If your business is growing slower than you want or if you simply need to accelerate its growth, then a comprehensive marketing strategy will increase your company’s value exponentially.
A common issue we see is that business owners fall short in the quality of their marketing strategies.
Marketing Strategy Explained
A marketing strategy describes an organization’s overall plan to reach prospects and turn them into customers. It revolves around its value proposition that tells customers what the company stands for, how it can solve their issues, and why it deserves their business over its competitors.
A marketing strategy also contains high-level elements like target customer demographics and key brand messages. It provides the marketing team with direction to execute all products and services initiatives.
Do not confuse a marketing strategy with a marketing plan. A marketing strategy is a base upon which a company builds its marketing plan. Every marketing plan supports the company’s marketing strategy.
Marketing strategies usually have longer lifespans than marketing plans because they contain significant elements of the company’s brand, such as its value proposition. A marketing plan provides the logistics of marketing projects and the details of all planned initiatives with timelines and goals. A marketing strategy covers big-picture messaging.
Most companies have separate documents for their marketing strategies and marketing plans.
A marketing strategy reveals where to direct marketing dollars. It details what actions the company should carry out, which advertising, PR, and outreach campaigns, and how to measure their effectiveness.
A comprehensive marketing strategy typically covers the “four Ps” of marketing: product, price, place, promotion.
- Product stands for the good or service a company offers. It also includes product type, competitive advantage, and overall market demand.
- Price indicates what the customer pays for the product, based on its marketing strategy (offering a discount to increase sales or charging a premium to bring it to the luxury segment).
- Place stands for the target market and the mode of delivery through which a company decides to market its product to a large group of prospects.
- Promotion reveals why customers should buy the product and pay the stipulated price. It includes advertising and public relations.
These four Ps are essential for marketing any good or service. Entrepreneurs may use them when planning a new venture, evaluating an offer, testing a market strategy on a new audience, and trying to increase sales and win target customers.
Documenting a thorough marketing strategy is essential for the success of your marketing campaigns. A 2019 study confirms the same by revealing that documented marketing strategies were 313% more likely to report success in their marketing campaigns.
3 Tips for Starting a Marketing Strategy to Accelerate Company Growth
1. Understand Your Audience and Personas
Every company needs to define its target audience to reach them and increase sales. A target audience is a group of people characterized by behavior, interests, buying history, and demographics (location, age, gender, employment, and income): for example, female extreme athletes between the ages of 18 and 25.
Businesses base their marketing strategy decisions on the target audience, such as where to spend money on ads, how to appeal to customers, and even what product to build next. The target audience helps define the buyer persona. The persona is a representative overview of the company’s ideal customer and is defined by using the data that make up the target audience.
Understanding your target audience helps you know how to market to them (voice and tone) and which marketing platforms will be most beneficial (social media channels, email, etc.).
To define your target audience, segment your audience into groups using categories such as:
- Purchase intention. Categorize your target audience based on people looking for a specific product like a laptop, vehicle, television, clothing, etc. This helps you focus your marketing messaging on each audience category.
- Interests. Collect data about people’s interests, like hobbies. This helps you connect and relate with your audience and find buyer motivation and behaviors. For example, people enjoying road biking are more interested in new road bikes. If you have a target audience segment interested in travel, you can work your marketing campaign messaging directed towards them.
- Subculture. Categorize people who identify with a shared experience like a specific music scene or entertainment genre. Use these subcultures to understand whom you are trying to connect with. For example, Netflix markets specific content to different subcultures of a large potential audience.
Understanding your target audience and buyer persona helps your company grow as you can target a specific group of people for marketing campaigns. By reaching the correct people, businesses increase their chances of converting prospects into customers and increasing sales.
2. Understand the Buyers’ Funnel
The buyers’ funnel, also known as the marketing or the purchase funnel, visually represents the steps a prospective customer goes through before purchasing a product or service, from the moment people first hear about a business to the moment they ultimately purchase. The buyer’s decision process includes need/problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
A common variation of the buyers’ funnel is TOFU-MOFU-BOFU.
TOFU (top of the funnel): At this stage, there are many leads, most of whom will not purchase your product or service. They have a need or problem but do not know the solution. They are still researching. This stage is not the time to deliver the hard sell. Instead, use quality content (blogs, whitepapers, research reports) to build trust and authority and educate the lead. This helps keep the person around for a long haul. Qualify or disqualify leads at this stage to focus on prospects who are more likely to convert into customers.
MOFU (middle of the funnel): The qualified leads have a clearly defined need or problem but are still researching and not yet ready to evaluate vendors. This is still not the time for a hard sell. Continue to nurture them with content like comparison guides, videos, podcasts, and webinars.
BOFU (bottom of the funnel): The leads at this stage are highly qualified and ready to purchase. They have researched, defined a solution, and compared and identified vendors. They know your company, products, and services and have the same information about your competitors. Instead of an aggressive sales approach, take a consultative approach and help your leads decide with content such as case studies, demos, consultation, etc., at this stage.
Understanding the buyers’ funnel helps your company grow because you guide the buyers’ journey. This enables you to identify roadblocks hindering your leads’ progress through the funnel. Use this data to eliminate those barriers and improve your conversion rate.
3. Create a Community
Understanding your audience helps you create a community of your customers. Being in a trusted community of like-minded individuals makes customers feel more connected and invested in your brand. The emotional bond they experience with your company and their peers builds long-term loyalty and even brings referrals for your products and services.
Creating a community helps you focus on building a relationship with your audience. This increases (free) word-of-mouth advertising and confirms your audience’s good opinion. A survey reveals that 84 percent of people find referrals from friends or family more trustworthy.
A community also serves as a reliable source of feedback. You can better understand your customers’ needs and problems and utilize user reviews and comments to attract prospective customers.
Creating a community helps your company grow, keeping existing customers engaged and loyal to your brand and motivating them to bring more referrals.
Build Customer Loyalty
A marketing strategy informs and directs all marketing plans. It is the ultimate game plan to reach the target audience. A comprehensive strategy is essential for your company’s growth. Accelerate that growth by understanding your audience and ideal customer personas, the buyers’ funnel, and creating a community of customers.
Value creation advisors can guide you build a highly effective marketing strategy. Value Scout can help you connect with the best advisors. Get in touch to know more.