Marketing strategy is an important process which will help an organisation to focus its limited financial resources on the most lucrative opportunities to boost sales and attain a sustainable competitive edge. Marketing strategy is used to attract new customers, enhance brand awareness and position the organisation in the marketplace. For many companies, marketing strategy consists of integrated marketing plans (which integrate different elements such as advertising, public relations, promotions, direct mail, distribution, and sales) as well as one or more specific marketing programs. The purpose of this is to acquire new customers and maintain existing customers while also challenging the competition. Although marketing is an ongoing task, the initial steps are crucial in the development of a marketing strategy.
The first step towards a comprehensive marketing strategy is to develop and implement a marketing plan. This plan should address how the company will reach its goals, how the business will distribute its products and what marketing campaigns will be implemented to achieve those goals. It is also necessary to measure the results of each marketing program to ensure that the strategy is meeting its intended goals. A marketing plan should be developed based on knowledge from market research, consumer behavior, market competition, target markets, and other factors. In addition, strategic decisions regarding marketing campaigns must be made to take into consideration the company’s competitors, which may include service providers, suppliers, wholesalers, and online activity.
While all of these topics are important, without a solid marketing strategy the plan will fail. Some of the key components of a marketing strategy include the following. These include:
Strategic alignment Marketing is largely dependent on strategic alignment. Marketing activities are aligned toward achieving the same overall objective. This includes achieving a sustainable competitive edge with increased market share. This objective is achieved by effectively promoting the product, generating increased customer awareness, and developing an effective distribution system. Proper marketing strategy is important because it considers a potential competitor’s efforts as well as the impact of the competition. Furthermore, marketing activities in the global marketplace are now global.
Value Proposition The primary value proposition of any marketing strategy is the offer or the benefits associated with the product or service. A strong value proposition is one that generates high loyalty and generates low cost per sale. In order to develop a strong value proposition a marketing strategy must be clearly defined and measurable. Examples of components that comprise a value proposition include the quality of the product, the price, and the customer service.
Identification of Strategic Priorities A marketing strategy is worthless if it is not aligned with company marketing goals. Every marketing goal should be in alignment with the company’s future objectives. Furthermore, the marketing goals must be relevant to the target market.
New Products The primary objective of any marketing strategy is to introduce new products to the market. However, the introduction of new products should be accompanied by an effective marketing strategy. In addition, existing customers must also be made aware of the new products. It is important to understand that customer loyalty and existing customers can be separated. This means that a new product introduction may have significant impact on existing customers but the same strategy may not be able to achieve the same results for new products.
Research and Development Develop a marketing strategy that effectively addresses the needs of the potential customers requires extensive research. The research and development process should seek to address issues such as the demographics of potential customers, the purchasing power of the potential customers, the purchasing preferences and behavior of potential customers and the purchasing habits of existing customers. Moreover, to effectively address issues surrounding product development, the marketing mix and the structure of the company should be analyzed. Ultimately, it is important to incorporate innovative approaches, such as social media into the overall strategy.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.