Marketing strategy isn’t cookie cutter. What works for the other guys may not work for you. However, these three aspects of marketing strategy are universal. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. If you want your company to win at marketing, focus on finding ways to kick them up a notch.
UNDERSTAND THE CONNECTION BETWEEN GOALS & BEHAVIOR
Companies that think and act strategically are goal-oriented. Consequently, they recognize the value in goals because they drive employee behavior. Develop a marketing strategy that includes specific and realistic marketing goals. Then stick to them.
A good goal is measurable, achievable and has a time element. For example, if you want to grow revenue by acquiring more customers, consider a goal such as “Marketing will expand our market share to 24% by the end of 2016.”
Implement the right set of integrated marketing communications tactics to achieve your marketing goal. Monitor progress on a regular basis and adjust the tactics as needed.
KNOW THE CUSTOMER BETTER THAN ANYBODY
How much do you know about the environment you operate in? What about your market segments? Primary and secondary market research will help you understand consumer preferences, unmet needs and buying trends.
Great marketers continually scan the environment for shifts that affect their strategy and brand position. They understand micro and macro trends affecting the company and their customers. They also understand the strengths and weaknesses of primary competitors.
Where do you get market intel? Host a customer round table. Visit customers with your sales team. Conduct short surveys on social media or through platforms like Constant Contact or Survey Monkey. Read customer service emails.
POSITION YOUR BRAND
Positioning your brand in a competitive market isn’t difficult. Develop a strong value proposition. Understand what customer need you fill. Select the right promotional mix to reach your audience. Figure out that one idea you want to own in the mind of your customer.
For example, maybe your firm is strong at delivering high touch customer service. Your relationship-building skills are so effective that your staff becomes an extension of your customer’s team. Everybody says they have great customer service. But how many have a genuine competitive advantage? This is especially the case with niche market companies. Serve your niche market customers well and they have no reason to go elsewhere.