Marketing Strategy: Techniques & Influences

Instructor: Tara Schofield
Marketing strategies are vital for creating an effective marketing plan, making people aware of your product or services, and building a new base for your offerings. This lesson explains the elements of an effective strategy.

What Is a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy is a plan to support the company's overall marketing plan to grow awareness of a product or service, increase sales, and achieve a competitive advantage in the market. In other words, a marketing strategy is the plan to tell more people about a company's products or services and encourage people to buy them.

Let's imagine you are working for an independent grocery store that has had little competition. However, you've learned that a national chain is planning to build a store in your area. As the marketing manager, you are responsible for determining the marketing strategies. One of the first things you decide to do is create a strategy to strengthen customer loyalty and ensure customers are aware of all of the personalized services your store provides that will set you apart from the cookie cutter national store.

Techniques Used in Making Marketing Strategy Decisions

Know Your Business

It's impossible to direct your marketing efforts and meet strategies if you don't understand your business. Understand what challenges face your company, what opportunities exist in the industry, and where you want to be short and long-term. Once you understand these factors, you can create plans for creating marketing strategies.

Your grocery store doubled in square footage about three years ago. When the remodel happened, several unique and exciting features were added, such as cooking classes, product samples, and an eating area. However, your customers are not taking advantage of these opportunities. By understanding your store will be facing stiff competition, you realize you need to strengthen connections with your customers and give them a reason to come to your store. As you make your marketing strategies, you focus on the fact that you have services your customers may not remember, the services will keep them coming back, and the services set you apart from the competition. All of your plans center on building awareness of your store's unique benefits and having customers participate in the services.

Constantly Re-Evaluate

Strategies need to be reviewed and evaluated regularly. The business marketplace is constantly changing and opportunities will arise or challenges will pop up that requires plans to be altered. By being pro-active and analyzing strategies regularly, you can be better prepared to respond to changes with your customers and the industry.

As we discussed, the added competition will affect your grocery store's future. By being aware of the changes coming and adjusting your plans now, you will be better prepared for the new store to open. The marketing plan that was created three years ago may not be most effective now. As changes happen, your plan also needs to change.

Watch for New Opportunities

Networking and being involved in the community and industry associations can help you be aware of what opportunities are available locally and on larger scales. You can create partnerships, join in on promotions, and gain a competitive advantage.

Review Past Strategies

As you plan for the future, understanding the past strategies that were implemented, and the results of those strategies, can help you shape future strategies. For instance, if your company has tried several marketing strategies that were ineffective or produced minor results, you can understand what strategies did not work. Likewise, if a strategy worked in the past, you can consider how to do the same strategy again or adjust it appropriately to get the best result.

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