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 These tactics are not outdated as many contemporary marketers think.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 Ways to Jumpstart your Marketing Strategy in 2016

marketing strategy

photo credit: Dollar Photo Club

It’s resolution time:

  • You’ve already been to the gym this morning
  • You haven’t eaten anything bad for you (but tastes so good!) in at least 24 hours
  • You’re actively thinking about your Marketing Strategy right now

Great!  Let’s build on that last one (I have a hard enough time with the other two myself…)

The New Year brings about a fervent desire to be better and do better. Directing these desires towards your business is always at the top of the list for small business owners.  But where to start?  So here are five tips that will help you create an effective marketing strategy for your business.

The good news is – a couple of hours of dedicated “think time” this week is all you need to get these down (write them down!) and then get to work – Resolution Kept!

1. Know your business’s goals

Ask yourself where you want the business to go. You know the answer here better than anyone – after all, the business is a reflection of you.  What can you really achieve this year?  What could you achieve through a focused, purposeful approach to growing your business this year?  How will you communicate this and hold everyone (including you) accountable for achieving these goals?  Keep them S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

2. Identify your ideal target customers

Understanding whom you are selling to (and who you aren’t) is critically important because it can save you a lot of time and energy. Let’s look at the example of a dental clinic. The target base for that business is not every single person who needs a dentist. Instead, it is the people who need a dentist with ready access to the clinic and have a specific need for a service you’re uniquely qualified to provide (e.g., implants or cosmetic dentistry). Firing unprofitable customers and not targeting unprofitable prospects is an important part of your marketing strategy.  Think about whom your 10 best customers are and what you need to do to attract 10 more just like them!

3.  Identify what the business is selling and what customers are really buying

Whatever your business is selling must be in line with your business values and goals. Sometimes this answer isn’t as clear as you might think. For example, if you own a dental clinic, the easy answer is you are selling dental care. However, you might also be selling some other things without realizing it. Ask your customers why they choose to do business with you. They might mention things like comfort or simplicity or convenience. For example, people like to go to clinics where they feel good about the experience more so than just the practical matter of dental care.  Ask your best customers what they like most about doing business with you and why they keep doing business with you – the answers may surprise you and will get to the core of your reputation, which can be a unique competitive advantage for your business.

4. Look at the Competition

Looking at your competition can be incredibly motivating. It can also help you identify where your business is going wrong (or on the flip side, what it is excelling). Consider the ways in which your customer base, products/services, and goals compare to your competitors. Set Google Alerts for each of your competitors (or use a service like BuzzSumo) to help monitor what they are saying and doing and then consider how this could impact your marketing strategies.  Do not assume that just because they are doing something different that they are better – keep in mind who you’re targeting and view your research in light of your strategies.

5. Understand the Necessary Investments

Creating and executing your marketing strategy is a matter of time and money. You should budget for both of these things. It is very important to have a marketing strategy, but you also have to consider implementation.  Do It Yourself Marketing is certainly a viable option, but also consider if partnering with a marketing expert for planning and execution while you run your business would be a faster path to success.  While there are dozens (if not hundreds) of ways you can promote your business to your target market, choosing a path and then adjusting as results come in can be a time-consuming process that an outside expert can handle more smoothly.

With a couple of hours this week spent thinking through these five steps and putting a plan in place you can begin to deliver exciting growth for your business and stay on the path to profits that will outpace your competition.  Happy New Year!  

Bonus Tip: Block time (and follow through) on monitoring your strategy and plans each week (or at least every other week) throughout the year.  If you’re dedicated to growing your business I can assure you that focused attention on your Marketing plan will be an area where your competition will give up long before you do – opening the door to growth.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 11.30.05 AMMark Z. Fortune, founder of Fortune Marketing, LLC, advises small businesses on marketing strategies to ensure that sales and marketing investments return positive results. Mark is a Master Duct Tape Marketing Consultant who believes small business marketing challenges are not insurmountable; they can be met with a focused approach leveraging the principles of the Duct Tape Marketing System. He is also a co-author of the recent Amazon Bestseller The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation. More information is available at www.fortunemarketinginc.com and www.localleadgenbook.com