All businesses need customers and an effective Marketing Strategy to bring in new business. A Marketing Strategy comprises of nine elements:
Marketing Plan – This is important for developing a promotional strategy as it helps your business identify its target markets and to set measurable goals. It is vital to the success of your business as it allows you to focus and aim for growth and positive change.
SWOT Analysis – This is an extremely useful tool for understanding and decision-making for all sorts of situations in business. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. The point of a SWOT analysis is to help you develop a strong business strategy by making sure you’ve considered all of your business’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats it faces in the marketplace.
Target Market – Trying to satisfy a wide range of different consumer needs is rarely effective. Splitting your customers into different groups of similar people will enable you to market your products or services specifically to the ones that will be most profitable to you. You can start doing this by examining your existing customers and identifying similar characteristics. Consumers are often segmented by age, gender or income, whereas business customers can be broken down into different industries, turnover or location.
Product Marketing – In an ideal world, you would use market research to find out what your customers want and then design products to suit them. In reality, product management starts with existing products and ways in which to improve them with limited cash and resources. But the principle still applies – good product marketing looks for ways to adapt and promote products to match customer requirements. Product features, design and quality can all be tailored to the needs of your target market, so too can its image and the customer service that you provide.
Branding – At the heart of a great business is a first class product or service and every business wants to be a customer’s ‘first choice’. Building and managing a brand can play a large part in making this happen and if you want to strengthen and manage the perceptions of your business, then a strong brand is needed. Good branding elevates and differentiates your like-for-like products or services and gives your customers reason to choose you over your competitors.
Pricing – How you set your prices can have a host of implications for your business. Not every price you set needs to maximize your margins. Many small businesses use price to compete, change market share or create different revenue scenarios. Understanding how pricing affects your business model, not just your bottom line, will help you better choose price levels.
Recruitment – Employing the right person for your business might be the most important part of your venture. An effective recruitment and selection process will ensure you employ the right candidate who is reliable and carries out the objective you plan in providing quality services and goods to your customers.
Retail – Retailers operate in a competitive environment and because of need to be aware of the need to seek market opportunities and develop long-term sustainable relationships with partner companies. In order that a retail organization develops a sustainable competitive advantage, it is essential that a partnership arrangement is viewed as necessary and is based on trust.
Cost Effective Marketing – Too many business owners look at their marketing budgets as just assemblies of expenses but shouldn’t be viewed as an expense but an investment because your business will fail unless you have the necessary processes in place. However, you need to do this in the most cost-effective way as possible. You don’t want to use a shotgun approach and hope something hits the target because this approach guarantees to fail. Instead, you want to target your marketing and utilise strategic marketing campaigns and strategies that are low or have little cost.
Exporting – Exporting can open up new opportunities, fuel growth and dramatically boost your takings and profits. Selling your goods and service abroad can massively increase your customer base – and your profits. But successful exporting relies on understanding where good sales opportunities lie and how best to take advantage of them. A good distribution strategy will identify the best sales channels for your firm and tell you how to exploit them.
Once you have identified and implemented the relevant processes which are applicable to you and your business, it is only then you will be see a ROI (Return On Investment).