Marketing Strategy Fundamentals
Before we go into understanding marketing strategy, why you should employ a marketing strategy for your business, and how to come up with a marketing strategy that works, it’s important that we go over some marketing basics.
This is because many business owners we’ve come across have no idea of the concept of marketing, and why they should allocate sufficient resources to developing and following a marketing plan. So, to ensure we are on the same page, let’s go over some marketing fundamentals.
Definition of Marketing: Marketing is the fundamental process of effectively conveying the value of your product or service to your target customer base.
The Goal of Marketing: The goal of marketing is to pique sufficient interest, thereby influencing your target audience to take action and buy your product or service. You get plus marks if your customer then refers to another customer.
If you are a business owner and you don’t believe in marketing, then you need to re-think your overall business strategy. Marketing is absolutely necessary to attract the relevant customer base to your product or service and making profit.
Now that we’ve taken you through a brief (extremely brief we must admit) introductory course on marketing and its importance, the next step is developing a marketing strategy.
What is Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy will help your business organization to develop the most optimal marketing process, helping you focus your scarce resources on convertible opportunities.
Your goal with a marketing strategy is to increase total sales within the target customer base while establishing a sustainable competitive advantage.
When developing a marketing strategy, it is imperative that you consider the comprehensive long-term and short-term marketing goals of your organization. This information will allow you to develop a complete marketing plan as you can’t get anywhere without a solid plan.
Considering the long-term marketing goals as well as the short-term ones might mean having success initially in small bites before swallowing the huge amount of success you are sure to achieve in the long run with a comprehensive marketing strategy.
During the Odigital Digital Marketing training, we spend the first few weeks teaching students about strategy an how to plot a healthy marketing strategy before diving into advertising. it’s very important to have a digital marketing strategy.
Communication as part of a marketing strategy
To develop an excellent marketing strategy, you must research your target market to know exactly how to communicate with them. This is important because as we defined earlier, marketing is effectively communicating the value of your product or service to prospective customers.
Your marketing strategy will be ineffective if you don’t have a clear understanding as to how to best communicate with your target audience. You need to research to determine if your target market need visual aides, auditory aides, or things they can touch and feel for them to become connected to your product or service.
For example, for auditory people, it might help to have something like a jingle to your slogan for them to be interested in your products and services and help them remember to patronize you whenever they need your product or services. People like that would find themselves making a purchase more times than not when they’re in a store and walk past a product that has a slogan with a jingle to it.
You might need to employ a combination of communication tools and methods to meet the needs of your target market, but you must discover the way your customer needs you to communicate value.
Product mix as part of an effective marketing strategy
It’s imperative to ensure that your strategy has an intense focus on the product mix that will cause your prospective customers to react.
A product mix takes into consideration the various lines of products offered to the target market. Let’s say for example, that you operate a football boots store, what type of products must you offer to ensure you have a profitable product mix? The boots themselves are primary.
You might then need to offer boot laces and socks to go along with the boots. It would also make perfect sense to add football jerseys and even footballs to your product mix. Essentially, it’s important to anticipate the needs of your target customers and have a product mix that is relevant to them. This would ensure you realize maximum profits from your target customers.
You must be willing to put in the work to know the right product mix to offer as this knowledge wouldn’t come without conducting extensive research.
Why is a marketing strategy so important and why do you need one?
Regardless of the size of your organization, the benefits of having a marketing strategy far outweigh the time and financial investments needed to create an effective one. Aside from meeting the needs of your target customer with a kick-ass marketing strategy, you will also learn your strengths and weaknesses as the market evolves.
The goal is to develop a sustainable competitive advantage, thus you need to know what you are good at, and what you need to improve on. A good marketing strategy should help you stay current with the changing trends of the industry and the vital adjustments you need to make to remain connected with your audience. If for instance, you are yet to implement social media as part of your overall marketing strategy, you are behind.
Technology is ruling the world we live in, and your customers are online and on social media. You must get connected to stay connected.
Digital marketing has also become a mainstay in the marketing strategy of many businesses, especially over the last 7 years. Many businesses are taking advantage of the mobile lifestyle of their target customers as digital marketing allows them to advertise on mobile devices, tablets, smartphones, digital billboards and other digital-friendly devices. This is a huge part of internet marketing and is a must-have in your marketing strategy.
Email marketing is another strategy that continues to grow. Email marketing is a great way to stay connected with your customers by sending them periodic newsletters, with their permission of course.
Email marketing is especially effective as a retargeting tool and can also help with providing upsells or downsells, and as well as engaging with your customers, thus building customer loyalty.
A good marketing strategy would also help identify areas for business expansion. Every business has the dream of growing,
a marketing strategy will help point you in the right direction to help reach potential new customers even as your business grows. Growth becomes sustainable if you can scale your business in a timely and relevant fashion.