Marketing Strategy

An effective marketing strategy will help you to define the overall direction and goals for your marketing. Your strategy should articulate how you are going to deliver your products or services in ways that will satisfy your customers. Once you have defined your customers or target market, you need to start developing and implementing tactics or ways to reach them. The marketing mix will make up the tactical elements you will use to carry out your strategy and reach your target market.

Marketing mix tactics:
Identify the tactical action steps which will turn your strategy into a reality in your marketing plan, using the guide below. The tactics below are sometimes referred to as the 7Ps because they all start with the letter p.

1. Your product or service:
What product or services are you going to offer? Discuss the branding, the packaging (where applicable), and ongoing product or development. You should consider the features and benefits you offer, your unique selling points (What makes your product/service different from everyone else’s) and what potential spin-off products of services might be.

2. The pricing of your product or service:
Price is a critical part of your marketing mix. Choosing the right price for your products or services will help you to maximize profits and also build strong relationships with your customers. By pricing effectively, you will also avoid the serious financial consequences that can occur if you price too low (not enough profit) or too high (not enough sales).

3. Your position (place) in the marketplace:
Whether it’s a retail store, online shop or on social media, ‘place’ refers to the channels and locations for distributing your product, related information and support services. This is how you will position your product in the marketplace, it’s the location where a product can be purchased. Often referred to as the distribution channel, this can include any physical store (e.g. supermarket) as well as virtual stores (e.g. jumia) online. Being in the right location can be a deciding factor in whether a customer buys from you or not. To find out where your ideal customer is buying from its worth doing some market research.

4. The promotion of your product of service:
How do you promote and market your business now (or intend to)? Regardless of how good your business is, if you don’t promote it and tell people you exist, it’s unlikely you will make many sales. Promotion is about attracting the right people to use and reuse your business. There are a number of techniques to use and they can be combined in various ways to create the most cost-effective strategy for your needs. This can include online, branding, public relations and advertising.

5. The people in your business (e.g. salespeople, staff):
If you have employees in your business, they can influence the marketing of your products and services. Knowledgeable and friendly staff can contribute to creating satisfied customers, and can provide the unique selling experience that an organization is often seeking. If an outstanding team provides a competitive advantage, then the quality of recruitment and training becomes essential to achieving your marketing objectives. Make sure you have processes and training in place to get the most out of your team.

6. Process represents the buying experience the customer gets when they buy your product or service. For example, the way a fine bottle of wine is presented and served in a restaurant, the reaction of a business to a complaint or the speed of delivery in a fast food outlet. A poor process can undermine the other elements of the marketing mix. Budget airlines, for example, may offer very competitive headline prices, but if the final price is inflated by additional charges such as baggage charges and administrative fees, customers may begin to feel they have been taken advantage of, try to document your key processes and procedures so your staff and suppliers know what to aim for.

7. The physical environment where the good/services are presented:
The physical environment where your products or services are sold and delivered can have a significant impact on how your customers’ experience your business. The physical environment can be the quality of the furnishings in your consulting rooms, the design of your reception area or website. Creating a positive physical environment doesn’t have to be costly – a vase full of fresh flowers or a creative window display can make a big difference.

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