The Components of a Good Marketing Strategy

There is hardly a small business owner who is not obsessed with this term: marketing strategy. That’s the main aspect that makes the difference between successful entrepreneurs and those that fail. It’s strange how everyone cares about discovering the perfect marketing techniques for their business, but we don’t bother realizing what marketing strategy really means.    

Let’s start from the fundamentals. Marketing strategy is a collection of techniques that enable a particular organization to direct its resources towards the best opportunities in terms of increasing sales and achieving sustainable advantage over the competition. A company’s marketing strategy consists of long-term activities that contribute towards developing strong brand awareness.

Now that we have a clear definition of the term, it’s time to get into the details: when can you be sure that you have a good marketing strategy? Pay attention to the following components, and you’ll get there:

1. Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach through your marketing efforts? Who falls into the category defined as the perfect customer? This is the first step in every marketing strategy: identify your target audience. This doesn’t mean you’ll ignore potential buyers who don’t fit into the criteria you set at this stage. Everyone interested in your products and services will still be able to get them, but you should definitely narrow your marketing efforts to the category of people you are most likely to attract.

Levi’s, for example, aims to attract young, vibrant people who love the mix of modern and classic. That’s the customer their whole marketing strategy is focused on.

Marketing Strategy

photo credit: Levi’s Instagram Profile

When you identify the interests of your target customer, you’ll adjust the overall style of your marketing strategy in a way that suits this category of users. You’ll create the perfect TV ads, you’ll write blog posts in a language they understand, and you’ll easily connect with them via social media.

2. Awareness

The ultimate goal of any business is to gain more trust with current clients and achieve better brand awareness among the target audience. Some of the classic ways to boost the awareness for your brand include advertising (TV, newspapers, magazines, and online) and word of mouth. These tactics are not outdated as many contemporary marketers think. You should still consider them as part of your content marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategy

photo credit: Newsworks

In the current market conditions, the concept of building brand awareness is mostly determined through online marketing techniques. This means that your business needs a website, as well as a blog where you will post high-quality articles related to your niches. Videos, podcasts, infographics, images, and presentations are also important. Visual and audio content creates lasting impressions.

3. Unique Advantages

Your brand has to offer a unique advantage if you want your target audience to choose it over competitors’ offers. What are the main things that distinguish your product/service from the similar offer on the market? If you cannot identify such advantages, you better think of them as soon as possible. Then, you’ll focus your marketing strategy on promoting them.

If, for example, you’re promoting new photo editing software, you’ll face huge competition and you’ll have to attract the audience with unique features. The customer wants effectiveness, speed, great choice of filters and editing options, and unique flare that will make the photos different from the mainstream trends. If the description of your offer gets the attention of your target audience, you’ll be one step closer to achieving the goals of your marketing campaign.

Don’t make things too complicated. Elaborate commercials are annoying and counterproductive. You need to identify one or two things that make you different and promote them as much as possible. Is your product cheaper and better than everything else on the market? Well, that’s all your potential clients need.

4. Communication with Your Clients

It’s important to know when and how to communicate with your audience. You cannot simply create social media profiles and use them whenever you have time for them. The connection you develop with your customers is a key aspect for the success of your marketing strategy. Social media is certainly important, but you have to use it strategically. Consider paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. These ads will be featured in front of a huge audience, so you’ll easily attract a base of followers with this method.

Marketing Strategy

When you obtain a decent number of followers, you’ll need to maintain successful communication with them. Don’t make it all about your business. You’ll certainly promote your products and services as the best choice on the market, but you should focus your attention on the needs and wants of your followers. Identify the problems they have and show how your business is a proper solution.

Monitor the activity of your audience and make sure to publish updates during traffic peak times!

5. Activities

Okay, you identified your target audience, you started building brand awareness, you have a unique offer and you understood the importance of proper communication. Now you’re left with one factor that connects all previous elements of a good marketing strategy: activities.

You need to inform your target audience about the advantages of your business through a series of activities that include advertising, online presence, seminars, webinars, promotions, giveaways, interviews, and other smart ways of using media. Each and every action you take must maintain the relation with your marketing strategy.

A Successful Marketing Strategy Takes Time and Commitment

 

There are no shortcuts to achieving the ultimate goals of your business through a proper marketing strategy. You should be ready to invest a lot of time, effort, patience, and finances in this goal. When you pay attention to the key elements of a good marketing strategy, it will be easier for you to develop a logical, effective plan that will lead your business to success.

 

kenn —2Kenneth Waldman is a professional content writer with over 5 years of experience and also a blog editor at essay writing service EssayMama.com. His expertise includes education, marketing, freelancing. You can get in touch with him on Linkedin.

 

5 Winning Strategies for Millennial Marketing

millennial-marketing

photo credit: shutterstock

It’s no secret that millennials — young adults between 18-34 — are a hugely sought-after market segment. With upwards of 200 billion burning a hole in their pockets annually, winning their trust, and ultimately their business is a boon to any company.

