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Jun 11, 2013

A Beginner's Guide To Marketing Strategy

Marketing StrategyWhatever your business - whether you’ve invented the latest must-have technology or you’re providing a service to a niche market, a clear marketing strategy is essential to your success. However ground-breaking your business is, if you’re not sure which direction you want to take, you could find yourself going nowhere.

Let’s look at the vital elements that businesses of any size should include in their strategic marketing plan.

Create A Mission Statement

The mission statement summarises the goals and values of an organisation and answers the question “what business are we in?” It reflects the core purpose of the business and helps staff focus on company strategy in order to attain the business’s goals.

The following example from internet retailer Amazon has evolved over the years to reflect their expanding customer base, and increased business offerings; however, customer focus remains at the core of their strategy.
“We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises and content creators”.
Define Your Target Market

Knowing your target audience, and how to appeal to it, is crucial to success. Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, evaluate the demographics of that customer base so that you can identify how best to attract business. After all, if your target market consists of home-owners and professionals, there’s no point marketing your business to students.

Know Your Competition

By analysing your competitors, you identify their strengths, weaknesses and market share. Keeping an eye on the competition will allow you to respond to any threats to your business, and also to focus on the factors that set you apart. So, if your company offers something unique, make sure it’s included in your marketing strategy.

Price

There are many different models for price setting; which one you choose may depend on your overall marketing strategy. For example, technology manufacturers often adopt a skimming pricing strategy when launching new products. This means selling products at a high price in order to recoup investment costs. The strategy often appeals to “early adopters” who are less price sensitive than other consumers. Once investment costs are recouped, other pricing strategies can be adopted in order to increase market share.

Cost-based pricing provides a useful indicator of the minimum price required to make a profit, although it doesn’t account for customer demand. Despite this, calculating the full costs can establish a break-even point at different price levels. This can be useful when considering which pricing model to adopt; if you can’t cover your costs, it may be time to rethink your strategy.

Promotional And PR Activity

A good public relations strategy can not only generate publicity for your business, but also meet the needs of your stakeholders. Good PR can enhance a company’s reputation, attract employees and foster favourable customer relations.

A well placed media story about your product or organisation can gain you valuable free publicity, and help reduce advertising costs. And while the internet has opened up the channels of communication, keep an eye on the publicity generated via social media; one rogue tweet could spell PR disaster!

Do you have any tips for creating an effective marketing strategy? Leave your comments below.


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