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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Marketing Strategy Element

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A Marketing Strategy Element is composed of several interrelated elements. The first and most important is market selection: choosing the markets to be served. Product planning includes the specific products the company sells, the makeup of the product line, and the design of individual offerings in the line. Another element is the distribution system: the wholesale and retail channels through which the product moves to the people who ultimately buy it and use it.

The overall communications strategy employs advertising to tell potential customers about the product through radio, television, direct mail, and public print and personal selling to deploy a sales force to call on potential customers, urge them to buy, and take orders. Finally, pricing is an important element of any marketing program. The company must set the product prices that different classes of customers will pay and determine the margins or commissions to compensate agents, wholesalers, and retailers for moving the product to ultimate users.

Depending on the nature of the product and its markets, the marketing strategy may also include other components. A company whose products need repair and maintenance must have programs for product service. Such programs are often businesses in themselves and require extensive repair shops, technical service personnel, and inventories of spare parts. For some companies, the nature and amount of technical assistance provided to customers is critical to marketing success and therefore an important part of strategy.

In many businesses, customer credit is an important element of the marketing program. Companies that operate gasoline stations, retail stores, or travel agencies, for example, must extend credit simply to compete for business. So must companies selling industrial equipment, raw materials, and supplies.

In businesses where products can be shipped only a certain distance from the plant, plant location determines the company's available market. A container plant, for example, can serve only a limited geographic area because shipping costs are high in relation to the product's unit value. When transport over long distances becomes uneconomical, plant location becomes a strategic marketing decision.

Brand name also be an important element of marketing strategy. A company may have to choose between using a family brand name (such as Kraft for cheeses, jams, jellies) or a distinct name (such as Lite for a beer made by Miller Brewing Company).
Other elements of strategy, especially for consumer goods companies, are display of the merchandise at the point of sale, and promotions to consumers (e.g., cents-off coupons, two-for-one sales, and in-package premiums), retailers, and wholesalers. The list of elements that might shape marketing strategy is long and will vary among products, markets, and companies. Moreover, emphasis on particular aspects of marketing strategy will vary considerably, even among competitors selling comparable products to the same markets. Emphasis will shift, too, over time as products mature and market conditions change. At one stage a company may gain a competitive edge through extensive new product development; at another, it may rely on low price.

There are eight elements that your strategy must contain to succeed.

1. Real Customer - Many small businesses take on any type of customer just to make a sale and lose sight of the prospects that have the greatest potential. They approach everyone equally and hope for the best. This is a poor tactical approach which is not a growth marketing strategy. Ideally, your strategy should try to address customer needs which currently are not being met in the market place and which show adequate size and profitability. A good strategy implies that a small business cannot be all things to all people and must analyze its market and its own capabilities so as to focus on the 'real customer' it can serve best.

2. Establish Marketing Goals - If you believe you can succeed, you will eventually succeed. When you have a marketing strategy and clear set of marketing goals there will be little to stop you. This is where writing down goals is essential to the drafting of the rest of your marketing plan. If you do not know where you are going, how are you going to get there?

3. Differentiating Factors - Being unique in the marketplace is an imperative small business marketing strategy. Uniqueness can be a make-or-break element in today's business world. How do you set your small business apart? What are you offering that your competition is not and how are you delivering your product/service.

4. A Clear Target - Creating a small business marketing strategy requires you to become and expert at target marketing. The two things you are always short on are time and money. When you miss your target market you are wasting both. For your marketing to be cost effective you need to pick a target audience, or your niche, to focus on. By marketing to your target audience, who you know already have a need for your product/service, you immediately increase your campaign's likelihood of success.

5. Strong Message - Marketing is all about communication. When you communicate well, you make sales; if you cause confusion, you fail. It's that simple. Creating a strategy for a consistent marketing message is critical to your success.

6. Brand Identity - You may think that as a small business you are not big enough to need a branding strategy. Nothing can be further from the truth! Every business needs an identity that is part of a focused marketing strategy. How do you want the market and your customers to perceive you? Take this time to know your positioning in your competitive field.

7. Positioning Plan - All business battles are won and lost in the minds of your clients and prospects. They decide what is in their best interest and if your product will benefit them. The best you can do is to position yourself with your marketing strategy to be the best choice, lowest risk they have in their buying process. Ensure that your company's inside reality is the outside perception in your prospects mind.

8. Financial Projections - Show the returns on the marketing investments you plan to make, broken down by product line, for one to three years. After campaign decisions are made and implemented you need to evaluate how well they are performing. Set standards of performance and evaluate results against them.

You have a product people love and you understand who the people are that love it.  Now would be a great time to build a marketing plan.  The plan will change and evolve over time but having a structure helps to make sure that your marketing spend is aligning with your goals without being completely ad-hoc, spray and pray, or flavor of the day.   The plan shouldn’t be a massive undertaking – it’s a rough guide that documents what you are planning on doing and why you are doing it.  Good plans should contain the following:
   1. Segmentation – At this stage you should understand what segments love you offering and why.  If you don’t, you probably aren’t ready to build a marketing plan yet and you should go back and focus on finding a fit between your offering and a set of markets.  This is where you document with as much detail as humanly possible the segments that you are going to target.  Who are the groups, what are their characteristics and how do you identify them.
   2. Competitive Alternatives – This is a documented list of what your customers would consider alternatives to your product or service.  Don’t go crazy on this documenting every little bit of functionality.  The purpose of this section is to help you articulate what really differentiates your offering from others in the space.  These are generally macro things and not niggly detailed nuances of features.
   3. Differentiated Points of Value (by segment) – For each segment, what are the top 3 or 4 differentiators that your offering has versus others.  Remember this isn’t just about technology or features.  It often includes things like pricing, delivery options, ease of use,  time to value, etc.
   4. Messaging and Positioning (by segment) – Working from the previous section create a set of messages for each segment.  This should be a succinct set of no more than 3/4 messages that get across your key points. (For more on this see my post on Crafting Simple Value Statements)
   5. Marketing Goals and Measures – What are the goals of your marketing plan and what metrics are you tracking that are associated with those goals? For example you might decide that increasing customer acquisition by x% is a key goal.  You can tie acquisition to site visits, product signups, email or blog signups, abandon rates, etc.
   6. Tactical Plan, Budget, Owners – Based on the above goals and measures this is the set of marketing plans you plan on executing to drive those results and the costs associated with each of those tactics.  The tactics are broken into discreet items of work (i.e for example a tactic such as a webinar will include creating the invite list, writing/designing the mailer, sending the invite, creating the webinar content, etc.) and assigned to an owner.
   7. Timeline- The tactics need to be broken into work items and plotted on a timeline so they can be tracked on a regular (for my teams it’s usually weekly) basis.
I hope this article can help.Duniacare Marketing Strategy Element.

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Padhma said...

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Padhma said...

like to read this blog because his told about financial and marketing it very useful for me. . .
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