Starting a business is difficult if you don’t have a marketing strategy plan. The chances of being successful in that business diminish greatly if you don’t have a continually updated plan. A marketing plan pulls together all of your efforts to attract customers to your business. Your strategy should focus on your products and services meeting the needs of your customers and developing long-term relationships with those customers. To achieve this, your strategy must be flexible so that it can change as needed. The purpose of the strategy should be to identify the benefits of your business and then communicate them to your target market and audience.
Key Elements of a Marketing Strategy Plan
A marketing strategy plan must contain specific key elements to be successful. The most important element of a strategy is the understanding that potential customer should be grouped based on their needs. Once their needs have been identified, you can match your products or services to those needs. Your strategy should include a plan to reach out to your target market, show them what you have to offer and why they need your products or services.
Another key element is to monitor continuously and evaluate how well your strategy is working for the business. Once you have your marketing strategy plan created and implemented by your business you may have to make adjustments to it. As your business grows and changes your strategy will need to change with it to continue the business’ success.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses may sound a lot easier than it is. An in-depth SWOT analysis will help you determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This analysis will help your business to gain knowledge on its reputation in the marketplace.
Marketing Strategy Plan Development
When developing your strategy, there are certain questions that you should ask so that you have a better understanding of your business and marketing.
What changes are taking place in our business environment? Are these opportunities or threats?
What are our strengths and weaknesses?
What do I want to achieve? Set clear, realistic objectives.
What are customers looking for? What are their needs?
Which customers are the most profitable?
How will I target the right potential customers? Are there groups that I can target effectively?
What’s the best way of communicating with them?
Could I improve my customer service? This can be a low-cost way of gaining a competitive advantage over rivals, keeping customers, boosting sales, and building a good reputation.
Could changing my products or services increase sales and profitability? Most products need to be continuously updated to maintain competitiveness.
Could extending my product list or service provision meet existing customers’ needs more effectively? Remember that selling to existing customers is more cost-effective than continually trying to find new ones.
How will I price my product or service? Although prices need to be competitive, most businesses find that trying to compete on price alone is a poor strategy. What else are my customers interested in? Quality? Reliability? Efficiency? Value for money?
What is the best way of distributing and selling my products?
How can I best promote my products? Options might include advertising, direct marketing, exhibiting at trade fairs, PR, or marketing on the web.
How can I tell if my marketing strategy plan is effective? Check how your customers find out about your business. A small-scale trial can be a good way of testing a marketing strategy without committing to excessive costs.
Whew! That’s a lot of questions don’t you think? Of course it is, but at the end of the day, if you don’t ask those questions of yourself, your business and your market, you are handicapping your chances of success. The marketing team at InDigiMar is here to assist you in creating your own marketing strategy plan from start to finish.