In short, you need to know very well which is your place on the market and where do you aim to be.
If you are not aware of what a marketing strategy must include, here are some insights that might come in handy.
Why are Marketing Strategies so Important?
A marketing strategy is essential for building any type of business, regardless of its industry. Its role is to evaluate how effective is each marketing activity undertaken in relation to the company’s overall objectives.
In any case, creating poor marketing activities can have a negative impact on both the company’s image and sales.
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What Should A Marketing Strategy Contain – A Newbies’ Guide
Under the current conditions, no enterprise can afford to operate without a clear perspective. On both short and long term. Therefore, your marketing strategy goes hand-in-hand with your business goals.
A marketing strategy must not be confused with the marketing plan. The strategy explains what you want to achieve. While the marketing plan shows how will you do it. In short, a marketing strategy must have clear objectives and should include:
- A sketch of your business goals;
- A description of the target audience;
- Description of the competitive environment;
- Positioning the company in relation to the competition;
- Price strategies, relative to those of competition;
- Marketing tactics – channels and tools used;
- Monitoring and evaluation.
1. Identify business goals
Identify and set your business goals using the SMART method. With this in mind, your business goals might focus on:
- rising brand awareness;
- promoting products and services;
- increasing sales;
- reaching new consumer segments.
2. Define your target audience
At this point, you have your business goals. You know what you have to sell and how much. But to whom are you selling?
Determine which is your target audience. Where do they spend time online? See how can you reach it. The better you target audience, the easier it will be for you to run the promotion campaign.
Put yourself in the mind of the consumer. Make sure you use a common language when designing your promotional messages. Creating buyer personas is the key to defining correctly the right target audience.
3. Audit the competition
Competitors’ analysis is a factor to look out for. No company lacks competition for too long. Hence, focus on how much market share your competition owns and which strategies drove them into obtaining it. Understand how their products are better or worse in comparison to yours.
4. Position your company
Quantitative and qualitative analysis will provide an in-depth understanding of the market. In other words, search for studies, analyses, and statistics in the field. Observe which trends are in the industry.
Move on to specifying the aspects of your product uniqueness and why customers would opt for it at the expense of competition.
Within the positioning statement detail the followings:
- Briefly specify the purpose of your product.
- Describe what clients gain.
- State product specs.
5. Label pricing strategies
The price is very important in the case of marketing strategies. It is a component of the product, but also the most flexible element of a business. Here, a common marketing strategy is the introduction of discounts. However, these strategies shall be sketched once the rivals’ pricing tactics are researched and understood.
6. Develop tactics to support your goals
Sketch your marketing mix following the 7 Ps of marketing. If you can pick up an accurate blend of marketing across the 7Ps, your strategy will turn towards success. For the online environment, covering all seven components while delivering brand promises and customer experience is a must.
7. Choose your marketing channels and tools
Once you decided who you target and where you aim to position yourself, it is time to define how you will do these. So, which are the most suitable marketing channels and tools to be used?
There is no universally right answer. Each start-up chooses its own marketing mix. However, there are some things to keep in mind. Firstly, if you are not present online, you do not exist. A lack of social media presence leads start-ups towards collapse. In contrast, not keeping an up-to-date profile can equally damage brand awareness.
Secondly, content is king. Content marketing has become the fastest way to reach prospects. The more innovative and consumer-oriented this is, the more interested your audience gets.
But even the best content can fail if the right methods to expose it are non-existent. To boost your content’s performance, link to other market players. Email outreach is one effective way to leverage these partnerships and get your content seen by a far-reaching audience.
With the help of technology, email outreach is an important lead generation strategy. With a few clicks, marketers can target the influencers they want.
Business users receive, on average, 126 emails per day. Hence, amateur cold pitch emails will fail to increase brand awareness. These do not bring any added value. But how do we optimize email marketing in battling so many daily emails? To boost conversion rates, start using high-performing cold email outreach templates.
8. Keep an eye on upcoming marketing trends
Success in marketing occurs as a result of original, quality content, but the diversity of online communication will involve new approaches to its creation.
It is expected that in 2019, 80% of online content will be in visual form. In this new context, video becomes the most advantageous option for companies who want to grow a brand and attract customers.
What seemed unbelievable a few years ago will become normality in 2019 and upcoming years. Prepare to collaborate with robots to give your customers new online experiences. To be one step ahead of your competition, keeping an eye on and embracing new marketing tools is a must.
9. Evaluate results
One often overlooked step is evaluating how efficient your strategy has been. This step lays the basis for your future strategies. One easy way to do so is through analytics, customer questionnaires, and focus groups.
Because marketing strategy will stretch over a longer period of time, it is important to set the metric for each activity, regardless of its recurrence. So you will know if you are on the right track or not.
A well-established marketing strategy will help your company stand out from competitors, attract new customers, and make them loyal to your brand.
In short, a marketing strategy must:
- Define the overall business idea.
- Create a strategy for positioning your business on the market.
- Define the company’s identity – the image it wants to create in clients’ minds.
- Present a marketing mix.
- Include a monitoring and evaluation plan.
But how do you understand if a marketing strategy is effective? Simple. This is effective once it generates measurable results. These results are intended to make you stand out from the competition.