Marketing strategy – 3 basic building blocks for a rock solid marketing strategy
Businesses always need a marketing edge. When the economy is in full swing, companies must ensure they ride the boom for the greatest profit. How much more do we need solid strategies to see an improvement in sales in times of economic downturn?
Unfortunately, many South African businesses have to play catch-up in marketing strategy.
“I need to get a website,” thought many a small- to medium-size business owner in the last decade. But a website ought to be a tool, one part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Businesses must put websites in place with care, in order for them to add value. Marketing objectives need attention before, during, and after implementation.
So how does a business owner begin to develop a marketing strategy? Good marketing strategy elevates sales and takes business to the next level. Here are some surefire ways to build up your marketing strategy.
1. Provide solutions
Selling a product or service that is a “grudge purchase” is a lose-lose situation. You need to provide a solution to customers that they will be happy to buy – a win for them and for you. So you need to add value to the lives of customers and promote that value through all your marketing.
When providing solutions for customers, there is no substitute for knowing your customers. Get to know their situation and especially their needs. This will arm you to tackle these needs with effective solutions that will attract sales.
We have observed a remarkable edge in our consultation meetings. This is because we refuse to meet with clients to read them what it says on the box of the product. We will never lead a pitch with what packages we offer. We seek first to understand customers and their needs before pitching. Yet this strategy yields the highest conversion to sales!
2. Know your product
It is impossible to market something you don’t have a clue about. This seems obvious, but it is where many marketing strategies crumble.
We can all relate to the frustration of talking to a salesperson and getting the vague notion that they don’t know what they are talking about. Or worse, that we already know more about the product than they do. This is unacceptable in sales, and also in marketing.
Know both your product’s strengths and weaknesses. You will find your creativity ramps up in proportion to product knowledge.
3. Plan your resources
Armed with these basics, you can begin to tackle the fun part: how to design and roll out your marketing strategy. What channels and media will you use? At every point, prove that your product or service has a unique advantage in meeting the needs of customers.
Included in your plan, you should have an idea of how to spread your resources. For example, you could spend less on your website, but have to put up with a sub-standard site. Another example is spending everything on a great website, but leaving nothing to promote your website, or to lead customers to find it.