6 Components for a Successful Marketing Strategy
Business students often find marketing one of the most interesting and unique classes during college. It brings data analysis and strategy into a happy relationship that is fueled by financial success. However, you can also explore the interpersonal side of marketing that direct and encourages sales or product presentation to a target market. The field of marketing is as diverse as the businesses that use it for promoting their products, but the ways to succeed in the field are fairly universal. While you may need to tweak some of these components to fit the specific nature of your business, these six elements are crucial to the long-term success of your plan of attack with marketing, which ultimately affects the health of your company.
Conduct a SWOT Analysis
Using SWOT analysis, you can break down your business and operations into four categories- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This needs to be done before you do anything else, as it will be used to provide the data for the other areas of your marketing strategy. Fortunately, you don’t have to come up with all of this information on your own. It should be a team project, and you will want to get as many of your colleagues as you can to contribute. Knowing what you are best at doing, the areas that need improvement, and external or internal factors affecting motivation or business risks, you are equipped to move forward with a well-informed and well-reasoned marketing strategy.
Determine the Value Proposition
Using the strengths you identified during your SWOT analysis, you can determine what makes your product valuable and what sets you apart from your competitors. This a step that you should be prepared to spend time and resources exploring, as this is the area that can either make or break a sale. Start by listing the main benefits a customer would receive from using your product, and outline these reasons against other alternatives. A strong value proposition is to the point, concise, and addresses a customer’s problem. You need to understand why your customer needs your product, but the customer needs to know as well.
Identify Your Marketing Strategy Objectives
Your company will be able to outline and communicate its goals through the corresponding marketing objective. The objectives established should develop measurable outcomes that need to be accomplished within a specified timeframe. They provide a framework for evaluating the effectiveness and successes of a particular marketing strategy. These objectives lay the groundwork for recognized expectations, cohesive planning, coordinated efforts, and accountability measures for the teams responsible for achieving results. You should have between three to five objectives, and they must be measurable and established with a time-sensitive plan. You should re-evaluate these goals every six months and make changes if success hasn’t been forthcoming.
Understand Your Market
This is often the most overlooked aspect of marketing, and business models have only recently begun to recognize the impact that customer centricity has on a business. In fact, Mark Crumpacker has grounded his marketing genius in this idea of putting the customer first in every area of business. In order to make sure your customers’ needs are a part of your marketing strategy, you need to understand the needs. Only after you do this can you create a plan that addresses how to meet those needs. The current methods of getting to know customers have moved away from traditional research methods like focus groups and surveys. Smart analysis through online platforms and tools gathers all the information you need about your target market.
Recreate Your Buyer Personas
Once you have the data from your market research, you need to create or define fictional but generalized representations of what you would consider an ideal customer. A more personal knowledge of the customer you want to have makes it easier for you to reach out and connect. Although you will mine data from social media channels, customer reviews, website analytics, and real conversation with potential customers, defining who you want your customer to help you keep in mind their humanity and the legitimacy of their needs. Use their preferences, demographic information, and experiences to help find the most appropriate way to communicate with them, but in a style and tone that they are comfortable with and preferential to.
Analyze the Competition
Depending on what industry or field you operate in, it is highly unlikely that you hold the corner on the market. A strong marketing strategy takes into account the competition and determines the game plan that is going to help the business stand out and flourish in spite of it. You don’t just walk into work one day and find out you have cracked the code over the race to the customer. You need to have expert knowledge of the market you are working in and what the competitors are doing. Find out what their struggles are, what things seem to be working for them, and what their weak links seem to be. You can use the information found online to get to the bottom of these questions.
Your marketing strategy is a corporate game plan for communicating the benefits of your company and the differentiations from your competition to potential customers. These components will be the foundation for a competitive but thriving business.
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