Learn How to Develop Your Marketing Strategy

Learn How to Develop Your Marketing Strategy

Developing your marketing strategy is very simply…

How you are going to market your products, services or business to customers.

It lays out what your objectives are and how you are going to execute them.

But that definition is very broad and a marketing strategy can in fact cover anything from a ten-year vision for marketing your business to how to shift sales on one product over the next three weeks.

What should a marketing strategy achieve?

Your strategy will depend on where you want your business to go – it forms part of your overall business aims.

The following are examples of what your overall business aim might be and marketing strategies that you could use to achieve it:

  • Increase sales
  • Bring in new customers
  • Get existing customers to buy more
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Increase market share
  • Better establish your brand
  • Improve customer loyalty
  • Launch an advertising campaign
  • Launch a PR campaign
  • Encourage word of mouth
  • Increase market share
  • Retain existing profitable customers
  • Make customers feel more valued
  • Offer existing customers exclusive offers
  • Ensure business stays fresh and new

Whatever your marketing strategy covers, you should definitely put it down in writing.

Make everything simple to understand, realistic, and with a clear path of action.

It will then become part of your longer and more detailed marketing plan…

Which is the document that deals with a more overarching and long-term view of your business.

And so makes up a section of your business plan.

Be ready to adapt your marketing strategy as and when necessary…

There are an infinite number of factors that could require a change.

It’s flexibility that will keep you ahead of the competition.

develop a marketing strategy

How to develop a marketing strategy, step-by-step

Research.

You need to carry out detailed analyses of these three areas:

Market analysis: the size of your market, how quickly its growing, your customers and their spending and lifestyle habits.

Competitor analysis: monitor both direct and indirect competition and how they compare with you on every aspect of sales and marketing…

Such as, their customers, their brand, price, convenience of location, sales channels, and so on.

Company analysis: your overall business objectives, how you are going to achieve them, your strengths and weaknesses and those of your products or services.

Customers: next you need to identify your target customers, using the information you have gathered from your research and, if needed, more detailed customer research.

Then you have to:

Segment them: split your existing and target customers into groups, according to what they need from your business…

Which will differ: some will want cost-effectiveness, some quality, some great customer service, and so on.

Positioning: how you compare to your competitors for each of your customer segments…

Are you the fastest, do you have the best customer service, are you the third most popular, and so on.

Product: now you need to examine your product or service with the aim of working out how you are going to market it and out do competitors, according to its:

USPs: what it can offer that no other product or business can.

Benefits to the customer: From your USPs, draw out what benefits your product or service offers to the customer.

These may well vary between your various customer segments.

You need to look very closely at what the customer actually sees:

While Starbucks sells coffee, the benefit to the customer is a place to relax and have a chat with a friend or a place to sit with a laptop.

Your USP may be that you deliver pizza faster than competitors to people in your area.

But the benefit to the customer is that they don’t have to cook and can receive a ready-made meal quickly.

The way you define the benefits will shape your marketing message.

Communication

Communication: how are you now going to communicate the benefits of buying your product or service or using your business to your target customers…

Again, this may well vary between your various customer segments.

Marketing mix: the combination of all the marketing tools you are going to use to communicate your benefits to your customers, including and such as…

Advertising, PR, word of mouth, distribution channels, pricing, promotion, which products you will sell to them, display in a shop, website, and so on.

Remembering the four P’s can be useful when you are putting your marketing mix together:

Product, Placing, Pricing, Promotion

The marketing plan: having developed your strategy, you can now write it into a marketing plan.

The plan goes into the logistical details of executing your strategy, such as budgets, more detailed timescales, who within your company will manage the various points of the strategy, the logistics of various distribution channels and their incumbent costs and so on.

As such, it is of course a longer and more detailed document.

Your marketing plan is typically a more live document than your strategy.

Meaning you will tweak and update it more regularly.

As costings, market conditions, economic conditions and other factors change, you will need to adjust your plan to accommodate them.

Whereas your strategy could well remain the same.

For both your strategy and your plan to be useful, you need to closely monitor the results of marketing activity, and be ready to adapt both as necessary.

Devising Your Online Marketing Plan

Did you develop a marketing strategy that has worked for you?

I’d love to hear it in the comments below…

Here is another good blog to read: Integrated Marketing Strategies for Smart Marketers

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

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