Marketing Strategy- Essential for Business Success
Developing a strong and effective brand marketing strategy is one of the most vital pieces of the puzzle for any business. Without one, and without the guidance it can bring, any effort you make to attract customers will most likely end up being haphazard and inefficient, despite your best intentions. The key to a strong marketing strategy is to know your business and your audience- that the best way to maximize the effect of a local business marketing strategy plan.
The focus of this plan should be mainly on your products and services and ensure they get see by your target audience and that they meet customer needs so you can develop a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with them. To achieve this, your plan needs to revolve around a flexible strategy that can adjust and adapt to changes in the market and customer wants and needs and fluxes in the industry market in general. It may also help to look for whole new markets that make be successfully targeted as you grow and branch out in your search for new customers.
The purpose of your marketing strategy is to grow your business by keeping customers coming back again and again while at the same time reaching out and attracting new customers. Here is a handy guide that can help you identify which customers you should be focused on and what the key objectives are to be able to reach them. It explains what to include in your marketing strategy and how it can be used as the basis for effective action.
Key Elements in Marketing Strategy
The first element of your marketing strategy is the acknowledgment that your customer base will be and should be classified by groups based on their needs and habits and other characteristics. Identifying these groups and their needs take a lot of research and time but when you complete this step successfully it makes the entire process easier and helps you have better results in the long run. All of the best local business marketing plans have some degree of research and analysis put into the development of the plan before any action was taken on it.
Once you have done research and analyzed the data you can begin the next phase of the process and work on creating a marketing strategy that makes the most of your strengths and weaknesses. You need to develop a way to emphasize your strengths in order to meet the needs of your customers and minimize your weaknesses so they do not drive customers away or affect your business in a negative way.
Once this phase of the process has been completed, it is then time for you to decide on the best marketing activity you want to engage in. Being careful and thoughtful with this step will help ensure your target market sees your company brand, knows what you offer, the goods and services you represent, what you can do for them, and the value of being your customer. When you know how to present these points to your target audience you can build a marketing strategy that effectively presents you and your brand to your customers through sound local business marketing methods and practices.
A good marketing plan for your business can be achieved through various methods including advertising, exhibitions, public appearances, internet presence, and a strong physical presence for brick and mortar locations. Limit your activities though so you do not spread yourself or your budget too thinly. Only work with those methods you think will work best because it is better to do an excellent job with three marketing venues than to do an ok job with ten. You do not have to be in every media and in every niche and on every form of marketing and advertising so be smart with what you choose. Be smart with your marketing strategy – this is one of the biggest mistakes business owners make when it comes to developing their local business marketing strategy.
Another one of the key elements that are far too often overlooked in the creation of a business plan for their marketing platform is that of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what steps you have taken. Without this step, you will never know if you are making good choices and if you are getting a good return on your investment or if you are wasting your money on your marketing and advertising plan. A simple way to test this is to ask every new customer how they heard about your business to see what marketing channels are generating traffic to your site. The ones that are bringing people in are the ones you should keep putting money into and the ones that are falling behind might need a reworking or they may be best dropped from your marketing strategy.
Once you have gone through all of these steps, invested the time to do research and analysis, and have given a few platforms a try to test the waters, you are ready to decide on your marketing strategy. You can start to draw up a marketing plan to implement and a process you plan to go through to test its validity and success of your marketing strategy. The plan should be constantly reviewed, updated, and tweaked as needed so you can be sure you are current and at the top of your game!
Strengths and Weaknesses
No business is perfect, no matter how hard you may try, and it is best if you admit early on that you have strengths and weaknesses that you need to work with and around. Your strategy must take note of how your business’ strengths and weaknesses are affecting and could possibly affect your marketing and success. The best place to start when it comes to developing the meat of your marketing strategy document with an honest analysis of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A large part of this will branch out from looking at your customer base and will require you to look at your competition within your niche and general market areas.
