How a Marketing Strategy Can Grow your Business
Fergal Maher MBS (Hons) Marketing, Dip in Strategic Marketing, FMIIGrad,
What is Marketing Strategy?
There are many definitions by countless authors but I like to keep it simple, it is a plan. It is your company’s plan to achieve specific marketing objectives. Start with your market. What is your market? Where is it located? What is the size of the market? What is the current state of the market?
Where is your company positioned in the market?
Are you a market leader, new entrant, smaller niche player, number 2 or 3?
How aware is the market of your company or brand?
Marketing is all about awareness. How well known is your company\brand? How can you increase awareness of your brand? What do you want them to know and say about your brand?
Develop your company’s brand /USP
There are a number of steps.
Start with a question. Who is your potential customer? Have you information on these potential customers? What motivates them to buy? Is the market giving them what they need now? Are they looking for something different, faster service, knowledge, experience something you can give. Discuss this with your current customers and your own people internally. You would be surprised what you would learn.
2. We are the best, leaders because……
As a company what are you excellent at? You know your competition and you can list these easily and what they offer. On a scale of 1-10 how do you compare to the top 5 services you provide. Show where you are better.
3. Is there a gap?
You can see what others are not doing so offer your solution. Look ahead see what is coming and what you can offer now over your competition.
4. Trial and modify
Don’t be afraid to go into the market and talk to customers. Do simple calls to customers and get the right feedback.
Find out what makes you different and don’t be shy about telling people why you are so good at what you do
How much should it be?
There are no exact rules but you should spend around 5 percent of your total sales revenue on marketing to maintain your current position. If you are trying to grow or increase the market share you should budget a higher percentage—usually around 10%, 15% percent.
5. Put a Dashboard in place
Set objectives and dates and display these on a dashboard. Put it in a prominent place. This will give you the focus you require. Make sure it is easy to update and review. Tie these efforts to your overall marketing objectives.
6. Monitor and check your progress on your Dashboard
From experience, this should be undertaken weekly with your team. Set corrective action if dates begin to slip.
7. Be flexible – adapt
See what is working from your marketing effort and what is not. If something is not working change it. Sometimes all it needs are small changes to make a difference.
Tell people regularly what is working and what is a success. This is a key to keep everything on track, builds confidence and achieves significant momentum. Build-in small rewards to encourage your team and acknowledge achievement.
The 8 steps above are not a full checklist of things to do but it does give you an outline of what is essential. If you follow these steps you will be well on your way.
Here are five marketing steps you can take to communicate with your customers and potential customers in 2019
By Fergal Maher MBS (Hons) Marketing, Dip in Strategic Marketing, FMII Grad
Understand your customer, potential customer.
Start with research. Use telephone, field (one to one interviews or customer focus groups). What you are looking for are patterns of customer behaviour. What a customer likes, what they buy. This will help you develop the right message to tell your target audience. Why? These consumer insights are crucial for helping you put together highly targeted marketing messages that your customers can truly relate to, not just now, but for well into the future.
Create your Unique Selling Points (USP).
Marketing today is challenging. Consumers are communicated within so many different ways, not just television, radio and print but through text, email, and social media. When consumers are constantly being pitched different products and services you need to be different. This is called a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Sharpen Your Brand Look and Feel
Traditional marketing is what companies have been using for years, print, radio, TV, cinema, billboards etc. Today, SMS, blogs, ezines, and websites are used more. The key to the success of building your brand is to have consistent messages across the various media. All too often, businesses try to get too many messages out, sometimes in one communication. You also need to be consistent. You need to give a clear simple message whether it is a text, email, blog in print or on television.
Carefully Choose Your Marketing Communications Mix
Select the right media. See what media your customers like and how they buy. For example, younger generations are on social media, phones, and apps. You can use these media as your central starting point. All industries are different so the marketing approach needs to be different. The skill as a marketer is coming up with the right approach and maximizing the marketing budget.
Measure your Marketing Communications’ Effectiveness
Once you have decided on your promotional mix for your integrated marketing communications plan, you also need to put in place a means to measure it. Today emails can be measured for effectiveness. You can easily see how good your social media is. As a result, you can quickly see how good your marketing is and if you need to adjust or change it.