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Marketing Strategy Explained

By: Garry Pierrepont - Updated: 24 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Marketing Strategy Business Plan

A marketing strategy is the process by which an organisation uses its resources to create opportunities to increase sales. A generalised marketing strategy should be included in the business plan.

The term marketing is generally used to mean the way in which customers are found and attracted to make a purchase.

The Four P's

The key aspects of marketing are the four P's:
  • Products
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion

To this, of course, should be added: People. These are your buyers, and you need the other four Ps to connect with the people who are going to buy.

When you are preparing your marketing strategy for your business, you need to focus on the most important thing – the customer. All the actions taken on Products, Place, Price and Promotion should be geared to reaching the customer. A business needs to satisfy its customers’ needs or else all those other important aspects of a business (e.g. profit, productivity, revenue, expenses, management etc.) are all irrelevant.

Ask yourself, or even better, ask your potential (or existing) customers:

  • Does your product fulfil a need?
  • What do they think or your products?
  • What changes (improvements) would they like to see?
  • What needs do they have that are not fulfilled?
  • Is your product value for money?

If your product is not needed by anyone, then no one is going to buy, no matter how pretty it is, no matter how efficiently you make it, no matter how many you can churn out!

Marketing Is The Link

Marketing is the key link between a business and its customers.

A marketing strategy is the way you plan to turn that link into a benefit for your customers, and your business.

To Devise A Marketing Strategy, Look At The Following Areas:

  • Who needs your products?
  • What are your customer needs?
  • Where will your customers go to buy?
  • How will your customers buy (what method)?
  • What price will they willing to pay?
  • What deals can you offer?

Remember that you are trying to develop a strategy that will maximise profits for the business. That is not simply a question of setting a high price for a high profit margin, or setting a low price to attract a lot of buyers. The strategy will have to be smarter than that to make the highest profits for the business.

Market Research

Market research means understanding the needs of your potential customers. You should study your own (or another similar business’s) past sales history. Where have the sales been made? To whom? At what price?

You should looking at current buying habits. Are your customers limited to a single market segment? Could you sell to others? Could you sell different products to current customers? Could you sell them more of the same? How good is your prospect analysis? How are your competitors selling to customers?

You also need to try and find future customers. What market research can help to identify other sectors and other buyers? How can you improve your prospect analysis? How can you beat your competitors?

Customer Relations

As customers are so important to the marketing strategy of a business, customer relations should be given high priority.

Bad customer relations can be a result of poor service, poor value for money products, customers not feeling valued, poor credit procedures.

Good customer relations come from fulfilling a customer need, good after-sales service, value for money with sound profit margins, product development and innovation.

Marketing Strategy

A strategy is a wide-ranging plan to reach customers by various means at various times.

The marketing strategy comes from assessing where, when and how you will approach prospective customers. It should consist of a co-ordinated plan. There are number of ways of entering a market: acquisition of a company, joint ventures, advertising drive are just a few.

Timing is crucial. There would not be much merit in having an advertising campaign for European skiing holidays in May, for example. You must consider patterns of demand, seasons, cycles, as well as knowledge of the buyer. If you present them with something they simply don’t understand – for example, because it is so innovative – then they are unlikely to buy.

An organisation should use its marketing strategy to create opportunities to increase its sales. The business plan should contain a section on the proposed marketing strategy of the company.

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