Marketing Strategy involves making smart decisions about target markets, products and services, differentiation and positioning, pricing, distribution, and promotion. Developing a good marketing strategy involves far more than advertising, promotion, and lead generation.
Marketing is not something to start thinking about once you have a warehouse full of products that need to be sold. Instead, you should start developing a marketing strategy well before a product is designed and produced.
Good marketing is proactive and starts by identifying those customer problems that your company can solve better than anyone else, and then creating a solution.
It’s important to understand the difference between these two approaches:
- “Selling what customers want to buy” (marketing approach)
- “Making customers buy what you are selling” (sales approach)
Marketing Strategy for B2B Firms
We specialize in competitive marketing strategy development for B2B firms. The goal of our fact-based, data-driven process is to find the best opportunities for your business. Both short-term, quick-win opportunities that move the sales needle, as well as initiatives with a longer time horizon are explored. An effective marketing strategy, documented in a detailed marketing plan, addresses these important questions:
- Which products and services should we sell?
- Which market segments to target?
- What should be our differentiation?
- How to beat or avoid the competition?
- What prices should we charge?
- Which sales & distribution channels to use?
- How do we create awareness?
- How to generate leads?
We take a comprehensive approach to answering these questions using a proven process tailored to your specific situation. Smart business decision making about your company’s future based on solid information and insight, not wishful thinking, guesswork, relying on anecdotal information, or simply copying whatever the competition does.
We firmly believe that a better outcome is achieved by using a robust process. Creating a smart marketing strategy that sets your company apart from the competition follows these steps:
A comprehensive review of the company’s goals, capabilities, strengths & weaknesses, opportunities & threats (SWOT). Also, the market environment is assessed in-depth: customers, competitors, and trends that may impact the business.
In this stage the actual marketing strategy is formulated. This involves identifying and evaluating potential market segments and selecting the target markets. Also, and this is a key element of the process, the company’s differentiation, positioning, and Value Proposition are defined.
Here, decisions are made about the “4 P’s” of the marketing mix. This involves thinking about:
- What to sell (Product)
- Which sales & distribution channels to use (Place)
- At what price to sell (Price)
- How to promote and generate leads (Promotion)
In services marketing, the approach is extended to 7 P’s. The additional three elements of the marketing mix to consider are:
- The service delivery processes (Process)
- The skills and training needed by the employees (People)
- The appearance of the facility (“Physical Appearance”)
Implement, Monitor, and Adapt
The end-result is a detailed marketing plan. A practical action plan, ready for implementation. Obviously, implementation is the most important next step. It’s putting the marketing plan into action where the rubber hits the road.
Continuous monitoring of the outcomes and effectiveness of the marketing activities is critical. It is the feedback from the marketplace about what works and what doesn’t that helps you make the adjustments necessary to stay on track and achieve the objectives.
If you’re tired of wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work, it might be time to review your marketing strategy.