What is the marketing strategy? Why is it still misunderstood?
Marketing strategy is a term everyone loves to throw around as if they own it. The term is over-used but the actual implementation is not applied. Very few people understand what is a marketing strategy, how to select one and how to properly implement it based on a marketing mix, goals and budget.
Marketing Strategy is not
- Selling (you can have a sales strategy, which is not the same as a marketing strategy)
- Corporate identity
All these activities are part of the marketing plan, called tactics. These tactics would be part of your marketing mix and implemented because of a specific marketing strategy. Not because you are familiar with these tactics.
Why is marketing strategy important?
Part of strategy development includes understanding your competitors, clients and market segment. It is very different from ‘being in the industry for 20 years’, this is where most small companies get wrong. It does give this individual a large network but does not give the company a marketing strategy.
To develop a strategy for a company, strategy asks, “What are the set of economics fundamental to this industry?” and “What are the trends most likely that will change the game in your industry?
These and other questions will help you define your market position, white space, competitive analysis and what your customer values.
This process to develop your strategy effectively helps you to clearly understand your market and thus, you should then be able to better manage your company, most importantly when making financial decisions and how to build your brain-trust. Again, both factors that are related to your marketing strategy.
The right marketing strategy will get you sales
As you can see, a solid marketing strategy will help you understand the externals that affect your business, the values that are important to your customer. Then with this knowledge, you can create a product or a service based on your customer values.
You can then align your sales team accordingly to these values. Therefore, selling should be easier because you are offering a value that your target market wants.
Marketing Strategy: What is it?
Marketing Strategy is a process
Using the process will help you define your customer in your market. And, as a result, it will help you design a program to either build, move your brand forward or change your brand to a set of values based on your target market.
a marketing strategy will build upon your brand promise
This doesn’t mean that you will find a unique position in the market. Today can be a challenge, because most companies are not unique, we are already in a pre-set market that already has competitors and with a finite amount of dollars we will need to fight for.
As a result, key questions to ask would be, “Who are we trying to reach?” What keeps them up at night? “What are they dissatisfied enough to do a web search? What can we do differently from our competitors?”
If you can answer these questions, you will be better ready to build a marketing strategy to help move your company forward.
How to develop a marketing strategy?
It is too long for a blog post but you should start by doing a competitive analysis. If you are unsure what specifically you should be analyzing, start small – such as customer service offering. Or, you can always call us!