Strong marketing strategies are the foundation of a successful business.
A marketing strategy is a detailed plan formulated for achieving the business goals of the organization. In other words, it gives detailed steps for attaining the multiple marketing and sales objectives of the business.
A detailed marketing strategy is needed to help the organization focus on its resources, its opportunities, prospective clients and customers to generate higher sales.
So how does a comprehensive marketing strategy work for your organization? Let’s understand more about the designing factors and its importance begore moving on to the seven key steps required to build a strong marketing strategy.
Why is a strong marketing strategy needed?
A marketing strategy is essentially a picture showcase of the company’s vision. The key design factors in developing a sound marketing strategy include:
- Selecting the target market
- Answering the organization’s key marketing questions regarding the selling of products.
- Understanding the distribution channels that are available
- Formulating a business developmental strategy
- Defining the price structure
Following are the key advantages of designing a detailed marketing strategy:
- It helps in understanding the products and services that have the potential to generate higher profits.
- It helps in discovering key growth areas and understanding customer needs
- It helps to create a pricing strategy for goods and services.
- A well-defined marketing strategy works to create inter-departmental coordination and teamwork
- It helps the organization to understand its resources and use them optimally
- Marketing strategies are helpful in deciding the advertising budget and predicting the revenues that can be generated through an advertising plan.
- Market strategies help in understanding the competition and the demand and supply ration in the market.
Key steps for building a strong marketing strategy
Here’s our list of 7 essential steps for creating an effective marketing strategy:
1. Use SWOT analysis
A SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis is perhaps the best way to evaluate your business. SWOT analysis is extremely vital to planning the future steps and directions that your business needs to take.
It is advisable to consider the opinions of the employees as a part of the team performing SWOT analysis. The more the number, the more coverage you get on different ideas, opinions, and perspectives.
A SWOT analysis presents a clearer view of your strong points as well as the areas that you need to consider working on. It also helps plan the marketing strategy by evaluating the external factors that affect your business as well as potential threats to your growth.
SWOT analysis is hence an extremely essential tool for creating a thorough marketing strategy.
2. Identify business objectives
Marketing strategy failures often happen when organizations fail to identify the business objectives right in the beginning. It is important to define as well as communicate the business goals within the organization.
Business objectives are defined as measurable outcomes along with a specified time frame when they are supposed to be achieved.
Well defined business objectives can later be used to evaluate the success of a marketing strategy. This is what helps in aligning future expectations, marketing plans, as well as set targets for the team.
Business objectives must be specific in their statements, have clear and measurable targets, and should specify fixed time frames for each objective.
Additionally, just like everything else in an entrepreneur’s journey, business objectives need to be constantly reevaluated and changed as per the requirements.
3. Get to know your prospective customers
Understanding your prospective customers is one of the most essential steps for creating a well-defined marketing strategy.
Keeping your marketing strategy customer-centric is extremely essential to align the company’s objectives, products/services with the needs of the consumers.
Marketers now realize that traditional market research techniques like surveys are not always sufficient. It is required to pay attention to various online advertising platforms and tools that give more detailed information regarding the consumers.
Information like demographics, behavioral patterns, conversations, social media activity, background, preferences, etc is important to get a good understanding of your ideal customers.
Processes such as creating fictional buyer personas also help the marketers to understand the real consumer groups and get a better idea about their issues. Buyer personas are also, however, based on in-depth research. This includes research regarding the consumer’s background, demographics, communication channels, preferred style of communication, etc.
4. Understand the company’s value proposition
Determining an organization’s value proposition is one step that needs considerable time input while devising a sound marketing strategy.
Understanding the value that your products and services bring to your customers as well as to the market is important. Once you have those identified, outline the key differentiators.
A thorough yet clear and to the point value proposition that focuses on solving the customer’s issues is an important conversion factor. A strong marketing strategy relies on the company’s value proposition.
5. Study the market and the competition
One of the most critical features of a cleverly built marketing strategy is the study of the competition. Understanding the factors that work within the market and the chosen niche as well as careful research of your competitor’s strategies helps you develop a smart business game plan.
After all, strong marketing is all about standing out from the competition.
Gathering sufficient knowledge about what your competitors are planning, their financial plans, their pain areas, their strengths, the market factors, etc is important.
Using platforms like Google alerts, Brandwatch, etc will help you stay updated about what’s happening in the market. Create your list of trends, innovative ideas that are liked in the market, needs that aren’t yet addressed, etc.
6. Develop a marketing budget
Yes, understanding your budget limitations helps you create a more focussed marketing strategy. While businesses do get going even with zero money investment, understanding what you have, how you plan to get the funds, and the amount that you have for marketing is important.
7, Decide on your marketing methods and platforms
Various marketing methods and platforms may be utilized for reaching your target audience.
However, understanding the audience and the channels that they prefer is important before choosing a marketing method.
Marketing strategies rely heavily on marketing methods which in turn depend on the type of target customers. A survey of customer demographics, their preferred social media channels, forums, etc is needed in order to effectively reach them.
It is also important to determine the key marketing areas that the organization needs to focus on. Additionally, understanding the budget available for different needs like advertising, mobile advertising, SEO, content marketing, etc is required.
Following are the key marketing types used by marketers to promote their goods and services:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing (including blogs, email marketing, infographics, videos, courses, user-generated content, contests, podcasts, etc.)
- Paid advertising (through Facebook, Google AdWords, etc)
- Mobile advertising
Final words: Setting up a business takes up a considerable amount of investment, time as well as research. However, attracting customers is often not as easy as creating a new business.
Just because you set it up doesn’t mean that “they” will come.
A solid marketing strategy is your only channel to reach them and bring them closer to your products and services. Understanding your customers, researching your competitors, choosing your marketing channels and defining your business objectives is needed to create a winning business plan.