A marketing strategy is the most important document in the marketing plan. Marketing strategies combine marketing tactics, which are specific activities that help reach an organization’s goal, to build a plan of action. The chart below includes all of the elements that should be included in your marketing strategy document. Are you ready to create your next marketing strategy?

When trying to decide what information to include in your marketing strategy, ask yourself these questions. What is your purpose? What kind of company are you running? Which business type do you identify with? How will this information apply?

Marketing Strategy: What You Need to Know
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An Understanding of Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies should focus on the company’s value proposition, which tells consumers what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business.

The marketing team can use this template to inform all of the company’s products and services. Among the most well-known discount retailers is Walmart (WMT), whose business operations and marketing efforts are based on the idea of “everyday low prices.”

The Difference Between Marketing Strategies and Marketing Plans

Marketing strategies are outlined in marketing plans, a document that outlines a company’s marketing activities and outlines timing for implementation.

Ideally, marketing strategies should last longer than individual marketing plans because they contain value propositions and other key elements of a company’s brand that generally persist over time. Basically, marketing strategies are big-picture messages, whereas marketing plans are specific campaigns’ logistics.

An organization’s marketing strategy might state that they wish to increase authority in niche circles where their clients hang out. Through commissioning thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn, that marketing plan is put into action.

Marketing Strategy Benefits

Understanding the needs and wants of consumers is the ultimate goal of a marketing strategy. Marketing assets can be judged by how effectively they communicate a company’s core value proposition, whether they are print ads, mass customizations, or social media campaigns.

The market research process helps determine how effective a campaign is and can be used to identify untapped audiences in order to increase sales and achieve bottom-line goals.

Write a Successful Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy: What You Need to Know
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Your well-developed marketing strategy will help you realize your business’s goals and focus on the actions required to reach the right customers.

Developing a marketing strategy that includes the components listed below will help you make the most of your marketing investment, keep your marketing focused, and measure and improve your sales results.

Identify Your Business Goals

Align your marketing strategy to the business goals outlined in your business plan; you can then define a set of marketing goals to support them. Your business goals might include:

  • increasing awareness of your products and services
  • selling more products from a certain supplier
  • reaching a new customer segment.

When setting goals it’s critical to be as targeted as possible so you can effectively measure the outcomes against what you set out to achieve. A simple criteria for goal-setting is the SMART method:

  • Specific – state clearly what you want to achieve
  • Measurable – set tangible measures so you can measure your results
  • Achievable – set objectives that are within your capacity and budget
  • Relevant – set objectives that will help you improve particular aspects of your business
  • Time-bound – set objectives you can achieve within the time you need them.

State Your Marketing Goals

Define a set of specific marketing goals based on the business goals. These goals will motivate you and your team and enable you to track your success.

Examples of marketing goals include increased market penetration (selling more existing products to existing customers) or market development (selling existing products to new target markets). These marketing goals could be long-term and might take a few years to successfully achieve. However, they should be clear and measurable and have time frames for achievement.

Make sure your overall strategies are also practical and measurable. A good marketing strategy will not be changed every year, but revised when your strategies have been achieved or your marketing goals have been met. You may need to amend your strategy if your external market changes due to a new competitor or new technology, or if your products substantially change.

Research Your Market

Research is an essential part of your marketing strategy. You need to gather information about your market, such as its size, growth, social trends and demographics (population statistics such as age, gender and family type). It is important to keep an eye on your market so you are aware of any changes over time, so your strategy remains relevant and targeted.

Profile Your Potential Customers

Use your market research to develop a profile of the customers you are targeting and identify their needs.

The profile will reveal their buying patterns, including how they buy, where they buy and what they buy. Again, regularly review trends so you don’t miss out on new opportunities or become irrelevant with your marketing message.

While you try to find new customers, make sure your marketing strategy also allows you to maintain relationships with your existing customers.

Profile Your Competitors

Similarly, as part of your marketing strategy you should develop a profile of your competitors by identifying their products, supply chains, pricing and marketing tactics.

Use this to identify your competitive advantage – what sets your business apart from your competitors. You may also want to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your own internal processes to help improve your performance compared with your competition.

Develop Strategies to Support Your Marketing Goals

List your target markets and devise a set of strategies to attract and retain them. An example goal could be to increase young people’s awareness of your products. Your corresponding strategies could be to increase your online social media presence by posting regular updates about your product on Instagram or Facebook; advertising in local magazines targeted to young people; or offering discounts for students.

Use the ‘7 PS of Marketing’

Reach your selected market by utilising the 7 Ps of marketing mix. If you can choose the right combination of marketing across product, price, promotion, place, people, process and physical evidence, your marketing strategy is more likely to be a success. You can choose any combination of these to achieve your marketing strategy.

