Some people think of marketing as a couple of commercials and a website, with a Facebook page thrown in for good measure. And for some businesses, that might be all that’s needed. But how do you know? Effective marketing strategy begins with well-defined business plans and goals. Is the company growth-oriented or in maintenance mode? What resources are available?
Your company’s marketing strategy is part of a bigger business plan that identifies the overarching goals of your business. Marketing strategy is the research foundation for developing a game plan that will attract and retain customers or patients. Our next post on LigonMarketing.com will focus on using that knowledge for implementation of your game plan.
When you started your business or practice, you certainly considered how it fit into the existing market among competitors. That thought process was the start of a marketing strategy, and it’s important to reassess those market conditions every so often. Perhaps when you started, you were the only female urologist in town or the only mechanic with a hydraulic lift, but your town may have grown and changed over the years since, along with the tools for communicating your message. So first you need to look at:
- Your current competition
- Your target market, or those who might purchase your product or service
- This could be other businesses (B2B)
- Your financial goals and the number of customers you need to meet them
- Factors influencing your business, both positively or negatively (ex. nearby construction is keeping customers away from your business; however, when your neighbor opens in six months, you expect to gain more customers from the proximity.)
- Your ability to keep up with demands or shifts in the market
These answers will lead to consideration of the 5 P’s of marketing:
- Product: What sets you or your business apart from the competition? What unique benefits do you offer your customers?
- Price: How does your price stack up next to your competition? Does your unique benefits or quality justify a higher price. And importantly, does it allow you a reasonable profit margin?
- Place: Are you office or retail-based? Is your location convenient for your target market? If you have multiple locations, is each one profitable independently?
- Promotion: How do you let people know about your business and the benefits you offer? This step is development of a marketing plan, using all this information to determine the most effective way to achieve your business goals.
At Ligon Marketing, we add a 6th P: People. Our people and your people, working together to creatively build and implement a plan that works for your unique business. In addition to traditional marketing tactics, we also provide People-oriented services, such as coaching, human resource development, and customer service training.
Follow the Ligon Marketing blog, when we address the next two phases of marketing: Implementation, followed by information on Tactics.