The purpose of developing a marketing strategy is to focus on target markets that present the best opportunities. Marketing without a defined strategy may be effective but focused marketing will always bring the best results. Target markets that will be most responsive to your unique service and product offerings will achieve the best results for you and your customer.
Define Your Competitive Advantage
The most effective marketing strategies promote the things that differentiate a company from the competition. The general components of any product offering are price, quality and delivery. Competing on any one of these factors can bring results. If there is a product or service that you offer but your competitors don’t, you have a unique advantage. Or if you offer a combination of products/services those competitors can’t provide you have a unique advantage.
Define Your Target Market
Once you’ve identified one or more competitive advantages the next step is to identify those who will be the most interested in them. The offering and target market should be as specific as possible without limiting the effectiveness of the strategy. Mapping your competitive advantage to prospective customers will maximize the impact of your marketing efforts.
Create Your Message
Once you’ve identified your competitive advantage and those who will be interested in the benefits it can provide the next step is to define how to tell them about it. The way the message is communicated is an important part of the strategy. The message itself should draw attention and highlight your competitive advantage in such a way as to pique the interest of your target market.
Define How You Will Reach Your Target Market
Knowing your competitive advantage, your target market and developing an effective way to communicate your offering will not bring the desired results if you don’t determine the best way to reach your audience. You have to ask “how do they make buying decisions?” Where does your target market shop? Internet, mail, through membership groups, direct sales? Knowing the shopping methods your target audience uses is critical to delivering your message.
Determine What Resources You Will Need
Defining a marketing strategy is a necessary component in developing a marketing plan. So it’s necessary to define the resources necessary to deliver your message. Whatever method you use, there will be a cost associated with it. The benefit of the marketing strategy must justify the anticipated costs in order to be worthwhile.
Know your competitive advantage, define your target market, create your message and deliver your message the right way and you will have an effective marketing strategy.