How to plan your Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy

Considering the highly competitive world that we live in, it is important to have a well considered and well written marketing strategy that will identify the signposts to successful market penetration for your products and services.

In this article, I will provide you with some action points on how to write a good marketing strategy for your business.

 1. Identify your target market

Knowing who your customers are and where you can find more is the first and most important step to
writing a good marketing strategy. Sharp focus is required here because although a lot of different demographics could use your product or service, there will be predominant ones that you need to concentrate on. These are your ‘golden’ targets because they will produce the greatest amount of income for you. It is therefore, of vital importance to be aware of exactly who they are and avoid at all costs the risk of a scatter gun approach. This approach will dilute your message and drain your budget.

When identifying your market, think of it in terms of its specifics by asking yourself some of these questions:

  • what is your current customer base?
  • how can you find more?
  • can your product and service fulfil their needs?
  • can they afford your product or service?
  • are the kind of customers you would enjoy doing business with?

For business start ups who don’t have a customer base, extensive market research will be necessary to identify your ideal target market before developing the marketing strategies that will put your brand in front of them.

2. Set your goals

Again, be specific. Stating that you want to increase the brand awareness for your products and services is not specific enough. What do you want to happen after reaching your target market? You should think about the appropriate actions which you want the prospects and consumers to take after they have been made aware what you offer. Do you want them to request a meeting, or ask for more information, place an enquiry or buy from you straight away? Knowing what you want your outcome to be will dictate the advertising message and the marketing channels to use. Goal setting and clarity of purpose is an important element of the Marketing Strategy.

3. Choose your Marketing Channels

After identifying your target market and the actions you want the customers to take, it’s time to identify the best ways to reach your prospects and customers. You can do this by considering the following characteristics about your customers and prospects:

  • Are they selling to consumers or to other business?
  • What is their level of activity on social media?
  • Can you build a relationship with them on social media?
  • Are they willing to subscribe to your email marketing newsletter?
  • If they are domestic consumers would direct mail, leafleting or cold calling be an option?
  • What type of messages and call to actions would they be likely to respond to
  • Do your products or services fulfil a need of the target sector you are looking at?
  • If doing business locally, do they belong to local associations?

Knowing a little more about your target market by this type of research will give you a clearer idea of the best marketing channel to use to put your message across.

4. Work out your budget

When it comes to planning your budget, start with a figure you can afford. Then, determine your marketing mix and try to price each channel according to their importance in attaining your objectives. Remember to always try to be flexible in order to accommodate any budget adjustments.

5. Plan your Marketing Mix

Careful selection of your Marketing Mix based upon research will help you to reach your target market and to accomplish your goals. The mix may include elements such as email marketing, direct mail, leafleting, guerrilla marketing, blogs, radio/print/online marketing, social media, case studies, events, webinars, sponsorships and so on. The list is a long one but your mix will come to rely on 3 or 4 channels.

However, when laying out your marketing strategy it is important not to rely on one channel. An integrated approach using a mix of channels delivers a more consistent message across multiple platforms. In addition, it is one of the best ways to ensure that you reach your target market, minimise message wastage and maximise response.

6. And Finally…..

That then, is a quick guide to planning your strategy. Execution, analysis and follow up are issues for another time but if you would like to contact me for more information please email me at guy@mymarketingguy.co.uk quoting ‘marketing blog’ in the subject line to qualify for my special offers.

 

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July 2014

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