What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is exactly what it says on the tin. A strategy for your marketing activities.
"Plan your work, then work your plan".
We love this quote as it's very applicable to Marketing & PR. You can't just randomly do things (well you can, but you're less likely to be successful). You have to have a clear strategy behind it.
You have a clear strategy for how you're going to get from home to the office every morning, right?
You also need one to be able get your business from nobody knowing about it... To a lot of people (and the right people) knowing about it.
In this blog post we're going to outline marketing strategies that will make strategising your marketing easier and quicker.
As you can see above, a key part of creating a marketing strategy is interrogating yourself and your team.If you want your business to be successful (of course you do!)
Then you need a good Marketing strategy. Think of it like a chain reaction. Once you answer one question, that answer leads to another question, then another.
Every good strategy marketing or other starts with clear objectives. No point in having a strategy if you have no clear objectives. How will you know if you're successful?
Read our previous blog post on the importance of having SMART objectives for a deeper insight.
Once you've got the objectives sorted, choose the marketing models that best suit your individual situation.
Coach Buzz says:
We must stress, these models are not your actual strategy. They ask you different sets of questions, to guide you through the process of building a suitable marketing strategy.
The are 4 types of marketing strategy models.
Planning Process models
(A broader approach to planning marketing activities)
A example of an effective model type is SOSTAC
Each marketing strategy model can be used for any business in theory, depending on your structure and objectives. However, depending on your product/service offering some will be better suited to your business than others. For example, here at BuzzRamp we use AIDAR and the 7P's Marketing Mix as our main models to create our marketing strategy.
These two models fall under the business growth model type. (We're trying to get bigger as we're still relatively small)And communications planning. (We always meticulously plan how we communicate with you) We use the 7P's Marketing Mix to ask ourselves important relevant questions.
By answering these properly we can begin to build the foundations of our effective Marketing strategy.
Our main objective here at BuzzRamp -
To create and operate an online platform that allows users to easily manage all their marketing & PR activities.
Now we're going to explain how you can use the 4Ps and the BCG Matrix to help you create your own marketing strategy.
Here are a set of examples from each of the four core P's, one "P" being Place.
Q: Where would your consumers look for your product?
A: Online, via a Google search or a referral from peers groups.
Q: What is the main benefit of your product to your customers?
A: It saves them time and money on their marketing & PR activities.
Q: What are the promotion tactics of your competitors?
A: We currently have no direct competitors.
Q: How much would your prospective customers pay for your product/service?
A: We estimate between £10-£50 per month.
From this and other relevant questions we're able to find a narrow our focus and make the correct decisions to create our own Marketing strategy.
From answering those questions, we now know the following things:
- We have no direct competitors
- We know exactly how our product benefits our customers
- We know exactly where they would look for a service like ours
- We have a good idea of how much they would be willing to pay for our product.
From this we can begin to narrow down the options for our Marketing strategy.
For example, we know that targeting print media would be ineffective as the majority of our audience isn't looking for our services there.
This makes our marketing strategy more effective as we're only targeting marketing channels that our audience have a presence on.
Coach Buzz says:
No point trying to sell chicken to a thirsty man in the desert. The hungry woman in the city is a better fit as a customer. You wouldn't use snapchat to market stairlifts to over 70's. Well you could, but we hope you don't waste your money trying.
BCG Matrix Examples
Another example, is if you run an online clothing store.You have many products and are trying to grow (most businesses are) The BCG Matrix would be useful as it helps you separate your different product lines.
Let's use Apple's product lines as an example of how the BCG matrix works.
- Cash Cow (A product in a low growth market with high market share) - iPhone's 1-7
- Star (A product in a high growth market with high market share) - Mac Book Pro/Air/iMac/iPad
- Problem Child (A product in a high growth market with low market share) - Apple TV
- Dog (A product with low growth or low market share) - Apple Watch/iPod
Apple has a hell of a cash cow! (see image below)
You can also use the BCG Matrix to examine your Marketing activities as the example shows below.
Here is a video from tutor2u on the BCG matrix
We recommend you use at least two together. For example, using a BCG Matrix alone will allow you to see how profitable your product/service segments are. However, it will be more difficult to create a fully fledged marketing strategy using this model alone.
In short, you can view a marketing strategy as a combination of different marketing models used in conjunction with one another.
For example, you can use a BCG matrix to analyse how well different areas of your business are doing in relation to your financial targets. You can then use the 7P's Marketing Mix to see how you will go about planning the suitable marketing activities. You can then use the BCG Matrix again, this time to review your marketing & PR activities.
- Objectives are vital. Your marketing strategy is a plant, but your objectives are the seeds. Ever tried growing plants without seeds?
- Use more than one marketing model in conjunction with each other.
- Regularly review the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. You can use the BCG matrix to help you.
- Interrogate yourself and/or your team on what your marketing strategy is.
- Begin doing any marketing without a clear strategy.
- Don't stick to a marketing strategy that isn't working for you, no matter how good it seems on the surface.
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