The Importance of a Marketing Strategy in Running Your Business
A good marketing strategy has become a key part of running a sustainable business in today’s competitive marketplace. Newer tools and platforms have made the formation of marketing strategy more technology-oriented and data-driven.
Let’s explore different aspects of marketing strategy in establishing a successful business, which stands out from other competitors.
Role of an Effective Marketing Strategy in a Business
Effective marketing in a business is vital because it is the marketing strategy that reaches out to prospective consumers and induces them to convert into customers by purchasing the services or products that the company offers.
A few popular areas of marketing strategies include advertisements, social media, and email marketing.
Advertisement is one of the most fundamental and important components of an effective marketing strategy. According to the Word Advertising and Research Center projection, the total size of the advertisement sector is expected to reach $656 billion by the end of 2020. Digital advertisement is about $355.78 billion of that, which accounts for over 54% of spending on all advertisements globally.
Like advertising, social media continues to grow quickly. With 3.5 billion social media users worldwide and many averaging 3 hours per day on social networks, social media is a channel almost all businesses are looking to take advantage of.
With numbers like that, it isn’t too surprising to see the rise of IT solutions consulting services to help power these marketing strategies.
An effective marketing strategy helps businesses achieve greater brand value and awareness, greater effective use of resources, and ensures data-driven decisions.
Why Is It Never Too Late to Launch a Marketing Strategy?
A good marketing strategy is the foundation of a futuristic business, and without any strategy, no business can survive at all. Many experts in the marketing field believe that ‘no strategy is still a strategy’ but, it may be not that effective producing the desired business bottom lines.
Marketing strategy is a continuous process of implementing the marketing plan and repositioning the strategies with the changing factors of markets. It covers not only the present status of the businesses but also the future objectives and the positioning of business to fully benefit from the future market trends.
There are so many factors like the local market, global market, numerous advertisement channels, SEO, paid-clicks, personalization, and many others that need to be considered carefully to formulate and implement an effective marketing strategy.
So, launching an effective marketing strategy at any point in time will always help achieve business sustainability, profitability, durability, and a competitive edge.
How Is a Marketing Strategy Created?
Developing a professional-grade marketing strategy is a highly technical and complex process, which requires a professional team, real-world data collected from market analysis, IT tools, and other resources. A powerful strategy includes creating multiple strategic documentation and processes and ends with the continual improvement in it.
The popular proverb ‘no size fits all’ is also true for formulating an effective marketing strategy because ground realities in different areas, business models, and business ecosystems vary substantially. Still, we can generalize how to create a marketing strategy in a few points.
1. Identifying the Business Goal
A good marketing strategy needs the statement of your business goals, which will be used as a core reason for your marketing strategy. The goals should be set pragmatically, which are characterized by the principle criteria referred to as SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. The business goals should be defined and documented in a very clear and transparent way to the marketing team.
Most companies already have some goals that they would like to achieve over the next few months, quarters, and years. This step’s objective is to ensure that they are quantifiable and clearly communicated to your marketing team (or you if you are the one doing the marketing).
Some examples of clear business goals would be:
- Increase new customer revenue by 30% over the next 12 months
- Increase customer awareness (measured through social engagement) by 25% over the next 3 months
2. Defining Marketing Goals
Like identifying the business goals, marketing goals should also be defined in line with the standards and industry best practices. Defining marketing goals is the first strategic step towards achieving the business goals defined in the first stage. The marketing goals should clearly define the segments and type of markets to focus on and a clear timeline to achieve the targets.
Like the business goals, these should be very specific. What can your marketing do to help achieve your business goals? What increase or decreases in marketing metrics will be most beneficial?
Some examples would include:
- Increase website traffic by 25% in the next 3 months
- Increase conversions from website traffic to free trial by 30% in the next 3 months
- Increase Twitter followers by 40% in the next 6 months
- Increase comments-to-follower ratio on Twitter by 25% in the next 2 months
3. Having a Deeper Perspective of the Target Market
A detailed and comprehensive study of the targeted market should be done to gather information regarding that particular market such as size, trends, geography, population, demography, culture, taboos, and others. This will help you sharpen the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
4. Customer Base Profiling
Profiling the customer segment will improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. At this stage, you need to identify the behavior, interests, needs, purchasing power, buying patterns, and other factors of the customer segment that you want to focus on in your marketing strategy.
Truly understanding your customers at a deep level can help you align how you communicate to your audience as well as better anticipate their questions or hesitations.
One of the most common approaches to this step is defining your initial buyer persona. Luckily, we have written an entire guide for that: The Best Ways to Target the Right Customers Using Buyer Personas.
5. Profiling the Market Competitors
The detailed study of your business competitors in the market will help you avoid your marketing strategy from going in the wrong direction. You should collect detailed information about your competitors.
This information may include competitor products, features, and flaws of those products, prices, marketing tactics, supply-chain, shipping, and other factors.
6. Implementing 7Ps of Marketing
The 7Ps of marketing is a popular approach that has been around for decades. These are different tactics that you can control and combine in a variety of ways within your marketing strategy. Not all tactics may be used in each strategy, but it is important for you to consider each one to see if there are ways to utilize them that you hadn’t thought of before.
- Product – All aspects of the product, like features, benefits, accessories, and quality, should be defined in such a way that the buyer can understand that he/she gets the best value of the money spent to buy the product.
- Price – In this step, you need to clearly understand the cost, profit, and ability of the buyer of the product and set the price so that you get maximum sales, and customers find it easy to buy.
- Promotion – Promotion refers to the different activities that make customers aware of the product and establish a brand value. It should cover ads, discounts, incentives, sales tactics, and other factors to lure customers for purchasing the product.
- Place – Place pertains to the physical or virtual space or area where the product can be sold to the customers. The right place at the right time plays a vital role in a marketing strategy.
- People – The people dealing with sales, marketing, customer support, and other staff facing public interaction should be well trained and skilled in such a way that they become the mouthpiece of your marketing strategy.
- Process – All processes related to purchasing, delivery, repair, and others should be well defined and easy to use for the customers.
- Physical Evidence – This refers to the outlook of your physical stores, packages, brand, and other presentation decorative items.
7. Testing the Strategy
Finally, test the entire strategy by implanting through campaigns and record the results if they are working as per desired objectives. Make some tweaks and implement it aggressively.
Once you have established your overall marketing strategy, it will be time to start implementing it. The exact steps you take will depend on the actual strategy. But, measuring your approach and results will be important in all cases. Using tools such as Google Analytics, HotJar, and DataBox can help you keep track of the data you will need to use.
Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and Information Technology enthusiast. She works as a Content Manager at Mobilunity, a provider of dedicated development teams around the globe. Anastasia keeps abreast of the latest news in all areas of technology, Agile project management, and software product growth hacking, at the same time sharing her experience online to help tech startups and companies to be up-to-date.
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