Many of you understand the basic concept of marketing. However, to ensure we are all on the same page, here’s a brief refresher.
Definition of marketing: Marketing is the essential process of effective communicating the value of your product and or service to your target customer base.
The goal is to peak their interest enough, allowing them to take action and buy your product or service. You are really doing an amazing job if your customer then refers another customer.
If you are a business and you don’t believe in the process of marketing, I highly recommend you re-think your overall business strategy. You absolutely need marketing to attract a relevant customer base to sell your product or service and have a real chance at making a profit.
Now that you’ve taken a brief refresher as to what is marketing and the importance, the next step is developing a marketing strategy.
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy will help your organization to develop the most optimal process, focusing your scarce resources on convertible opportunities.
Your goal with a marketing strategy is to increase the total sales your organization achieves within the target customer base and establishing a competitive advantage that’s sustainable.
When you are developing a marketing strategy, you have to consider the comprehensive marketing goals of your organization. This includes long-term and short-term marketing goals.
You may have to take small bites before you are able to swallow the amount of success you are sure to achieve with an effective strategy. This information will allow you to develop a complete marketing plan. You can’t get anywhere without a solid plan.
Communication as part of a marketing strategy
In order to develop an excellent marketing strategy, you must conduct research within the target market to know exactly how your customer prefers communication.
Remember, marketing is effectively communicating the value of your product or service to the customer. If you don’t have a clear understanding as to how to best communicate with your target customer, your marketing strategy will be ineffective.
What does this mean? Conduct research to determine if your customers need a visual aide, auditory aide, and or things they can touch and feel in order to become connected to your product or service.
For example, I’m auditory. It’s helpful for products and services I’m interested in to have a jingle to their slogan to help me remember to purchase their item.
When I’m in the store, if I walk past an item I need and I can see the product and then recall the jingle, I find myself making a purchase more times than not if I need the product or service at the time.
In your strategy, you may have to develop a combination to meet the needs of your target market. Nonetheless, discover the way your customer needs you to communicate value.
Product mix as part of an effective marketing strategy
It’s critical to ensure your strategy has a keen focus on the product mix that will cause your customer to react. What does this mean?
A product mix will take into consideration the various lines of products offered to the target market. Let’s take it a step further to ensure an understanding is achieved. For example, if you operate an athletic shoe store serving the entire family, what type of products must you offer to ensure you have a profitable product mix?
Athletic shoes are a given. Then to compliment the shoes, you will offer shoe strings. Another relevant offering would be socks and shoe cleaner. It’s important to anticipate the needs of the target consumer. Athletic shoes require certain attire. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to add athletic apparel to your product mix.
Also, consider the type of athletics your target customers are interested in. Perhaps your customers are runners, basketball players, baseball players, and or football players. You must have a mix that is relevant to your target market.
Your product mix must be right. This will ensure you realize maximum profits from your target customer. You must be willing to put in the work as this knowledge will not 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, you need a marketing strategy. The benefits far outweigh the time and financial investments to be made to create the most effective strategy.
Change in the industry and target consumer needs
Aside from meeting the needs of your target customer with an effective 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. The marketing strategy should help you stay current with the changing trends of the industry and the necessary strategic adjustments to be made in order to remain connected with your customer.
For example, if you are a business and you have not already implemented social media as part of your overall marketing strategy, you are behind. Technology is ruling the world we live in. Your customers are online and in-touch via social media. You must get connected to stay connected.
Digital marketing is hot! Many businesses are taking advantage of the mobile lifestyle of their target consumer. Digital marketing allows for a business to advertise on mobile devices, tablets, smartphones, digital billboards (these are really cool), and other digital friendly devices.
This is a huge part of internet marketing and is only going to get bigger. This is a must have in your marketing strategy.
Email marketing is another strategy that is continuing to grow. This is a great way to stay connected with your customer on a permission basis. What does this mean? The customers you send your message to each month, specifically requested to stay in touch. These are high probability sales transactions!
Your marketing strategy should also help to identify areas for business expansion. Every business has the dream of growing. It’s typically identified in their vision statement.
Your marketing strategy will then direct you in the right direction to help reach the potential new customers you will reach as a result of growth. Growth is great and sustainable if you are able to scale your business in a timely and relevant fashion.
As stated before, you may have general knowledge as to the idea and importance of marketing.
You may even have a basic understanding of a marketing strategy. Now, you understand why it’s critical to have one and you have been armed with ideas to get you started.