A marketing strategy is the process of developing objectives, strategies and tactics that will guide your efforts in reaching your target market. It’s important to note that it isn’t just about getting people to buy your product or service. Rather, it’s about how you go about doing this. Businesses need to develop a plan for how they are going to reach their target market and make sure all the pieces work together seamlessly.
This strategy should always be aligned with the company’s core values and directed to your target customer. It should be able to explain how to get your message out, increase visibility, reach more consumers and boost sales.
In this article we will share with you why you should have a marketing strategy and important subjects to incorporate in it.
First things first, why do you need a marketing strategy?
I think we all agree things go smoother if planned. That’s why you should plan EVERY single thing you do in your business. Plan every piece of content you publish and make it aligned with the core values of your brand so that anyone can immediately link it to you.
A strategy is where you’re headed, a plan is how you’ll get there. A marketing strategy is important so you can define the most advantageous direction and decide what your actions will be focused on, depending on the goals you set. This plan of action will detail all marketing decisions to be implemented in the future and help avoid investing your money in the wrong places.
The ultimate goal of having this type of strategy is to define and communicate your competitive advantage over your competitors.
What includes a marketing strategy?
An effective marketing strategy includes several, well-informed decisions about how you want to promote your business. This strategy will detail all marketing actions to be implemented in the future. A thorough marketing strategy covers the Four P’s of marketing, the business context, the goals you want to reach and the metrics to analyse the results of marketing efforts. Besides these factors, always keep in mind your target market and make decisions accordingly.
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Your target market is the group of people most likely to purchase a product or service from your business. This group represents people who find value in your products and feel their needs satisfied when buying them.
Within your target market it is important to define specific customer segments. This is because your product may cover needs for different groups of people. The different customer segments you identify may cause you to make adjustments in your marketing approach in order to get the right message for the right people. Even if you are communicating the same product or service.
When conducting your target market analysis of each customer segment make sure to include the following information:
- Geographic, demographic, and behavioral characteristics
- Market size and growth potential
- Competitive activity
- Risk factors
- Approach for serving the segment
Marketing – Mix
The 4 p’s of marketing stand for product, price, place and promotion. Together, the 4p’s of marketing, create the marketing mix – a popular model used in the marketing industry.
Although these 4 are the main components of the marketing mix, there are others that can be added to your strategy. The 4 p’s are the key factors that are involved in every good or service sold and should be defined at the early stage of the business.
These components are useful to place your brand in the market with the right positioning. To learn more about these topics check the links below where each marketing-mix variable is explained in depth.
The next step is to examine the context in which your business operates. As a result, you should be able to evaluate the risks and opportunities your brand faces and, most importantly, understand the existing customers of the market you operate in.
To make this analysis you should ask yourself this question: “What are the factors that affect my business?”.
If a strategy can define the most advantageous direction depending on the goals you set, then obviously you need to set those goals.
The objectives you set on your marketing strategy is the most important part because without them you have nothing to aim for. Ultimately, you will feel like you have accomplished nothing.
When doing this, ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve?”. Beware that there are several types of objectives you can define and that they can be accomplished either in the short or long run.
Besides that, the objectives you define must be SMART. This acronym stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound.
Keep in mind that before you define your marketing goals, you must have a clear understanding of your company’s overall vision and goals.