Every person responsible for the business development at least once in its life has heard the term “marketing strategy”. Marketing strategy leads to a better understanding of the market, customers and the competition. A well-developed marketing strategy allows the company to conquer the new markets. In this article I will try to answer the question: What is a marketing strategy and how to develop it.
There are many definitions over the Internet of what a marketing strategy is. Some definitions totally differ from each other. This is why it is not easy to understand what a marketing strategy really is.
What is a marketing strategy
Marketing strategy is a very detailed plan of marketing activities. The key in this plan is to set the long-term marketing goals and a detailed plan about how to achieve them.
Marketing strategy consists of many parts such as competition analysis, market analysis, customer persona, customer communication channels or the so-called KPIs (key performance indicators).
Marketing strategy – how to develop it
The marketing strategy can be divided into several main parts:
- Marketing goals
- Customer Persona
- Client communication channels
- Marketing expenses forecast
In this section you should describe the company in details. The company’s mission, goals, and what stands it out from its competitors. It is also a part where SWOT analysis should be developed.
Examples of the questions that should be answered:
- What is the mission of the company?
- What does the company exist for?
- What are the company’s main goals?
- What problems does the company solve?
- What stands the company out from its competition?
There is a famous saying “if you don’t know where you are going, you are going nowhere”. Setting goals is extremely important. First of all, it clearly shows what the company cares about and what result it wants to achieve. Secondly, without setting clear and measurable marketing goals, it will be impossible to examine the effectiveness of their implementation.
Examples of marketing goals are:
- Get the 100 clients till March 2021
- Increase a website traffic to 1000 unique visitors per month till January 2021
- Generate sales in the amount of 1 000 000 USD monthly till September 2021
- Increase the amount of sales to a foreign customer to 20% till October 2021
This is where the competition analysis should be carried out. Sometimes when creating a marketing strategy for an innovative product it turns out that the company has no competition. Such a situation may be uncomfortable. It is extremely risky to develop a marketing strategy when there is no competition.
In such a case it is necessary to focus strongly on the customer persona and detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the marketing activities. Thanks to the quick feedback from the market, it is possible to correct the previously planned ways of achieving the marketing goals.
In the most cases there will be some competition which may become a subject of an analysis. It is necessary to focus on a detailed analysis of these companies in order to get as much feedback as possible.
Examples of questions worth answering:
- What products or services does the competition offer?
- Why is my product or service better than the competition?
- Why should a customer decide to choose my company?
- What channels of communication with the customer does the competition use?
- How does the competition reach the customer?
- What marketing activities does the competition carry out and where?
- How much money does the competition spend on the marketing activities?
- What actions of the competition can I apply in my company to achieve my goals?
There are a lot of software that can help you answer these questions. Some of them are paid and others are free. Learn more about how to monitor competitors in my other article: What is content marketing? Complete guide for beginners
Customer Persona is one of the most important if not the most important part of any marketing strategy. You cannot sell a product or a service if you do not know who the client is.
At this point it is necessary to clearly define who is your client. Awareness of who is a customer and who is not, allow you to determine not only the channels of communication, but also how to talk to the client.
Depending on whether the customer is a teenager or a CEO of a big company, the message will be completely different. The places where we can reach these people will be also completely different. Each of these people has different needs and different problems. All this must be taken into the account.
Examples of questions to be answered:
- Is my client a woman or a man?
- What does my client worry about and what makes him happy?
- What questions my client asks?
- Where does it live?
- How much does it earn?
- What language does it speak?
- What education does it have?
- How does it spend its free time?
The more we know about who the client is the better.
Communication channels are about how we will communicate with the customer. Depends on what product or service we are selling, on what market, and to whom – communication channels will differ.
Communication channels examples:
- Company Blog
- Social media
- Advertising on TV or in the radio
- Niche relevant websites
Marketing expenses forecast
Another very important part of marketing strategy is the forecast of marketing expenses. The forecast should be based on detailed market analysis. It is necessary to determine how much money is needed and what exactly we intend to spend the money on in order to achieve the marketing goals.
KPIs – key performance indicators. It is all about how we will examine the effectiveness of marketing activities. How will we know that we are going in the right direction.
Examples of KPIs:
- Number of unique visits on a website
- Number of inquiries on the contact form
- Sales volume
How much does a marketing strategy cost
It is extremely difficult to determine how much a marketing strategy costs. It depends on what is the subject of the strategy. A marketing strategy of a specific city will be much more comprehensive document than the strategy of launching a product or service into the local market.
Marketing strategy about innovative product will be expensive, because it is connected with the high risk. This risk is particularly dictated by the lack of competition, which makes there is less data to analyse.
The approach to marketing strategy on foreign markets will be completely different from that on the local market.
However, looking at the market prices of developing a marketing strategy for a company wishing to launch a product/service on the local market, a valuation in the range of 5000 USD – 15 000 USD net can be expected.