What is a Marketing Strategy?
What is a marketing strategy? Simply put, it is a written strategy or a series of tactics designed to increase or maximize a company’s market share. Marketing strategy is an overall, long term, forward-seeing approach to any firm or any entity with the single objective of attaining a sustainable competitive edge by understanding the desires and needs of consumers. It’s not about just what you know, but more about how you know it.
A marketing strategy can be very simple, but it can also be very complex, depending on the specific goals that the company is trying to accomplish. Many times, even highly seasoned marketers will use multiple tactics to achieve their goals. Some marketers will stick to only one tactic or a handful of tactics. And some marketers will use all tactics in a blanket fashion, regardless of whether they were successful or not at achieving the primary goal.
There are 4 Ps that I believe are the cornerstones of a comprehensive understanding of a marketing strategy. These are: a) understanding who your customer or client is. b) understanding what your customer or client does, why they do what they do, and c) understanding what you as a company do to be successful. Once you have these four Ps in place, you can then apply your tactics in the context of your specific client or customer base to see if your actions are consistent with your stated goals.
The importance of digital marketing can never be underestimated. The fact that digital marketing has evolved into such a complex and powerful tool should not deter marketers from utilizing this important tool. As the Internet continues to expand and become more sophisticated, there are a multitude of new ways to market products and services to a specific audience. Although many traditionalists may still view online marketing strategies with some skepticism, it is becoming increasingly clear that the future of advertising lies heavily on the Internet.
When developing a strategy for your company, it is important to clearly define your company’s goals. While having an overarching purpose for the company can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to crafting your marketing tactics, the goals themselves should also include a plan for implementation. If you do not have a clear-cut idea as to what you want to accomplish as a company, you run the risk of being disorganized, ill-prepared, and even distracted from your ultimate goals. Without a clear vision of what your company hopes to accomplish, your marketing tactics may actually prove counterproductive. For instance, if your business goals include increasing sales by 50%, but you are unclear as to how you will achieve this, your efforts may backfire on you by causing you to lose customers rather than increase them.
Once you have developed and refined your overall marketing plan, you can then begin to develop the execution strategy to achieve your goals. This is where a solid marketing goals and strategy plan come into play. If you have a clear marketing goals and a detailed plan for how you will meet them, you are far more likely to remain focused on your ultimate goals. However, if you begin to develop a vague general idea of what you hope to accomplish, you run the risk of getting distracted and half-assing your efforts. In order to effectively develop an implementation plan that is effective, it is critical that you have defined goals, and a detailed marketing plan template to help guide you through the process.