Marketing strategy is the section of your business plan that outlines your overall game plan for finding clients and customers for your business. Marketing strategy focuses on what you want to achieve for your business and marketing efforts.
An organization’s strategy that combines all of its marketing into one comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business. The marketing strategy is the foundation of a marketing plan.
Sometimes marketing strategy is confused with a marketing plan, but they are different.
A good marketing strategy incorporates what you know about how your business fits into the market and the 5 Ps of marketing to develop the tactics and actions that will achieve your marketing objectives.
Before writing your marketing strategy, you need to know how your product or service benefits others and how it’s unique (unique selling proposition) to other businesses in the marketplace. Further, you need to do market research to understand your competition, your target market, and other factors that will impact your ability to reach and entice people to your business.
Once you have your research, you can write your marketing strategy incorporating the 5 Ps of your marketing mix:
Price: What will it cost to get your product or service? How does it compare to your competition? What will your profit margin be by selling at that price?
Place: Where will your products and services be available for purchase? This is beyond having a home office, and instead are the places where consumers are able to buy. If you’re in multiple places, you should work to calculate the percentage of sales from each place. For example, what will your Internet marketing strategy be? What is your sales strategy? How will the transaction take place, what is the cost of getting the product or service to the consumer/client, and what will be your refund/return policy?
Promotion: How are you going to let the market know about your product or services? How will you tell them about the features and benefits you provide to entice them to check out what you offer? What marketing tactics will you use and what do you anticipate will be the results of each method? Include information about any incentives or coupons you’ll use to attract business.
People: This is a newly added “P” to the marketing mix, and is important if other people are involved in helping you create or deliver your product or service. Who are these people (i.e. sales people, virtual assistants) and what do they do (i.e. sales calls, customer service)? What is their level of training and/or experience in providing help to your business?
When writing your strategy, be specific, using detailed steps, visuals, and budget projections. Keep your brand (your promise to the customer) in mind so that your marketing strategy fits with what you want the customer to experience when doing business with you. Be sure to refer to your marketing strategy as you develop, assess, or change your marketing plan.
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