Every business owner should have a clear understanding of the market. Knowing the pulse of your customers will help you find their goodwill. Therefore, each small business should write its own Book of Ra to follow the path of a successful marketing strategy.
Are you aspiring to boost your annual turnover? Do you feel that your merchandise is not being effectively placed despite your meticulous efforts? What you need is a foolproof marketing plan. And in order to achieve that, you need to create a strict marketing strategy, and that will lead you to success. Read on for detailed guidance.
Table of Contents
#1. Map out the Current Situation of Your Business
The first step towards planning an effective marketing strategy is to have an overview of your present situation. SWOT Analysis is the ideal form of evaluation to help you accurately assess your position in the market. It stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Sit with your team and prepare a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your company. These are the interior factors. Consider the ways in which your product outperforms your rivals, or your service becomes more acceptable to customers. To detect the weaknesses, check the problems that hinder the smooth marketing of your product. Is the supply of your product more than the demand? Do you need to upgrade the production cost? Does your staff need to brush up marketing skills?
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Opportunities and threats are external factors. What are the chances that your business can capitalize on? Keep an eye on the factors that will benefit your business, such as new trends for enlarging the market. Assessing threats is equally important as market share fluctuates on the basis of a number of economic and socio-political factors. You would require a plan to overcome these potential threats. Here, you will have to assess the performances of your competitors too. What are their attractive selling points? What can you propose to your audience to get the upper hand over your competitors? Speaking of the audience, it is imperative to know who will avail of your service, which brings us to the next step.
#2. Decide Who Will Be Your Target Audience
Now that you have a better view of your market position, define who will be your ideal customers. Advertising your product to everyone is not feasible both in terms of cost and relevance. Hence, you need to create a marketing strategy plan called the buyer’s persona, that is, a demographic profile of your targeted consumers. Having a clear conception of your client makes it easier for you to reach out to them. To categorize your prospective buyer, consider the factors below:
- age, sex, profession, income, and educational qualification;
- Family size: nuclear or joint?
- Lifestyle preferences: Are they urban, semi-urban, or rural? Do they follow a modern lifestyle, or do they opt for a more conservative approach? What are their values?
- Psychographic data: What are their aims? What drives them to purchase your product?
Now that you know your customers sorting out public relations and advertising campaigns will become a cakewalk.
#3. Chalk Out Your Objective for Marketing
The most important step, having the right marketing strategy goals, will define your success. It is what you are aiming to achieve in your business. Therefore, determine your marketing mission. A successful company invests amply in marketing strategy to propel its product in the right direction. Having a mission statement or motto will make your company more acceptable to customers as it will define your motivation for business and its consumer-oriented approach. After preparing your business statement, write down some attainable, specific, and realistic targets. It will ensure higher chances of your plan’s successful execution. Tackle these goals one by one, with small steps.
After laying down your objectives, you need to develop your unique selling proposition (USP). It will define the reason why your audience will prefer your product over your competitors. The USP will set you apart from the rest of the sellers or service providers in the marketing strategy business. To identify the special factor, ask yourself what features of your product are the most useful to your buyer. The USP should emphasize the benefits, as well as the special features that make customers opt for your product.
#4. Lay Down Your Marketing Strategy in Business Plan
As you have your goals in front of you, it’s time to analyze your marketing methods. It is necessary to establish your brand name, which should not remain a mere logo. Without the right strategy to showcase your merchandise, your goals will be ineffective. However, a good marketing program should comprise the four P’s of Marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement. The last step, placement, is vital in choosing the media where you will distribute your advertisement. Moreover, the marketing strategy for small business will significantly differ from those for large ones. With limited infrastructure, you can contact your customers personally via phone or email. If your business is large enough, like online purchasing sites, your main target will be online media. For example, the best marketing strategy for online business requires advertising on social media and selling content through search engine optimization.
#5. Fix a Clearly Defined Budget for Marketing Your Product
Just as you prepare a budget for your overall business, you should set aside some capital for promotional purposes. The budget should include the cost of advertisement, website maintenance, brand marketing, and paying marketing staff. Even if you are just beginning from scratch, the budget won’t be a problem if you are aware of cost-effective marketing strategy ideas. An effective solution is to spend approximately three percent of your expected annual sales in marketing strategy.
With this guide in your hands, you are now aware of how marketing strategy important steps are to be implemented. However, you should not adhere to a single plan for a long time but regularly review your marketing actions. So, how will you plan? We’d love to know your thoughts.
Ellen Royce is a business consultant with experience of over 15 years. She specializes in training for web development and social media marketing. She has written articles for many prestigious newspapers and five marketing bestsellers. An avid reader, Ellen likes to recharge the batteries in her ancestral home library at Bibury.