Test Your Ideas

In deciding your tactics, do some online research, test some ideas and approaches on your customers and your staff, and review what works. You will need to choose a number of tactics in order to meet your customers’ needs, reach the customers within your target market and improve your sales results.

Tips for Writing a Marketing Strategy

As you write the marketing strategy section of your business plan, keep seven things in mind to make it as effective and relevant as possible.

 Show Your Uniqueness

The foundation of your marketing strategy should be your unique selling proposition (USP)—the statement that outlines what differentiates you from everyone else in the market. Create your USP first, and then build upon it by relating it to each of the 4 Ps. The common thread through each part of your marketing strategy should be how your business solves a problem or meets a need better than anyone else.

 Know Your Customers/Clients

The information you include in your marketing strategy should incorporate all of the research you conducted in your market analysis. Make sure you have a clear idea of who your ideal customers or clients are, what they like, what they need, and what they expect. This will make your marketing strategy more accurate and applicable to your target audience.

Be Flexible

While the 4 Ps of marketing work well for physical products, they may need to be tweaked a bit for services. For example, for the place section, you may use your website instead of a physical location. Your website should also be a part of your promotion section, as should any social media that you participate in.

Do Your Research

When you’re determining your pricing, you should have plenty of data to back up your decision. Include industry reports, competitor ads, and comparisons that demonstrate the research you conducted and how you came to the conclusion that you are pricing your product or service correctly.

Use Visuals

As in other sections of your business plan, using charts, graphs, and images to illustrate your facts can make them easier for your audience to absorb. Is your pricing right at the median in the industry? Are you planning to use a four-step distribution process? Use visual aids to drive your point home.

Remember Your Budget

You will outline the financial analysis of your company in another section of your business plan, but keep those numbers in mind as you write your marketing strategy. Your marketing process may look good by itself, but unless you tie it directly to your financial status, you will have a difficult time meeting your goals.

Include Your Collateral

If you’re going to talk about your marketing collateral in your marketing section, you should include samples as exhibits. These might include brochures, fact sheets, videos, and photos.

Is a Marketing Strategy Necessary for My Company?

Marketing Strategy: What You Need to Know
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Marketing strategies help companies target their advertising dollars where they will have the greatest impact. Organization and success among marketers jumped from almost four times more likely in 2018 to almost seven times more likely in 2022.

A Marketing Strategy Consists of the Four PS. What Do They Mean?

Product, price, promotion, and place are the four Ps. These are the key factors involved in marketing a product or service. Planning a new business venture, evaluating an existing offer, or optimizing sales with a target audience can all be done using the four Ps. Additionally, it can be used to test a current marketing strategy on a new audience.

How Does a Marketing Strategy Look?

Advertising, outreach, and public relations campaigns will be described in a marketing strategy, as well as how the company will measure their success. Typically, they will follow the four Ps. In addition to market research to support pricing decisions and new market entries, marketing plans include tailored messaging that targets specific demographics and geographic areas, as well as platforms for product and service promotions—digital, radio, internet, trade magazines, and the mix of those platforms for each campaign, as well as metrics for calculating marketing results.

Do Marketing Strategies and Marketing Plans Have the Same Meaning?

The terms “marketing strategy” and “marketing plan” are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is based on an overarching strategic framework. Smaller companies that run only one or two campaigns a year may incorporate a strategy and a plan into one document. A marketing plan details marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, whereas a marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

Marketing teams must consider these challenges

Creating a multidisciplinary team to develop a marketing strategy is the ideal way to leave everything in the hands of specialists.

Keeping up with the latest market news is essential, as are addressing some of the challenges that will arise:

1. Qualitative lead generation

Quality leads are hard to come by, which is why many entrepreneurs prefer quantity over quality. Getting quality leads is the best thing you can do, so we do not recommend doing that.

By knowing your audience, you can develop campaigns that offer solutions to their problems.

2. ROI shouldn’t be overlooked

Sometimes we forget the return on investment while executing all the actions outlined in the marketing plan.

For your efforts to be successful, they must be measured over time. Implementing tools that allow you to obtain and interpret the metrics relevant to each case will allow you to accomplish this.

3. Make use of technology

In marketing, technology is fundamental to accelerating results. In today’s world, there are powerful software programs that provide you with all the tools you need to measure the success of your strategy at all times.

By doing so, you will be able to plan better and determine when you should step back.

In light of this information, it is clear that betting on a marketing strategy is a great way to get good customers.

Take a look at our online masters and certifications section and take a look at all the great benefits of joining The Power Business School if you want to expand your knowledge of digital marketing strategies and business management. 

Feel free to share your thoughts about this exciting topic in the comments section below. 

Conclusion

Marketing plan should include the target market, competitors, marketing tactics, budget, what will be sold and why. If you can define your target market its easier to come up with the correct marketing strategy.

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