Every year tons of new products launch in the market, but many go down terribly due to poorly conceived marketing strategies.
You came up with a brilliant idea. Excitedly find a market for it. Start your business and quickly introduce your product, hoping to be bombarded with a positive response.
Instead, you receive a lackluster response because your campaign couldn’t fully tap into your target audience.
Marketing strategy is responsible for creating brand awareness, making your product stand out, and keeping your company afloat over the years.
For that to happen, your game plan must be thorough and hold answers to at least ten burning questions.
- Who will buy from you?
- Why would your prospect choose you?
- What is your product price?
- What exactly is your goal?
- Where will you run your campaign?
- Do you have a budget for it?
- How long will your campaign last?
- How will you know if your plan worked?
- How will you keep your target market loyal to you?
- What if it doesn’t work? Do you have a backup plan?
If you already have it worked out, all, by all means, go ahead with your project! If you haven’t, consider the above ten things when preparing your marketing strategy.
Let’s cover them briefly, one, by one to get you started.
1. Target Market
“Who will buy from you?”
Finding your target market wouldn’t have been a trial if all of them could neatly fall under one category. But naturally, they don’t.
Suppose you want to introduce a healthy drink. Would you consider targeting all health-conscious people in your area a sufficient approach?
If yes, how would you determine who prefers store-bought drinks over homemade? What flavors do people like? Or do they have the means to get your drink?
95% of new products fail because of inadequate and haphazard research.
To promote your product, you may need more than a generic description of your target market.
One way to get accurate data is through market segmentation. The procedure requires dividing your target market based on common characteristics.
Start with the major four categories:
- Demographic Segmentation: Your target market’s age, gender, purchasing power, and anything relevant to complete a buyer’s persona.
- Geographic Market Segmentation: Their location, the country they live in, and their living standards.
- Psychographic Segmentation: Their personality traits, interests, lifestyle, beliefs, and emotional triggers.
- Behavioral Segmentation: Their shopping habits and interaction with other brands.
This exercise will act as a starting point, helping you narrow down your target market.
I confess, market segmentation sounds overwhelming, but A.I.-driven data can quicken your research.
(Scroll to the bottom to see which tools may help you with your market research.)
2. Value Proposition
“Why would a prospect choose you?”
How many times have you thought, “Ah, the item just wasn’t worth it! I can get it cheaper.” after a shopping excursion?
People choose brands based on the value their product provides.
If the value parity of your, and your competitor’s item is the same, yet the latter’s price is lower, obviously, your lead will flock toward your competitor.
Moreover, for businesses offering identical products, a strong value proposition could also carve them a separate place in the market.
Let me give you an example.
Udemy is a learning platform for folks wishing to learn a new skill or develop an existing one. Silk share, its competitor, also offers similar services, yet it covers a small niche market.
What makes them different?
While technically both have matching business models, their value propositions vary.
Udemy’s two core values are “real-world experts” and “low cost.”
Silk share, on the other hand, focuses on creativity.
When you sit down to prepare your marketing strategy, you must have a clear value proposition in mind.
Let me share some tips to write an impressive value proposition.
- Identify what benefits you can extend to persuade your prospect.
- Connect them with your potential customer’s pain points
- Concisely explain how your product will solve their problem.
- Convey your message in simple and digestible words.
Play with words, carry out A/B testing, and tinker with your value proposition.
3. Product Price
“What is your Product Price?”
New entrepreneurs often estimate their product prices on three assumptions;
- A below-market rate to increase sales.
- Match competitor’s prices while getting an edge over quality.
- Lay it somewhere in between to entice the audience with a value proposition.
The above market-oriented price structure is merely a minor part. There’s a whole science behind product pricing.
Open Amazon and look at their prices. You’d notice two distinct features. One, the amount is elastic. Two, brands have taken advantage of human psychology.
How you price your product influences your marketing campaigns and leaves a long-term effect on your business profits.
I suggest revisiting your price structure before planning your next step.
4. Specific Goals
“What exactly is your goal?”
Goals separate reality from vision.
Without establishing a specific objective, you risk your marketing campaigns leading you astray.
Say you plan to run a Facebook Ad.
Setting a week’s budget, you boosted your post and received a barrage of likes and orders. At the end of next week, your engagement trickles down to zero.
