Marketing strategy is the goal of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Marketing strategy includes all basic and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies and therefore contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives.
Marketing strategies serve as the fundamental underpinning of marketing plans designed to fill market needs and reach marketing objectives. Plans and objectives are generally tested for measurable results. Commonly, marketing strategies are developed as multi-year plans, with a tactical plan detailing specific actions to be accomplished in the current year. Time horizons covered by the marketing plan vary by company, by industry, and by nation, however, time horizons are becoming shorter as the speed of change in the environment increases. Marketing strategies are dynamic and interactive. They are partially planned and partially unplanned. See strategy dynamics. Marketing strategy needs to take a long term view, and tools such as customer lifetime value models can be very powerful in helping to simulate the effects of strategy on acquisition, revenue per customer and churn rate.
Marketing strategy involves careful and precise scanning of the internal and external environments. Internal environmental factors include the marketing mix and marketing mix modeling, plus performance analysis and strategic constraints. External environmental factors include customer analysis, competitor analysis, target market analysis, as well as evaluation of any elements of the technological, economic, cultural or political/legal environment likely to impact success. A key component of marketing strategy is often to keep marketing in line with a company’s overarching mission statement.
Once a thorough environmental scan is complete, a strategic plan can be constructed to identify business alternatives, establish challenging goals, determine the optimal marketing mix to attain these goals, and detail implementation. A final step in developing a marketing strategy is to create a plan to monitor progress and a set of contingencies if problems arise in the implementation of the plan.
Marketing Mix Modeling is often used to help determine the optimal marketing budget and how to allocate across the marketing mix to achieve these strategic goals. Moreover, such models can help allocate spend across a portfolio of brands and manage brands to create value.
Marketing models identified above are now WRONG. Using new strategic development, it is essential to create a Blue Ocean and sail away from your current competitors and create a new place to sail and win new customers.
There’s much more to marketing than advertising and promotion. To be successful all marketing activities should be based on a clear, well thought-out Marketing Strategy that addresses the fundamentals.
A sound marketing strategy is critical to the success of your B2B or B2C firm. Marketing is not something you think about once you have a warehouse full of products, ready to be sold. Developing a sound marketing strategy starts with evaluating opportunities or creating new opportunities in the marketplace well before a product or service is even conceived. It’s the difference between ‘selling what customers want to buy’ versus ‘trying to make customers to buy what you are selling’.
We have experience creating smart, carefully thought-out marketing strategies for business-to-business firms and business-to-consumer companies. The goal of our practical, data-driven approach is to find the best market opportunities for your business.
An effective marketing strategy addresses these important questions:
- What do our customers want?
- What are the target persona’s we are targeting?
- Which products and services should we sell?
- Which customer segments to target?
- What should be our differentiation?
- How can we beat or avoid the competition?
- What prices should we charge?
- Which sales & distribution channels?
- How do we create awareness and generate demand?
Working directly with the management team, we take a comprehensive approach to answering these questions. The decisions that impact your company’s future should be based on solid information and insight, not wishful thinking, guess work or anecdotal information.
Conducting an objective review of your company’s capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and competitive advantages provides insight into your competitive position. Brand awareness, market share, financial resources, and your goals and objectives are also considered. The analysis includes a review of customers, competitors, partners, suppliers and the economic climate.
In addition, important trends and their potential impact on your business will be evaluated. Finally, opportunities in the market and potential threats to your business will be identified.
Why should customers buy from you? How is your business different, “better, faster, cheaper” than the competition? What is your Unique Selling Proposition?
A clear Value Proposition allows you to communicate clearly with your target market and lets your business stand out from the competition.
Slow sellers, fast movers, low margin and high margin products. If your business is like most others, you have a product mix that includes all of these.
Decisions need to be made about which products the company should focus on, and which products may have to be discontinued. Taking a longer-term, strategic look at the market, we evaluate where the needs are in your may also have to develop new products and services to remain competitive or enter a new market.
- What are the best sales and distribution channels for your business?
- Are all your channels performing equally well?
- Which channels should you focus on, not just right now, but for the future?
- Which ones should be abandoned?
- Should you sell direct, through distributors, or both?
- What role could e-commerce play in your business?
Creating a sales and distribution plan is part of our marketing strategy development process.
The importance of setting the right price is often underestimated. Pricing has a direct impact on the bottom line. Price too high and you don’t get the sale. Price too low and you leave money on the table.
If you’re charging a ‘cost plus’ price, or simply matching competitors’ prices, you could more than likely do a lot better. Pricing should be based on how customers perceive your product’s value, not on your manufacturing cost. We can assist you with crafting a smart pricing strategy that supports your company’s financial goals.
Promotion is the most visible, tangible aspect of marketing and what people usually think of as “marketing”.
In this stage of developing the marketing strategy decisions are made about the marketing communication initiatives that are best suited and most effective for your market and products.