How to create a Marketing Strategy

How do I write a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy is a process that enables you to optimize your resources (time, money, people, etc) and focus them on the best way to generate sales and achieve a sustainable advantage. An effective marketing strategy defines how you will attract prospects, engage customers and overcome competitors.

The marketing strategy is the underpinnings of the marketing plan which includes the tactics used to implement the strategy. The strategy is dynamic and interactive. It can change and evolve in real time based on changes in the company goals, competitor actions, or customer responses.

In a corporation, there is typically someone responsible for overseeing the entire marketing strategy for a product or business unit. There are then sub-groups responsible for a given tactical area such as advertising, distribution channels, internet and public relations. Each of these specialists then develops the detailed tactical plans for their area of expertise.

In a small business, it is usually the owner or maybe one marketing person responsible for the entire marketing strategy and implementation. As you can image, this gets very overwhelming. How do you begin?

The marketing strategy is where you define who your customers are (the customer segments), which ones you want to work with (your target), and the benefits you have to offer them (the positioning). As a small business owner, you want to identify the target customer that brings you the most joy and personal fulfillment to work with. That’s why you are in business for yourself, right? Don’t you want to be happy, have freedom and control your destiny? If so, you need to find the customer that is the best match for you and then talk directly to them.

Customer Segmentation

Customer Segmentation is when you divide the market into discrete customer groups that share similar traits. There are four basic ways to segment the market. They are based on psychographic, demographic, geographic or physiographic data. When you segment your customers, you want the division to be meaningful and measurable.

The Target Customer

Now that you know all you can about your customers, you need to identify which of these segments you are going to target. To do this, you will need to determine the profit potential of each segment by analyzing the potential revenue vs. costs of selling to that customer. As an entrepreneur, your costs also entail your time, effort and personal fulfillment. Which segments are easier for you personally to work with? Which ones will bring you the greatest joy? Profitability isn’t always measured in dollars.

Positioning

Positioning is the perception your customer has of you, your company or your product/service in relation to their perceptions of your direct competitors.

To effectively position your product or service, you need to know what makes your customer tick. What problems do they have that you can solve? How can you/your product help them better than anyone else? What makes your solution uniquely better than anyone else’s? Be sure to tweak your product/service and pricing to best meet the needs of your customer.

Now that you know who you are going to talk to and what you are going to say, you need to move to the next step in your planning process. The next step would be to clarify how you are going to deliver your message and where. This leads you out of the strategy phase and into the tactical phase of your marketing plan.

About Debra Zimmer

After 25 years of growing entrepreneurial businesses at companies such as Microsoft, where she attracted 700,000 members into an online community in 18 months and then grew a second one to 250,000 members in 10 months, Debra Zimmer then struck out on her own to grow an online retail store to 6-figures of income and put it on AUTOPILOT for 3 years. With an engineering degree and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Debra is the undisputed expert in helping experts, entrepreneurs and executives to focus their brilliance and magnify their impact using social media and internet marketing tactics.

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