Marketing strategy – what is it for companies and how to create it?
Does your company have a marketing strategy in place? Today, companies often confuse marketing strategy with communication strategy. A company often jumps right into a campaign or advertisement without doing its work on an important internal document that indicates its direction to a successful business.
What is a marketing strategy?
Marketing strategy is an important document in which the company plans long-term for three to five years. It should mainly answer the basic questions:
- Who we are?
- Why are we on the market?
- Where are we going?
- What and how do we do?
- Who are we doing this for?
It is important that every employee of the company adopts it and that managers and owners also follow it because it says a lot about it. Especially about its values and direction. The marketing strategy can be returned to at any time when the company goes astray or finds itself in a crisis. Alternatively, it starts to grow rapidly and cannot decide from the many options offered. Then you just need to open the marketing strategy and tell yourself whether you are in line with the vision and where you want to see the company in three years. A good marketing strategy can also serve as the basis for a marketing plan.
A marketing strategy can be considered a company-wide strategy. Thanks to it, the company knows its mission – the reason why it exists and where it is going (vision). It shows the path that every company must take to reach its vision. For this, he needs to set short-term and long-term goals, and the strategy also offers tools to achieve them.
How to proceed with the marketing strategy?
Before proceeding with a marketing strategy, analyze the situation, map the market and analyze the competition. Ask yourself questions: What is the meaning of our company and why was it created? What is our goal and where do we want to go?
Every marketing strategy should define what the company’s competitive advantage is, which will help it meet its business goals. It introduces a kind of rule about decision-making and management for every manager and business owner. This means that the company can return to it at any time if it starts to grow quickly or if it does not develop in the direction it would like.
What is the content of the marketing strategy?
Try to analyze every single point from which your company’s marketing strategy is created.
What is your company’s mission?
The mission of the company is defined for a longer period of at least three years. Its purpose is to describe the purpose of the company and what you intend to do with it on the market. Why does your company exist and what is its significance? Why does your business exist?
It is not enough that you founded the company only for the purpose of generating profit. Your marketing strategy needs deeper answers.
What is your vision?
The vision of the company talks about what the company wants to achieve in the long term – for example, in five years. Try to describe the vision of how you would like to see your company one day. It should be so inspiring and ambitious that it also excites the people you work with. And of course, customers who search for your products and services.
What should your company look like in five years? How should it act on the market? What should it excel at and why should customers look for it?
What is the goal of your company?
If you think about your company’s goals, think about making them SMART. Above all, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
What specific products or services does your business offer? How many do you want to sell in a specific time period? Is it possible to achieve this? What specific other goals do you need to achieve for a successful business?
What is your competitive advantage?
We are the best, the fastest, and the most customer-friendly. That’s nice, but it’s not enough as a competitive advantage. Competition is high today, and it is not enough to just be high-quality, professional or fast. So, to find your competitive advantage, you’ll need to dig deeper. Look for what makes you unique, different, and original, what others don’t offer.
What is it that sets you apart from the competition? What makes your company different from companies that offer similar goods and services? What is your added value? Why should your customers come to you? What do you offer them in addition?
You can determine competitive advantage at the product or brand level. At the level of a product or service, especially when no one else in the market offers it. However, this is unlikely. Therefore, try to define it at the brand level, where something unique is determined that only you have and that is characteristic of your company. Look for something special that can differentiate you from other companies.
Look at your 4Ps – product, price, distribution, communication
Do you know what 4P means? This is an important concept in marketing and marketing strategy. It describes the marketing mix, which includes concepts such as product, price, distribution and communication. If you want to have a successful company, it should connect all 4Ps, which should also build on each other. It is important that you look at the individual attributes as a whole that bring value to the customer. Each P has its own validity and you should give it equal importance.
Product refers to the product or service itself. Does it give an answer to what characterizes them, what is their quality, what is their design, what is their warranty, or what technology do they use to reach the market? With a product/service, you should always answer what need it solves and what the customer is actually buying with it.
Price defines the financial value of your products/services. It takes into account the minimum price, which is determined by the company’s costs, but also the upper limit, which is determined by your customers and competitors.
Distribution refers to where everywhere and in what way your products or services are sold. If you think that distribution will take care of itself, you are wrong. It is not enough to think that you have a great product and you communicate brilliantly. Do customers need to know where to get your products or services? Do you have a clearly communicated distribution through the e-shop, in a brick-and-mortar store? What distribution channels and sales channels do you use?
Communication is the last point of the 4P marketing mix. We distinguish between ATL communication, i.e. mass communication that uses mass media (television, radio or billboards) and BTL communication, i.e. targeted communication specifically at the point of sale – leaflets, posters in shops, stores, etc. However, the latest online communication cannot be forgotten either.
What communication channels do you want to use? What communication message do you want to communicate? Also take into account direct communication with customers in the form of competitions, recommendations, etc.
The last 5P, which has been talked about, especially in recent years, is people – and therefore employees. Here, you should pay particular attention to the organizational structure of the company, and whether you have enough employees who cover all strategic positions. Devote sufficient time to company culture, information flow and process management. Your employees also create value for your brand and therefore you should take good care of them.
The brand strategy depends on the marketing strategy
If you define a marketing strategy that your employees will adopt, you can also develop a brand strategy from it. Within it, you should pay attention to the following points.
Have you defined in your company that everyone is your target group? A mistake! If you want to do effective marketing, you can’t target everyone. Before choosing a target group, you should do market segmentation. Break it down according to individual criteria – demographic, geographic, socio-economic, psychological and also according to purchasing behaviour.
Data from the CRM system can also help you in customer segmentation. Thanks to them, you can see which target group is most interested in your products or services.
Even if you define your target group, it does not mean that your products and services are not intended for others. However, it is important that you focus on the clientele that is important to you – what characterizes them, what is their age composition, interests, financial stability, etc.? Who do you want to focus your communication on?
If you build and develop your brand sufficiently, its value will grow along with it. A brand can help you differentiate yourself in the market and will take you much further.
What words and concepts express your brand? Can you use them in all communication channels? What is your brand name? You should come up with it after you have defined your brand strategy so that you can include everything related to your brand in the name. The name is often the first biggest signal that builds specific brand associations with customers.
It often happens that a company starts with a logo, or a website or invests money in advertising, but has no results. Instead of starting with a visual identity or creating a logo, a marketing strategy is needed in the first place. Otherwise, the company can quickly disappear, because no one in it will be able to clearly say what the company does, for whom it does it and in what way. This wastes time and money