Imagine you had a long but important journey to make. Would you begin without first consulting a map? Probably not! Of course, in this analogy, the journey you need to make is the one to a successful business and the map? Well, that is your marketing strategy! So if you don’t want to get lost along the way you must have the most effective marketing strategy there is. Happily, you can find out all about how to devise one specifically for your business in the article below.
3 Steps to success
Before you begin your task of coming up with the best possible marketing strategy it’s wise to note that there are three steps in this process.
The first of these is to do the research and evaluation work necessary to understand the context in which your business and product will operate. This entails market research, as well as examining what your competitors are doing and clearly defining your target demographic.
The next step is all about actually coming up with a strategy that fits with the results of the research done above. Of course, you have to factor in your business’s specific goals at this point as well. Although you should have a good idea as to what is realistic or not due to your market insights gained in the first step.
The last stage is implementing your marketing strategy. Many businesses think they have to put all their resources into actioning their strategies in the very beginning. However, it is worth considering testing, phasing and even soft-launching marketing actions to test the waters and see how customers best respond.
3 Aspects of an effective marketing strategy
In addition to the three steps above, there are also three important aspects that every successful marketing strategy must include: segmentation, targeting, and positioning.
Segmentation is all about breaking down a specific market or demographic into smaller groups that share similarities. The main benefit to accurate segmentation is that it helps your business better understand who will be buying your products, something that can be used both in product development and refinement as well as in your marketing and advertising approach.
A particular example of this in practice is the act of coming up with ‘buyer personas’. This is an activity that is all about creating typical or ideal customers so you can better explore their needs, and wants and so much more effectively design your marketing to reflect this.
Next, your marketing strategy needs to include targeting. Targeting is about using the resources you have to target a specific group (demographic, segmentation) rather than trying to sell to anyone and everyone.
Of course, if you effectively target the right people you can get a much better ROI on your marketing efforts as they are likely to be more effective. Also, remember that by uncovering specific target groups that your competitors have missed you can make use of valuable opportunities for sales and to seize a larger market share over the long term.
Lastly, if you want your marketing strategy to be as effective as possible you will also need to make use of positioning. Positioning is largely about the image that you wish your brand to create. Indeed, it can be thought of as your brand’s position within the wider market.
Questions to ask yourself and your team here include what your business stands for, and the values that underlie how you conduct yourself. You must also consider what it is of value that you are offering your customers that is unique to you and helps you to stand out from your competition.
3 Things to remember
Finally to ensure your marketing strategy is a success there are three important things that you have your remember.
Create clear marketing objectives
The first of these is that you must set specific and clear goals for your marketing strategy. These need to be both realistic, measurable, and time-sensitive. In fact, you can use short, medium, and long term goals here as this will give you a good view of both where you want to end up eventually, and the smaller tasks that you will need to complete to get there.
In particular goals in the area of marketing may include things like increasing brand engagement, boosting revenue, and even ensuring customers have a better experience when interacting with your brand.
Next, do not forget that your marketing strategy will always be restrained by the budget you have. Indeed, you may have the most effective and innovative tactics carefully laid out, but if you don’t have the budget to see them through, your strategy will not be effective.
Ideally, you will have around 10-12% of your project’s entire value to spend on marketing. Although it is worth noting that some marketing actions have a much better ROI than others, an example of this being SMS marketing which consistently produces great returns across a range of products and services – something it is wise to bear in mind if your budget is limited.
Also, many businesses choose to handle all of their marketing in-house to save money. However, it is well worth noting that this is not always the best approach and can be a false economy in the long run. After all, a business working in a particular sector such as ‘software as a service’ will always do better by finding a marketing agency for SaaS companies to work with. The reason being that they will have the best knowledge of the market, and understand which tactics will most effectively ensure your product gets in front of enough of the right people to make the required number of sales.
Before you launch your campaign, test it
Lastly, if you want your market strategy to be a successful one you must hold back from launching straight into it. Instead, it is much wiser to test the waters before you invest lots of time and effort into a particle method. After all, your business is unique and what has worked for others may not be the best approach for you.