A marketing strategy is a plan that helps an organization match its environment in the present and in the future. A marketing strategy is a coherent, all-encompassing plan that addresses your business environment, competition, the market needs, how you acquire and maintain customers, and deliver value to them.
In the most concrete terms, a marketing strategy is a set of plans and processes that drive sales of your product or service; it’s the roadmap that leads to customers and lasting revenues.
The Need and the Value
Before you can build a marketing strategy, you must first have a strong grasp of the market landscape. What is the underlying need among consumers that you’d like to service? Understanding this context is like turning on a light in a dark room — everything becomes instantly visible.
Strategies that focus on harvesting an existing demand are always easier to execute than ones where you need to ‘show’ the audience what they need. When you are operating in an entirely new market and you are creating a category (ie a need, service, product). This requires far more creativity, and frankly, far more hard cash to execute.
What’s the Demand? (Push vs. Pull)
One of the core (and first) considerations determining the structure of your marketing strategy is whether there is a demand for your product or services.
Is there an industry; a market for it?
Can its size be measured? If so, how big is it?
Achieving Product-Market Fit
Product-market fit is one of the most poorly defined concepts in the marketing field. In simplest terms: It is the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand.
Marketing strategy was originally centered around finding the product-market fit. In a slower moving world, such a static, definitive fit might have actually existed — but that is no longer the case. Interestingly, in startup and entrepreneurship literature, this concept has yet again become a buzzword. Today’s competitors, businesses and consumers are all far more interactive than those of the pre-internet era. Coupled with this, time horizons are compressed, marketers face shorter product life cycles and consumer trends emerge and disappear ever more quickly. (more…)
What does differentiation mean, and when should you pursue it?
As a general rule of thumb, differentiation is required in a crowded market. It’s the idea of creating specialized products that gain competitive advantage with a particular segment of the market.
Differentiation makes a product or service more desirable to the target market.
Could you have multiple ones? Yes, if you can prioritize them.
It’s important that the objective is quantifiable and that it ties into ‘hard’ business performance metrics. It’s also important that you assign a time horizon to your objective. (An objective without a deadline is just an aspiration).
Finally, before you commit, it’s important that you be sure that the tools, channels, and tactics that you have at your disposal can actually help you reach your objective.
Your messaging strategy has four pillars:
- Unique selling points. What sets your product, service and business as a whole apart from the alternatives in the market?
- Core value. What is the essence of the value we are providing?
- Identification. How can we sculpt a message to that the viewer identifies with it?
- Funnelling & Call-to-Action. What do we want users to do at each stage of the funnel?
A performance metric is an indicator of how things are trending and the efficiency with which you are hitting your targets. Whereas the strategy serves as the final destination you are trying to reach, your metrics and KPI’s will tell you how much progress you’re making on a day-to-day basis.
Which Metrics are Important?
As digital marketing becomes more measurable, many metrics have been introduced, and understanding the importance and meaning of each one has become a challenge in and of itself. It’s important to remember that the metrics rooted in revenue will remain the critical ones. Such are (obviously) cost-per-acquisition, revenue per user and conversion-rate.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this overview of how to develop a basic marketing strategy. We hope this has dramatically simplified your understanding of marketing, and speed up its implementation in your business.
Remember — once you have a clear strategy, it’s all about implementation. Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing!
Successful entrepreneurs have a bias for action, implement quick and course correct along the way. If you’ve been putting off building and implementing a marketing strategy for your business, then it’s time to get started immediately so that you can reap the fruits of your labor in the future.
Some business owners may think “my business is different, this won’t work for me” or “my customers are different.” Guess what? Having a basic marketing strategy will work for you. In fact, marketing strategy has worked in almost every category and type of business you could care to imagine. People behave in a remarkably predictable manner, which is why we know these marketing principles will work for you.
If you’re serious about business success, then now is the time to take decisive action. It’s time to decide to become a great marketer and transform yourself from a business owner to a marketer who owns a business. Once you make that transformation, you and your business will never be the same again.
To take your first steps, get a free consultation from Nyman Media today!