Strategic marketing theory was first formally defined in 1938 by Harvard Business School professor Michael von Krogh. He coined the term “marketing strategy” and described it as the use of “resources to create demand for your product or service.”
Since then, strategic marketing has become one of the most important functions in any successful business. It is crucial to understand how strategies work so that you can apply them properly in your own organization and career.
In this article, we will talk about some key concepts of market research and marketing strategy. Along with that, I have included an easy way to summarize the difference between tactical and strategic thinking so that you are clear on what types of thoughts belong in which category.
Keep reading to learn more!
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The Difference Between Market Research And Marketing
Many people get mixed up when referring to these terms. The word research typically implies finding information or insights about a topic, but not necessarily developing action plans based on those findings.
That is what marketers do — they find out what products and services exist and what benefits they offer through market research. They also look at whether there are better alternatives on the market and why people prefer one over the other.
When doing any kind of marketing, there is a framework that you use to organize all of your strategies. This framework goes by several different names depending on what field or area of business it comes from, but the most common one is the three-step marketer’s formula.
Step 1 is defining your target audience or recipients.
This can be done through direct outreach (asking people if they want more information) or via surveys and interviews. You will learn who your main audience is and how to cater your messages towards them!
Step 2 is determining the message and content you will provide to these individuals.
You could offer them something product related, such as an item or service, or something non-profit focused, like educational material or information about an event.
The best way to find this info is by looking at their websites and social media accounts!
Once you have found the appropriate materials, compile all of this information into one solid message or argument for why and/or how the products and services mentioned in step 1 are important to them.
Final step: implement! Depending on the size of your organization, this may mean sending emails and/or making calls, posting online advertisements, and so on. It all really depends on the situation.
The first step in developing a successful marketing strategy is to determine what steps you will take to promote your product or service. This can be done via classification, defining your business, or by studying other industries’ strategies.
From there, you can create an overall goal for your marketing campaign and break down each part of the campaign into individual milestones.
These milestones can include finding new customers, increasing customer loyalty, creating word-of-mouth reviews, engaging with social media influencers, etc.
There are many ways to develop a solid marketing strategy that works for your company and its products.
Now that you have an idea of what kind of company you want to be, and what kind of business you want to run, your next step is to develop your strategic plan or marketing campaign. This is the key part of creating your brand!
You will probably start by brainstorming different strategies and areas to focus on. These can include social media campaigns, advertising, website design, logos, flyers, etc. You get to choose which ones are important to you and how much money you want to invest in them each time.
After all this brainstorming, you will pick one area as your top priority and work from there. Then you can switch gears and reevaluate if necessary.
The third step in strategic marketing is to run your campaign! This means picking an area of your business you want to focus on, creating messages and advertisements for that area, buying stock or materials needed to promote your product or service, and producing media pieces (blog posts, videos, etc.) to promote it.
You will need to test different versions of each message, advertisement, and media piece to see which ones work best. This process is called A/B testing and can be done with individual components or whole messages. For example, instead of just having one set message, you could test two different messages along with their corresponding pictures and headlines.
Your final campaign should be based on the products and services you offer and what people are looking for at the moment. You could use statistical software to find out how well your past advertising strategies worked so you can apply what lessons you have learned to new ideas.
A marketing strategy begins with defining your target audience or market. This is very important as you will be designing your messages to appeal to this population. You can do this by figuring out who your audience is, what they need, and how to motivate them to purchase products or services.
It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when thinking about your target market. Rather than focusing on whether someone needs your product or service, start with “why should I care?”
Your why should matter more than if there is a demand for your product. Your why should create motivation to action. For example, why should people read this article about how to organize your office desk space? Because it could help you find things faster!
Alternatively, why should people invest in organizational tools? Because keeping all of these pieces organized helps keep tasks separate and organized. Take a look around your house- how well does organization work? If you have to search through piles of papers, clothes, and toys, then investing in some basic organizational tools may not be effective.
The reason that people often struggle with staying organized is because they don’t have separation between areas. When we run into trouble finding something, we sometimes go back and review our pile looking for clues. Sometimes we realize we left one behind and have to repeat the process starting from scratch. Investing in organizational tools can prevent this by creating defined zones.
After you have an idea for what you want to sell, you need to design your marketing material or promotional products to match!
Your marketing strategy should be accompanied by appropriate advertising materials to emphasize and showcase your product. If you do not have any equipment or resources to make your product visible to others, look into it!
You can use pictures, videos, and/or text to promote your product. Starting off with nothing more than a picture of your item will probably not get very interesting advertisements unless you are very creative.
Utilizing other media such as video and article content is better way to go if you are trying to draw attention to yourself and your product. By including additional details about your product, your audience will know more about it which helps in building trust.
Changing how you market yourself or your product is an important part of successful marketing strategies. Companies that do not test their websites are limiting themselves in several ways.
You will never know what works for your business unless you try it! Most people begin thinking about creating a business with success, but they fail to check if their site is working well.
Testing your website includes testing its usability, effectiveness, and efficiency.
Usability tests determine whether or not someone can use your site without feeling overwhelmed or distracted. Is there enough content? Are the calls-to-action clear and strong?
Effectiveness checks whether anyone else has experienced the same benefits as intended from your site. Did another company just like yours make front page news? What changes did they suggest?
Efficiency looks at the speed of your website. Can someone easily find the information they want within the time limit given?
There are many tools to test your website quickly and efficiently, such as Google’s free tool called “Google Lighthouse.” You can learn more about this tool here.
A successful marketing strategy is one that has enough depth to be meaningful and invested in, but at the same time, can easily be adjusted. You will not know how well it works until you use it!
That’s why making changes to the campaign is easy. You don’t have to start from scratch every time, which saves you money and energy, as well as giving you the chance to try new strategies.