Marketing Strategy: Explanation And Use
- Definition of the marketing strategy
- The steps to know before setting up your marketing strategy
- The implementation of a marketing strategy
- The different business marketing strategies
- Questions to ask yourself when setting up a marketing strategy
- The evolution of marketing in the context of the digitalization of the company
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DEFINITION OF THE MARKETING STRATEGY
The marketing strategy can be defined as the set of actions implemented within a determined period of time, whether short, medium, or long term within a company in order to reach its customers. The marketing strategy is part of the business strategy, it is one of its components.
It is necessary to adopt a marketing strategy in order to supervise and optimize the efforts made to retain and attract new customers.
A marketing strategy can be developed throughout the company at a global level, or can only apply to a family of products or services. It is, therefore, possible for a company to benefit from several marketing strategies at the same time with different objectives.
The marketing strategy can be implemented to achieve different purposes:
- to increase the sales
- acquire new customers
- Increase sales to customers already present
- Increase market share
- improve customer loyalty
- launch an advertising / public relations campaign
THE STEPS TO KNOW BEFORE SETTING UP YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
Before setting up a marketing strategy, it is essential to study and understand the market you are going to target.
We must analyze 4 main factors:
- The product: you need to know the strengths and characteristics of the products or services offered, this will help you target the customers concerned
- Price: the price of the product or service is decisive. The latter must be adapted to the quality of the services or products, but also to the target clientele. Pricing is an essential part of a company’s financial strategy.
- Distribution: distribution makes it possible to define the marketing positioning of the company, through the choice of distribution channels.
- Communication: Communication is used to draw the attention of customers to the company’s products or services.
If you want to establish a marketing strategy, its implementation goes through several stages:
- It is necessary to carry out a diagnosis of the company, and inventory aiming to know and understand the strengths and the weaknesses of the company from an internal point of view, as well as the opportunities and threats weighing on the latter of an external point of view. This analysis can be performed by the SWOT tool. This analysis is used to measure the possible effects that each element can have on your marketing strategy.
- It is then necessary to set objectives to be reached, these objectives being able to be as well quantitative as qualitative. The advantage of the objectives is that they allow having a precise vision of the result that the company wishes to achieve, but also on the path taken to achieve them. Determining goals can also be called determining strategic focus.
- It is necessary to determine precisely the actions you want to take and to classify them in chronological order or by prioritizing urgent and important actions.
- It is also necessary to think about the positioning of the offer and the company, according to what it took away in its inventory. This positioning will be useful for setting up your marketing mix.
It is also essential to understand that the marketing strategy is not frozen in time, it is bound to evolve according to the progress of your project, and the feedback observed as the process is implemented.
The implementation of the marketing strategy must concern all employees, it is essential to collect the opinions of the different sectors and branches of business in order to set up an effective strategy.
A marketing strategy begins with the identification of different groups or customer segments, which will be characterized by their needs. This identification is essential insofar as it allows you subsequently to set up actions adapted to each segment of your clientele, in order to maximize the impact of your actions.
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A MARKETING STRATEGY
It is possible to carry out a marketing campaign on multiple media: the identification of the different segments, as well as the analysis of their functioning and needs, allows you to set up a campaign on the most effective medium and the most adapted to the target group, which makes it possible to optimize the campaign, but also to avoid spending too much of the budget on unsuitable media.
NB: Do not forget to measure the effects of your marketing campaign, this step is often neglected and yet is essential. This allows you to understand how it works in practice, but also to adapt future campaigns, according to the lessons learned from the previous one.
THE DIFFERENT BUSINESS MARKETING STRATEGIES
The marketing strategy of a company is built according to the particularities of the sector in which it operates, but also according to the state of the market, the state of progress of projects… To sum up, there is no such thing as a one and only strategy that could adapt to any business.
However, it is possible to have an overview of the marketing strategy that can be put in place. Indeed, although the marketing strategies adapt to each company and each sector, they also adapt according to the target market:
- If you operate in a young, growing, or high-potential market: it is advisable to set up pull marketing, that is to say, mass advertising communication, the aim of which is to bring in the consumer, to attract him.
- If you are operating in a new and emerging market: push marketing is a technique that can be used, it consists of pushing the product towards the consumer, by setting up promotional operations for example, or by highlighting product
- If you operate in a stagnant or saturated market: the main goal being to increase its market share, it is possible to play on differentiation, specialization, diversification, the goal being to stand out from competing offers on the market
- If you operate in a mature market, but not saturated: this is called a penetration strategy, which allows you to enter the market through the practice of a low price policy in order to gain market share. Your competition.
In addition to the different strategies to be implemented depending on the market, it is also possible to set up different marketing strategies related to your product or service:
- Concentration strategy: this strategy is aimed at a single customer segment
- Differentiation strategy: this strategy consists of offering several products adapted to several segments
- Skimming strategy: this consists of selling a luxury product at a significant price, in order to reach only a wealthy customer segment. This is often implemented as part of the launch phase of a product
- Penetration strategy: this strategy consists of offering a common product at a low price
In today’s economy, it is no longer possible or profitable to create a product and see how to sell it afterward. Now we are in a period of a supply glut which means that customers have a wide choice of similar products. This is why it is necessary to first identify the needs of the customers, as well as the target customers before producing and marketing a product, in order to maximize the chances that the product or service meets the needs of the customers.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN SETTING UP A MARKETING STRATEGY
In order to set up a marketing strategy, many questions need to be asked. You can use the SWOT analysis performed to develop a strategy that builds on the strengths of your business while minimizing the weaknesses identified.
Here is a quick overview of the questions to ask yourself when developing your marketing strategy:
- What the company is trying to achieve
- What are customers looking for? What need does the company seek to meet with its product or service?
- What is the best way to communicate effectively with the identified customer segment as the target?
- What is the best way to distribute and sell my products?
- What’s the best way to promote my products?
- How can I check the effectiveness of my marketing?
While most companies are looking to acquire new customers, and expand their target customers, it is often more profitable and less complicated to seek to sell more to your current customers or seek to maximize customer loyalty.
THE EVOLUTION OF MARKETING IN THE CONTEXT OF THE DIGITALIZATION OF THE COMPANY
Marketing has seen its sector greatly evolved with the appearance of new technologies, and the digitalization of the company. Many digital tools have been developed and contribute to better targeting of customers and better consideration of their needs.