Do you want to be able to broaden your customer base and effectively retain customers? Business planning whilst imperative, will not prove effective if it is not coupled with a Marketing Strategy.
A comprehensive Marketing Strategy will bring about a focused Marketing Plan that is completely aligned to the overall strategy of the company.
Lets take a look at the 5 steps to creating a Marketing Strategy that will amplify your results:
Step 1: Define the essence of your business – The Why, Who, What, Where, How
The conception of every business idea is the ability to define why you are in business, who is it you are planning to serve (your target market) what are you going to do FOR them and where you intend to do it and how you will tell your target audience that you exist.
- Describe your USP – Unique Selling Proposition
- Define your target market – the demographic of people who are most likely to need/want your product/service.
- Explicate how your product/service will benefit your target market.
- Determine the locations you will operate from in order to efficiently reach your target market.
- Explore how you will communicate with them.
Step 2: Conduct a Situational Analysis – Create a snapshot of your current situation
- Your situational analysis should list down your (SWOT) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors and the Opportunities and Threats are the external factors that will affect the future performance of the company.
Step 3: Identify your overall marketing goals
Now its time to turn your strategy into results:
- Define the goals that you want to achieve through this strategy
- Evaluate the potential of every marketing channel in the customer journey –
- Assign a budget and time frame
Step 4: The Strategy – The Marketing Mix
Positioning your product/service in the mind of the customer through the 4 Ps (The Marketing Mix)
- Product – How is your offering really adding value to the target market. Offering your target market the right product is the key piece of the puzzle.
- Price – Price plays an important role in positioning the product in the mind of the customer and will directly affect how it sells.
- Place – Whether physical or virtual, this is all about picking the right market place to make your product/service available to your customer
- Promotion – How will your target market know, come to know or be educated about your product or service.
Step 5 – Evaluating your Strategy
After implementation of your marketing mix in Step 4 you would need to evaluate and monitor its effectiveness. Here’s some pointers on how you can do so:
- Set a performance benchmark
- Measuring performance
- Analysing the Variance
- Taking corrective action
Whilst it may seem that this is something that every company wishing to sell anything needs to do, its often a step that is skipped or missed out on, when companies and entrepreneurs feel like they have a “great idea”.
Great ideas still need to be sold and for that they need to be positioned, and for that you need a strategy.