A marketing strategy is a long-range, forward-looking approach and an overall game plan for any organization or business. Its goal is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by understanding consumers’ needs and wants.
A marketing strategy refers broadly to a business’s overall plan for reaching potential customers and turning them into customers of its products or services.
Long-term planning is essentially a long-term plan to achieve a company’s goals by understanding the needs and desires of customers and creating a unique and sustainable business. It encompasses everything from identifying your customer base to deciding which channels you will use to reach those customers, and it can be broken down into several categories.
A marketing strategy contains:
- A brand’s value proposition.
- Essential brand messaging.
- Data about its target audience.
- Other high-level elements.
You can define how your company presents itself in the marketplace, the types of products it produces, the strategic partnerships you make, and the kind of advertising and promotion you conduct.
Why is it essential to have a marketing strategy?
Marketing strategy creation and implementation are essential to setting the direction for your business. You can use your marketing strategy to stay in sync with your customers, develop the right products, and determine how you will communicate information about those products to them.
You will not be able to determine who your customers are without a defined strategy.
The benefits of a good marketing strategy include:
- Providing your brand an advantage over its competitors.
- Helping in the development of goods or services with the highest profit-potential
- A sales message can be delivered by any means available to the company, including advertising, public relations, direct mail, and telemarketing.
A strategy must always strike a balance between the two following dimensions: (1) the number of users/custom
- Scalability means that it can accommodate and grow with your organization.
- You can also run the same scenario multiple times to see which yields the best results.
Key ingredients of a successful marketing strategy include brand positioning, brand architecture, brand portfolios, and the marketing plan itself.
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Marketing Strategy Components: Positioning
Kotler has described brand positioning as ‘the act of designing the brand’s offering and its image to occupy a distinct place in the minds of the target market.’
In other words, a brand positioning describes how a company is different from its competitors and where or how it sits in customers’ minds. A brand positioning strategy involves creating brand associations in the sense of the customer to make them perceive the brand in a particular way.
Marketing Strategy Components: Brand Architecture
Brand architecture is the organization of a company’s sub brands, products, and services portfolio. Brand architecture is the blueprint for building a brand. It helps define the breadth and depth of each brand within the portfolio.
Marketing Strategy Components: Brand Portfolio
Corporate success requires a thorough understanding of the company’s brand portfolio. To understand a brand’s portfolio, one must first understand its brand and its business goals and objectives. These insights and a detailed analysis of existing gaps, overlap, and brand investments form the basis for an actionable portfolio assessment. Once completed, it is then possible to accurately:
- cluster brands by priority, growth, and contribution to the bottom line;
- segment products and technologies;
- and in what categories brands are weakly or poorly positioned to compete against their competitors.
Marketing Strategy Components: The Marketing Plan
Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan
A marketing strategy is an overarching approach to planning for the future. It includes everything from how a company presents itself to the creative elements, the strategic partnerships, the media relations, and the marketing mix, and covers all the channels and tactics.
The marketing strategy is an overarching term that refers to the overall approach a company takes when it comes to marketing its products and services.
A marketing strategy is a 2-5 game plan. A marketing plan is usually more helpful in the 1-3 years, with “year 1” including a detailed execution plan. A marketing strategy should not change every year, albeit it should be fine-tuned. But a marketing plan should be a living document, with frequent snapshots and reviews of past activities.
A marketing plan is usually more valuable in the first three years, with “year one” including a detailed implementation plan. Marketing strategies should ideally be longer lasting than individual marketing plans because marketing strategies contain value propositions and other vital elements of a company’s branding, which generally remain constant over the long term.
A market diagnostic
A comprehensive market diagnostic should include a snapshot of the key consumer trends, shopper trends, and channel trends, the critical data about the market, and the key innovations driving the market. The objective of the diagnosis is to identify opportunity areas, areas with issues that need attention, and areas where there may be opportunities for improvement.
A market analysis is an extensive examination of a particular market within a specific industry, including its size, competitive landscape, and potential for future growth. You will analyze the dynamics of your need by studying its volume and value, potential customers, buying patterns, competition, and other essential factors. Thorough marketing analysis will provide insight into various areas:
- Potential customer base, buying habits.
- The size of the market.
- The willingness to pay for products, benefits, and brands, and the positioning of the key competitors.
In addition to the Market Analysis, a critical component of the Diagnostic is the Channel Analysis which offers a unique and comprehensive view into the key issues, trends, and opportunities affecting various elements in the route-to-Market.
A review of the previous plan activities
A critical step in a marketing plan is analyzing the previous year’s program. A thorough assessment of the executed, successful, or failed activities is vital to set the stage for the following year. Learning in the process is critical; judging is dreadful.
Strategies, Objectives, and Goals
This is the goal-setting and action-planning component of the marketing plan. It may be considered a derivative of the OGSM framework in strategic planning. Once both the diagnostic part of the marketing plan and the review part is completed, we know what strategic levers need to be developed. These strategic levers get translated into measurable objectives (e g., increase penetration, awareness), which then support the plan’s activities (e.g., launches, events, PR, etc.).
Once the activities are developed at a strategic level, they need to be detailed. A budget is allocated at this stage, and KPIs are included.
Programs Grid and Budget
The final view of the marketing plan includes a picture of all the activities for the period and the budgets allocated to it., with a total budget and summary by type of expense (e.g., ATL, BTL; trade promotions….).