What is a Marketing Strategy?
Every business’ main aim is to generate profits. In a retail setting, companies create a plan to reach out to prospective consumers and convert them into customers that buy more products or services. Many promotional and advertising ideas are there for retail stores to employ, resulting in improved sales figures.
Essentially, these strategies are part of retail marketing. A clear marketing strategy defines an overall game plan for profits and success. Broadly, it covers the “four Ps” of marketing, i.e., product, price, place, and promotion. Marketers must ensure that the strategies revolve around the companies’ value propositions. The ultimate goal of curating a well-defined strategy is to communicate the brand message clearly and have a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies.
The Importance of a Marketing Strategy:
A solid marketing strategy enhances the performance of team members and gives them a uniform vision to accomplish a common goal. Launching campaigns and incorporating in store promotion ideas and on-store promotional ideas to engage potential customers, drive revenue, build brand awareness, etc., is a drive towards success.
When you create a marketing strategy, it must establish:
- Goals: realistic and measurable
- High-level efforts to achieve goals
- USPs of your products or services
- Ways to reach out to the audience
- Ideas to communicate messages clearly
- A sustainable competitive edge in the market
The marketing strategy sets the direction for individual teams and the overall marketing activities. Employees within the organization will stay focused and successfully acquire the marketing objectives.
What is the Difference Between a Marketing Plan and a Marketing Strategy?
Most businesses have a plan but lack a solid strategy. A marketing plan involves the activities that will lead you to the goal. In comparison, a marketing strategy refers to the approach towards achieving a competitive advantage. The plan describes the ‘how,’ ‘when,’ and ‘what,’ while strategy defines the ‘why’ behind the marketing effort.
The purpose of both is distinguished – Strategy captures the marketing goals. It keeps the entire team aligned on a common goal or vision. On the other hand, the plan describes and visualizes the future actions that need to be followed by the team – Who has to do what, when, and how to do it. Both strategy and plan work to motivate and direct the team towards success.
Critical Components of Creating a Marketing Strategy:
Set a Goal:
Every business has a distinct goal. Before defining the marketing goals, marketers must have a clear idea and understanding of the company’s goals and overall vision. For instance, if your business goal is to increase profits by 20 percent, your marketing goal must involve increasing your business’s reach or conversion rate to achieve that goal.
Marketing goals must be time-bound and measurable. It helps in analyzing how well the strategy has been working for them. Accordingly, the team can plan different merchandising and retail promotional activities to optimize the marketing efforts.
The target market is the set of potential customers who are likely to purchase your products and services. The products you sell are of some value to them. A target market is determined through in-depth research and understanding of the audiences’ needs and the features/benefits of your offerings. Identifying specific customer segments can help you target them better with varied marketing strategies.
Create detailed personas that give a clear idea of your ideal customers. You can include their key characteristics by combining the demographics and psychographics. Mention their goals, challenges, what they like and dislike, etc.
Evaluate the current and upcoming trends in the market. It is imperative to build a business that caters to suitable needs at the right time. During your analysis, you must consider all factors- quantitative and qualitative. The data should ideally include the market size, projected future growth, ways your products or services can serve the audience, alternative audience, main competitors- their strengths and weaknesses, etc.
Identify the key benefits:
A brand attracts customers by catering to their wants or needs with different products and services. Marketing helps communicate the brand’s message and encapsulates the benefits of the products or services clearly in the message. When the marketer understands the product correctly and the problems it potentially solves, they can curate a meaningful message that resonates with the audience. Giving accurate information to the consumers makes them informed, and therefore, they can confidently choose to buy the products. Ensure that you draft a consistent message throughout all sales and marketing channels.
Define your marketing mix
Marketing mix refers to different marketing tools or tactics used to promote products and services across various platforms. The essential components of the marketing mix consist of the 4 Ps, i.e., the Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. In the business sector, managers in the marketing world curate a marketing strategy by considering all the 4 Ps. However, the marketing mix recently includes some additional Ps for more significant business development. Some of them include- People, Process, Promotion, Partners, Physical environment, and Positioning.