Every generation has had its share of quirks, but millennials require a different touch when marketing to them. They are savvy enough to know when they’re being pitched to, and they have built up a resistance to it. The crucial element that makes them so hard to win over is the same thing that will boost your business if you’re successful: they absorb and put out social signals like crazy.

In other words, if you appeal to millennials the right way, you can get their business, as well as the added benefit of word-of-mouth on a potentially viral level. Here are five guaranteed strategies to get you started in the right direction.

Stay Mobile

As clichéd as it has become, millennials are hard-wired to their smartphones, so make sure your marketing strategy complements this behavior. First, think about the basics. If you use landing pages, are they optimized for mobile? They should be quick to load, and have a clear, mobile-friendly call-to-action (CTA.)

With that out of the way, start thinking about interesting ways you can use mobile to your advantage. Kiip, a “mobile rewards network” connects brands with users during “relevant moments” of online game play, essentially allowing a brand to sponsor an in-game reward. This type of seamless brand integration is a very welcome replacement for players being bombarded by intrusive web banners and is just the sort of thing that is likely to get the attention of millennials.

Create Peer Brand Evangelists

The oversaturation of traditional advertising, coupled with a world of options at their fingertips has led millennials to essentially tune out unwanted interruptions. They seek out the information they need, and there is great marketing opportunity here.

Rather than a traditional out-bound advertising model, you should be forming partnerships with online influencers that millennials already trust. Notable bloggers, podcasters, YouTube personalities, and Instagrammers are a fantastic way into the world of millennials. A recent study unsurprisingly found that younger consumers are heavily influenced based on the opinions of their peers and people they follow on social media. If you can successfully tap into that, you can build your word of mouth very widely, and very quickly.

Be Socially Connected

Just about every business has a social presence in 2016, but not everyone is using the right strategy to properly engage the millennial market. Just being in the social sphere isn’t enough — you have to effectively communicate with your audience.

When done correctly, your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram channels should make each and every customer feel special. (After all, this is the “me” generation we’re talking about.)

Here are several tactics you can use:

  • Loyalty programs for fans
  • Properly engage with customer comments (beyond canned responses)
  • Hold contests
  • Encourage user generated content by featuring it on your own channels
Apt2b-Instagram

photo credit: instagram

For instance, many successful Instagram campaigns regularly feature photos taken by their followers. Take the example of Los Angeles-based furniture retailer Apt2B. They encourage their customers to snap pics of their purchases so others can see their sofas and accessories in-context in somebody’s real apartment. It’s a win-win proposition because new customers get a no-B.S. view of the product while the photo provider feels good about being seen and heard by the company.

Create Authentic Content

While millennials have tuned out traditional advertising, they still value any information they deem to be authentic. So rather than going in for the hard sell, try providing your millennial audience with content they can learn from, or be entertained by. The more they interact with this type of content, your message can slowly soak in, especially if they get the sense that your business shares their core values.

As with any kind of campaign, you need to know your audience in order to speak their language. When millennials hear words that sound as if they could have come directly from their peers, (rather than from Madison Avenue,) they are much more likely to trust the message. If you can regularly provide this type of content that they not only respond favorably to, but would actually share online, it goes a long way toward building a real relationship with them.

Farmed-Dangerous

photo credit: Farmed & Dangerous

An excellent example of this in practice is Chipotle’s “Farmed and Dangerous” web series. Featuring a millennial sustainable farmer as the lead, doing battle against an ominous corporate food production company, Chipotle gets their brand messaging across in a subtle, entertaining way. Not only that, but it gets shared. A lot.

Give Them a Say

More than consumers, millennials are interested in taking on the more hands-on role of co-creator. Traditionally, companies have simply created products, hoping consumers would buy them. But now, with so many options out there, it makes sense to inform your decisions based on input directly from your audience. It makes them feel empowered, and you have the knowledge that your product has a built-in fanbase.

Take Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” campaign as a prime example. For the past few years, they put out a call to their fans, asking them to suggest new flavor ideas, as well as vote on the winners.

By reaching out to your audience and allowing them to be a part of the product creation through contests or social media campaigns, you are involving them in the process. In turn, they feel a sense of ownership in the product, which leads to increased brand awareness and loyalty. And any campaign that results in “Southern Biscuits and Gravy” flavored chips is alright by me.

Final Thoughts

Marketing to millennials isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s incredibly intuitive, because all it requires is a human touch. Talking at them doesn’t work nearly as well as authentically engaging with them. By offering authentic experiences, and engaging content, and by listening to what they’re asking for, you can empower them to discover your brand on their terms.

I think we can safely expect this trend to continue with each subsequent generation, so the sooner we all learn the ropes of “new marketing,” the more successful we can all be.

 

 

wesmcdowellWes McDowell is the creative director at The Deep End Design, a digital marketing and design agency in Chicago. Forever curious about all things related to design, usability, and internet marketing, Wes loves sharing his findings with anyone who will listen.