MARKETING STRATEGY

By Mariam Msangi – Art in Tanzania internship

A marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services.  A marketing strategy contains the company’s value proposition, essential brand messaging, data on target customer demographics, and other high-level elements. A thorough marketing strategy covers “the four Ps” of marketing: product, price, place, and people.

Understanding Marketing Strategies

A clear marketing strategy should revolve around the company’s value proposition, which communicates to consumers what it stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business. This provides marketing teams with a template that should inform their initiatives across all of the company’s products and services.

Benefits of a Marketing Strategy

The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies by understanding the needs and wants of its consumers. Whether it’s a print ad design, mass customisation, or a social media campaign, a marketing asset can be judged based on how effectively it communicates a company’s core value proposition. In addition, market research can help chart a given campaign’s efficacy and help identify untapped audiences to achieve bottom-line goals and increase sales.

What does a marketing strategy look like?

A marketing strategy will detail the advertising, outreach, and PR campaigns to be carried out by a firm, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives. They will typically follow the “four Ps”: product, price, place, and people. The functions and components of a marketing plan include

  • market research to support pricing decisions and new market entries 
  • tailored messaging that targets specific demographics and geographic areas
  • platform selection for product and service promotion
  • digital, radio, Internet, trade magazines, and the mix of those platforms for each campaign metrics that measure the results of marketing efforts and their reporting timelines.

Is a marketing strategy the same as a marketing plan?

The terms marketing plan and strategy are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is developed based on an overarching strategic framework. In some cases, the strategy and the program may be incorporated into one document, particularly for smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. The plan outlines marketing activities monthly, quarterly, or annual, while the marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

Four types of marketing strategies

Cause Marketing

Cause marketing, also known as cause-related marketing, links a company, its products, and services to a social cause or issue.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing focuses on customer retention and satisfaction to enhance your relationships with existing customers to increase loyalty.

Scarcity Marketing

Scarcity marketing creates a perception of a shortage which aims to entice customers to purchase out of fear that they may not be able to get it in the future.

Undercover Marketing

Undercover marketing, also known as stealth marketing, involves marketing to consumers in a way that they do not realise they are being marketed to.

The first two – cause and relationship marketing — are considered “positive” marketing techniques that focus on the benefits to others. The second two – scarcity and undercover marketing – are more unconventional and potentially controversial techniques.

What are the 5 P’s of Marketing?

The 5 P’s of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People – are key marketing elements used to position a business strategically. The 5 P’s of Marketing, also known as the marketing mix, are variables that managers and owners control to satisfy customers in their target market, add value to their business, and help differentiate their business from competitors.

Product

Product refers to the products and services offered by a business. Product decisions include function, packaging, appearance, warranty, quality, etc.

Customers need to understand the features, advantages, and benefits of buying goods or services. Therefore, when thinking about a product, consider the key features, benefits, and the needs and wants of customers.

Price

Price refers to the pricing strategy for products and services and how it will affect customers. Pricing decisions do not include just the selling price but also discounts, payment arrangements, credit terms, and any price-matching services offered.

When determining a pricing strategy, it is essential to consider the business’s position in the current marketplace. For example, if the company is advertised as a high-quality provider of mechanical equipment, the product pricing should reflect that.

Promotion

Promotion refers to the activities that make the business more known to consumers. It includes items such as sponsorships, advertising, and public relations activities.

Since promotion costs can be substantial, it is essential to conduct a break-even analysis when making promotion decisions. It is necessary to understand the value of a customer and whether it is worth running promotions to acquire them.

Place

Place refers to where the product/service of the business is seen, made, sold, or distributed. In essence, place decisions are associated with distribution channels and getting the product to targeted vital customers.

It is essential to consider how accessible the product or service is and ensure that customers can easily find you. The product or service must be available to customers at the right time, place, and quantity.

For example, a business may want to provide their products over an e-commerce site, retail store, or third-party distributor.

People

People refer to the staff, salespeople, and those who work for the business. People’s decisions are usually centred around customer service – how do you want your employees to be perceived by customers?

CONCLUSION: Through marketing strategy, it allows the company to oversee from far how it will be moving from the current situation to its desired position.

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