Infusing Strategy into your Business Plan
BY Tim Berry
Your marketing strategy outlines how you will offer your products orservices to your customers and what will entice them to buy, and normally involves target market focus, emphasis oncertain services or media, or ways to position your company and your serviceuniquely.
Your strategy depends a great deal on which market segments you'vechosen as target market groups. Aside from the target market strategy, your marketing strategy might alsoinclude the positioning statement, pricing, promotion, and whatever else youwant to add. You might also want to look at media strategy, businessdevelopment, or other factors. Strategy is creative and hard to predict.Some of the material below will give you more ideas.
Positioning Tactics Positioning-tactics statements can be a good way to define your marketingstrategy. The positioning statements should include a strategic focus on themost important target market, that market's most important market need, howyour product meets that need, what is the main competition, and how yourproduct is better than the competition.
Consider this simple template:
For [target market description] who [target market need], [this product][how it meets the need]. Unlike [key competition], it [most importantdistinguishing feature].
Pricing Tactics You ought to provide detail on product pricing, and relate pricing tostrategy. Your value proposition, for example, will normally includeimplications about relative pricing; therefore, you should check whetheryour detailed product-by-product pricing matches the implied pricing in thevalue proposition. Pricing is also supposed to be intimately related to thepositioning statement in the previous topic, since pricing is probably themost important factor in product positioning.
Promotion Tactics Think of promotion in a broader sense than simply sales promotion. Think ofhow you spread the word about your business to your future customers. Thinkof it in the broader context, including the whole range of advertising,public relations, events, direct mail, seminars, and sales literature.
Think strategically. What in general is your strategy about communicatingwith people? Do you look for expensive ads in mass media, targetedmarketing in specialized publications, or even more targeted marketing, with directmail? Do you have a way to leverage the news media or reviewers? Do youadvertise more effectively through public relations events, trade shows,newspaper, or radio? What about telemarketing, the World Wide Web, or evenmultilevel marketing?
Are you satisfied with how this is working for you now, or is it a problemarea that needs to be addressed? Are you meeting your needs, and in linewith your opportunities?
How does your promotion strategy fit with the rest of your strategy? As you described market trends andtarget market segments, did you see ways to improve your promotion strategy?