Strengths could include:
- Personal customizations options for goods or services
- Reliable and flexible customer service on phone, email, or chat
- Special features and benefits that customers or members receive
- Specialist knowledge or skills that can’t be found elsewhere
Weaknesses could include:
- A budget that has limited financial resources at the moment
- Lack of any reputation or status within the community to fall back on
- Inefficient accounting systems or weak platforms
- Lack of enough quality, trained, and experienced staff members
Opportunities could include:
- A new or greater demand from a certain sector or target audience
- Internet outreach through social media and ads to reach new markets
- The use of new technologies and tools to improve quality and service
- Partnering with a like-minded business in your area
Threats could include:
- The entrance of a new competitor into your targeted area
- Creation of more effective, affordable, or desirable versions of your products
- New laws and legislation that end up increasing your costs and prices
- A downturn in the economy that causes people to spend and shop less
These are all very important aspects to consider and are critical to understanding how your local business marketing strategy is going to play out and how it needs to be implemented and managed. Having done your analysis, it is possible to see how each one of these elements can have an impact on your marketing plan and affect the way you implement your strategy.
Developing a Marketing Strategy
With a better and more thorough understanding of the internal strengths and weaknesses of your business and a firm grasp on the external opportunities and threats that you have before you, it is possible to develop a strategy for your marketing that plays to your own strengths and pairs them with customers who are looking for all the things you can offer. You can also identify your weaknesses and begin developing a game plan to try and minimize them or at the very least present them in the least damaging way possible. Many businesses, large and small alike, suffer unnecessary loss because they fail this part of the local business marketing planning process.
A detailed marketing plan hinges on some key questions that help you analyze your wants and needs and sets out the specific things you need to do in order to put that strategy into practice. Questions to ask during this phase include:
- What changes can be seen and noted within my marketing niche and are the opportunities I need to embrace of threats I need to prepare for?
- What are the key strengths and weaknesses of the business and what can be done to make the most of them?
- What are the ultimate goals that I have for the business and have I set clear, realistic objectives that I can logically reach?
- What are the needs of my customer base, what are they looking for, what are they not interested in, and am I giving them everything I possibly can?
- Which customers are among the ones spending the most with my business and which demographics are the most profitable for my business to target?
- How am I going to go about targeting my services and products to the right potential customers and can I tailor my marketing to entire groups?
- What’s the best way to communicate with my customer base and do I need to include traditional means like a phone as well as the modern feature like online chat?
- Could I do more to improve my customer service and is there something else I could offer or do to keep my customers happy and coming back again
- Could changing what I am offering to be more appealing or alter the way I am marketing it so it is more appealing and attainable to more people?
- Could extending my offerings to include more products or services or special features and upgrades to appeal to members and returning customers?
- How will I determine the price of my goods and services and how will I handle sales, promotions, discounts, and other specials?\
- What are my customers most interested in- is it quality, value, reliability, services, accommodations, or something else?
- What is the best way to approach the sale and distribution of my products once I have gotten my message to your target audience and people are buying
- How can I best promote my products and what combination of traditional and modern methods would work best?
- How am I going to test in order to tell if my marketing is being cost-effective and whether or not I need to do something different?
Before you begin looking around at ways to expand out to new market areas, think about what you can do to maximize your customer base and the customers who are doing business with you already. It is usually more economical and faster to target your existing customers than spending that time and money blindly finding new customers to bring in. Consider whether you could upsell products and features, get customers to buy goods and services for the items they have already purchased, or if you could offer specials and deals just for them to encourage them to do more business with you.
There are many steps involved in making a marketing strategy that is tailored to your business and that is successful and provides the best return on your investment. If you have questions or need help with your local business marketing plans, then give us a call and discover the difference Streng Design can make! You owe it to yourself to give your business the best competitive edge possible and we can help you develop the marketing strategy that best fits your unique needs, goals, products, services, customer base, and budget! Contact us today and let us show you what local business marketing is done differently looks like!