Find out Global Marketing Strategy
Frequently asked questions
- Research the competition.
- Match customer needs with what you can realistically supply.
- Run tests and trials before you fully commit.
- Cost and budget your plans to meet your objectives.
Assuming that your business is already up and running, look ahead, say two to three years, and decide how much revenue you will need to generate the profitability you require.
Next, ask yourself if you will achieve those results if your business carries on as it is today, using your current business plan. If the answer is yes, then you might not need to do much more than maintain your course. If the answer is no, then you need a new marketing strategy geared to meeting your objectives.
Start by reviewing your business performance to establish where you are stronger or weaker than your competitors. Also consider what external factors could impact on your business or on your relationship with customers. These factors could be threats or opportunities. The prime objective of marketing is to make sure your resources are focused on only the best, most accessible business opportunities.
- Increase penetration into existing markets with existing products or services.
- Develop new markets for existing products or services.
- Innovate by developing new products or services.
- Diversify into new markets with new products or services.
Most small businesses do not have the resources to attempt all these objectives at once. You will do better to focus on just one or two of them.
The most appropriate strategy will only emerge as you review your marketing journey. This can be based on three questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? What strategy will get us there?
- A target list, broken down into segments.
- What your target customers need (think benefits, not features).
- Prices, maybe using differential pricing for different segments.
- How to reach your customers (website, email, text marketing, social media, advertising leaflet drops, direc social media, advt mail and telesales).
- The offer (innovative edge, rarity value, more benefits than the competition).
- A written plan makes it easier for managers to understand where the company is going and the part they have to play.
- A written marketing plan can also be invaluable in making the case for a bank loan, or attracting investment.
- A written plan provides a quantifiable basis for measurement and review at the end of the exercise.
A marketing plan will usually include:
- a brief mission statement about the purpose of the business
- a summary of the previous year’s performance
- financial objectives for three-year and next-year periods
- market overview
- key factors identified in SWOT analysis
- marketing objectives and strategy
- underlying assumptions about marketing objectives
- forecasts and budgets
- detailed programmes for the next year (who does what, when?)
The degree of formality needed will depend on the size and complexity of the business. Small companies can cover what they need on just a few sheets of paper.
Plan two or three years ahead in broad outline, but plot the next year in more detail. Try to stick to your plan but be prepared to be flexible if circumstances change.
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