Writing a successful marketing strategy
Developing a successful marketing strategy is essential for any business.
In the absence of a marketing strategy, your business will be unable to reach out to its customers with its goods or services.
The focus of your marketing strategy should be to communicate the advantages of your products and services and the way in which they can meet the needs of your customers.
Once you have determined this, you can begin to develop a long and lucrative relationship with your customers.
Your marketing strategy must be flexible to enable you to respond to changes in your customer’s perceptions and demands.
Your strategy should also aid you in identifying new markets that you may be able to target.
Key Elements of Successful Marketing Strategies
Your potential customers will fall into certain groups or segments, determined by their requirements.
You can identify these groups and their requirements through conducting market research. This gives you the chance to address your requirements more successfully in comparison to your competitors.
You can then begin to produce a marketing strategy that utilises your business’ strengths and matches them to the requirements of the customers you wish to target.
For example, if your chosen group of customers is seeking quality products, your marketing activities should be aimed at drawing attention to the quality of your business’ products or services.
Once you have coined a marketing strategy, it is essential to determine the marketing activities that you will need to engage in to ensure that your target market is aware of the products or services that you offer and the way in which they are able to meet their needs.
You should aim to put the majority of your efforts into attracting the customers that will provide you with the most profits.
There are countless ways in which you can do this, including advertising, Internet activity, exhibitions, point of sale strategies and public relations initiatives.
You should try to limit marketing activities to include only those methods that you consider will be the most effective.
This will help you to avoid dividing up your budget too thinly.
Product Portfolios and Marketing Strategy Incorporation
Managing your products’ life cycles is an essential part of your marketing strategy.
When you remain aware of precisely where your product is within its life cycle, you will be able to market your product in a way that will maximise its sales.
Your marketing strategy must be tailored to each product or service that your business offers.
It should also consider the stage your product or service is at in its life cycle. It is a wise idea to ensure that you have new products or services to offer as interest in your other products or services decline.
That way, at least one product or service in your range will be benefiting from a sales peak.
Alternatively, you could take steps to alter a current product to produce a new version.
As your business will be small to start off with, it is essential for you to remember that you do not necessarily have to be the market leader from the outset.
However, you should always remain focused on what makes your business different to - and superior to - your competitors.
Evaluating a Marketing Strategy for Effectiveness
Once you have decided on your marketing strategy, it is essential to monitor and evaluate it for effectiveness.
This will not only aid you in determining the way in which your marketing strategy is working but will inform you of the best way to proceed with your future marketing strategies.
One simple way to determine whether your marketing strategy is working efficiently is to ask new customers about the way in which they learned of your business.
You may wish to consider approaching a trusted third party to provide you with feedback on your marketing strategy.
They may be able to identify any weaknesses that you have failed to see. If you find that certain elements of your marketing strategy have not worked as you thought that they would, do not be afraid to change these elements.
Writing a Marketing Plan
Once you have coined the perfect marketing strategy, you should draw up a plan that details the way in which you will execute your strategy and evaluate its successes.
Your marketing plan must set out your aims, actions, budget, key dates, resources and effective marketing programmes.
The plan must be regularly reviewed and, where necessary, updated to enable you to respond to changes in your customer’s requirements and attitudes as well as in the economic climate.
- When focusing on your market, avoid making assumptions with regards to your customers’ desires.
- Never ignore your competition or try to compete with them based on pricing alone and do not rely on too few customers to provide you with the profit that you desire.
- Ensure that the growth that you wish to achieve is realistic – do not aim to seek significant growth in your business over a short time period.
- Remain aware of the products and services that you offer and always strive to innovate and improve.