A marketing strategy is what actions your business will take to win over new customers, retain current customers, increase sales, and improve profits. These action items are typically focused on finding and engaging with potential customers, promoting products and services, responding to complaints, increasing online presence, and closing deals (for example, through brick-and-mortar or online shopping).
All of these activities can be done at either the product level, service level, or both levels — depending on what your company offers. For example, if you sell snacks, then offering daily discounts on snacks may boost customer loyalty and purchases.
There are three other important components of a marketing strategy that many small businesses get wrong. First, it should be goal oriented and have measurable benchmarks for success. Second, it should be time limited – something that most marketers don’t follow. And lastly, it should be informed by data and research.
That said, here are some common mistakes that big companies make when creating their marketing strategies. Avoid making these errors by taking notes as you read this article!
1. Being The Product With A Brand
This might seem obvious, but too many brands think they're not being marketed when people talk about their brand name and how great it is.
People talk about Apple gadgets all the time, so clearly there's an awareness of the brand.
A key element of any successful business is understanding what products or services it should offer and how to promote them. This is part of what makes up your company’s overall marketing strategy.
Most businesses have a general idea of what they want to be, but then get distracted by the other things that need to be done to keep their company running. These other responsibilities can easily take over every bit of time left for developing strategies and executing plans.
This is why it is important to focus on the fundamentals – those things which really matter to your company. By doing this, you will save some valuable time to invest in more creative ways to promote your product or service.
Here are the top three fundamental parts of any marketing plan.
A marketing strategy is what actions your company will take to win over new customers, retain current customers, increase sales, and improve market position.
These actions are typically focused on either influencing other people or promoting the products and services of your business.
Influencing others can be through advertising, telling stories about your business, talking about you as an entrepreneur etc.
Promoting your business includes things like having a social media presence, producing quality content to share on those accounts, creating great advertisements, responding to comments and questions related to your business and industry, and engaging in conversation with other businesses and professionals in your field.
There’s also the practical matter of spending money on ads and promotions. Your budget may depend on the size of your business and the best time to spend it depends on how much free traffic you have versus paid traffic.
Making changes to the way you develop and execute your marketing strategy is always a good thing. If there’s something that you feel isn’t working, try replacing it with something different.
That way you keep moving forward, adapting to changing conditions.
Your marketing strategy should be adapted to fit your business and season. For example, if your business is going through a lull, you might decide to hold off on some of the more expensive promotional activities until later. Or you could choose to focus on outreach via social media instead.
A well-crafted marketing strategy is something that has several components, including:
A mission or purpose
Action items (or things to do)
If you get these three parts down, then your marketing campaign can begin!
Your mission, as stated before, should be to create more business for YourCompany. This will vary depending on what kind of business you are running and who you want to reach with your services.
For example, if You operate a clothing store, your mission might be to increase sales through advertising on Facebook. Or maybe it’s to gain followers on Instagram so people perceive your brand as popular.
After deciding on your goal, determine which types of tactics you could use to achieve this. Are there any special features of your product or service that could help generate buzz? If yes, invest in those!
Finally, evaluate how successful each tactic was and measure whether or not they worked. Only keep what works and drop what doesn’t!
That brings us up to part two: crafting your strategies! Start by defining them and giving some context.
Being able to describe your products and services is important, but knowing how to effectively market them is what makes a difference between success and failure. These are the two main components of marketing strategy.
Product management involves designing great offerings that people will want to buy. As such, this requires understanding not just what products exist and why people like them, but also how to create new ones. This includes coming up with good product names, concepts, and features.
Marketing means getting these products in front of people so they can purchase them. This may be through advertising, social media postings, or direct outreach.
As a leader of the company’s marketing team, you will be tasked with developing and executing strategies to promote our products. You may have to do it while juggling other responsibilities, too!
It is very helpful if you are familiar with the basics of marketing. There are many free resources available via educational programs, online courses, and self-help books.
As mentioned before, knowing your audience is one of the most important things to do as a marketer. Who they are, what they want, when they want it, and how much they pay for something will all play a role in determining the success or failure of your marketing strategies.
Knowing your customers can also help you find new ones! By creating content that appeals to them, you increase your chances of getting repeat business. Influencers are a great way to reach out to your target audience – their followers trust them, so you could gain some valuable insights from their lifestyle or products.
By offering solutions to problems your audience has, you’ll win over more loyal fans. For example, if someone else made a product that works well, why not tell everyone about it? Or if there's no such thing as too expensive yoga pants, then put together an affordable giveaway and see what happens!
Running a contest or giving away free samples of your products is another way to connect with your audience and grow your brand.
A marketing strategy without a targeted audience is pointless. You can have the best product or service in the world, but if no one knows about it, then you’re wasting your time creating it.
Product launches often fail due to this reason alone!
As mentioned earlier, knowing who your target audience is is the first step towards developing an effective marketing strategy. This article will go into more detail on how to determine your target market.
Keep reading for some helpful tips on defining your target market.
After you have determined your marketing strategy, your next step is to design these campaigns! This involves choosing your platform, deciding when to use it, and designing your message or advert.
When planning out your launch, make sure your messages are clear and straightforward. The people that will be reading your messages will likely have different ideas about you and what you stand for, so keep this in mind as you craft yours.
Your messaging should tell the potential audience who you are, what you offer, and how to interact with you.
The second most important element of marketing strategy is testing! This can be done at any time, not just for new products or services but also to test out current strategies.
Testing is an integral part of success as a marketer. You will spend lots of time doing things you have already done so there is no reason to keep investing in those that do not work.
You should always be looking to improve what you are offering and how you are offering it. There’s no use in spending money if you are not getting results!
There are many ways to test your marketing strategy, from broad tests like changing your style or focus to more specific ones suchas finding new sources of traffic or testing different messages or calls-to-action.
What isn’t practical is to run every experiment all the time without any goal. That would simply waste resources.
As a beginner entrepreneur, you don’t need to worry about running out of ideas too much yet. But as you advance, you will want to make sure you aren’t wasting valuable resources.