What is it and who needs one?
The term business marketing strategy might sound like it is esoteric or stratospheric, so let’s take mystery out of it so you can devise and implement your own business marketing strategy that fits in to your small business plan.
Strategy comes from a Greek word “stratagein” meaning “to be a general”. Think of a strategy as an overall plan of action needed to win a war. The smaller, detailed actions are called tactics. You can have tactical plans which help you achieve your strategic marketing plan or overall business marketing strategy. That’s simple enough, isn’t it?
A business marketing strategy or strategic marketing plan is an overall plan of marketing actions you intend to take in order to accomplish a specific goal for your company.
Start with a goal: $2 million in sales this year; expand into new premises by a certain date; double size of company in 2 years… whatever goal may be. Something realistic but challenging. That's "war" you want to win. Guess who general is.
Then work out a simple, overall plan of major marketing steps needed to accomplish that (for example):
1. Publish a newsletter for all existing customers and mail out quarterly.
2. Work out 4 special offers in year and promote them to all our customers.
3. Set up on-line shopping and expand web site.
4. Direct mail campaign promoting web site to all customers.
5. Get mailing lists of (target markets) and do a series of 3 mailings of postcards to them and follow up on and close all leads.
You get idea. Don’t rush this. Do your homework. What worked in past? Read up on successful marketing campaigns. Your business marketing strategy needs to be laid out in right sequence and you should have some idea of budget when you write it. “Run a series of 30 second TV ads during Superbowl” might sound like a good thing to do but can you afford it? On other hand, when you build your business marketing strategy you mustn’t try and cut corners. If you don’t promote heavily, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, no one will know about it and you will go broke. What really works when it comes to marketing?
Many business owners don't have a good enough answer to this important question. I learned by a combination of study and trial and error.
From my own hard won experienceI have discovered that a real marketing campaign will take into consideration at least seven points which are outlined below:
1. Target Your Market
Your marketing will produce best results for lowest cost when you target prospects with greatest need for what you offer.
Identify best people to send your postcards to. Design your postcards to appeal to their greatest need.
If you are able to break down your target market into sub markets you can then write postcards that specifically speak to needs of those people (an example is breaking down your own customer list into customers who buy most often, customers who spend most money with you, customers who have been your customers longest and then making them special offers based on category they fit into).