Now what? Would you continue ads for an indefinite time to get results?
A vague goal is a primary reason 30% of the project faces the above scenarios.
An effective strategy acts as a roadmap where you follow a well-defined path and meet smaller objectives along until you reach the finish goal.
Think of it as earning a degree. Your mission might be to graduate, but you would have to go through a string of milestones to get the ultimate reward.
Establish clear and attainable goals before preparing your strategy.
5. Marketing Channels
“Where will you run your campaign?
There are several marketing channels available to promote your product. Still, not all work well with every business.
Remember the drink product example I shared? If you sell health drinks, your customer must be physically present to buy them.
The geography restricts your marketing streams.
TV commercials and Print Ads would be too expensive for your small brick-and-mortar drink shop, and email marketing will generate fewer leads. Your best chance will be to seek Google business accounts, build social media presences, and pursue print media to spread the word.
In contrast, if you’d have an eCommerce store, you might have gone for slightly different marketing venues.
Marketing channels are customized to the product’s nature. Keep that in mind while preparing your strategy.
6. Business Limitation
“Do you have a budget for it?“
The major limitation any business could ever face is inadequate funds.
Granted, no brand launches its product without proper budgeting. Still, miscalculation happens.
Some start with limited budgets banking on sales inflows to finance their next milestone. Many find delays in acquiring the funds. Multiple authorities within the company also slowed down the approval process. Really, the cash flow problem could stem from anything. It’s one reason 29% of companies fail.
Set an estimated budget for every milestone and get the necessary approvals before mapping out your action plan.
If you’re familiar with your company’s cash flow pattern, all the better. Create your marketing strategy around it.
“How long the campaign will last?“
Timing is the key to a successful marketing strategy. It helps you take control of your campaigns.
By estimating deadlines, you can set timelines, manage your team effectively, and deploy sub-campaigns.
Study a movie launch.
Typically, a movie is announced about two years before its release to create buzz. The production team set exact dates in advance based on crew members’ working days, climate conditions, and unexpected delays. Over the months, their timeline covers scheduled pre-production, shooting, and post-production.
Following its release, they systemically introduced the movie in cinemas, being mindful of current events. If the theme surrounds Christmas, the timeline is even more restricted.
That’s how they successfully launched their movie on time.
Movie releases may be a broad example. However, the idea is similar.
Consider your goal delivery time while forming a marketing strategy. Your plan will run more smoothly with a well-structured timeline.
“How will you know if your plan worked?“
You, undoubtedly, must have done a competitive analysis on your marketing plan before thinking of adopting it, right? But are you 100% sure it will work?
Proven strategies may have a higher probability of success, all the same. Each driving different results depending upon their business nature.
Take SEO optimization.
Despite following the standard SEO steps, your site DA, site theme, engagement, and content can unexpectedly pull you a step back from your competitor.
Measuring KPIs will save you efforts and funds on an unproductive marketing method.
Some popular KPIs to consider are;
- Site traffic
- Return visitors
- Bounce rate
I advise acquiring tools to evaluate KPI while preparing your marketing strategy.
“How will you keep your target market to remain loyal to you?”
Suppose you’ve surveyed your prospect’s expectations, and you’re confident your action plan will generate decent conversions.
But will your buyer stick around?
Repeat customers not only make up 68% of your revenue, but they also help your brand reputation grow.
Always keep retention goals in mind while preparing your marketing strategy. After all, what would be the purpose of attracting leads only to find yourself without one when the campaign ends?
“What if it doesn’t work? Do you have a backup plan? “
Regardless of how infallible your strategy is, you can hardly foresee misfortunes.
An economic crisis may halt the project. Management could change its mind at the last moment, or your product might experience unusual glitches. Really, mishaps happen.
A contingency plan will mitigate the risk by buying you time to improvise your methods.
While drawing your marketing strategy, envision multiple scenarios, list down all the potential risks, and prepare practical solutions in advance.
If you’re prepared to face challenges, you will be in a better position to solve them.
Tools To Help You Get Started
I am leaving you with three incredible tools to speed up the back-end job of your marketing strategy.
The site gathers industrial data from all the available resources and offers it in readable charts. You can explore any information on your niche market at Statista.
It’s a paid tool but worth acquiring for initial market research.
Google Analytics is a widely preferred free tool for market segmentation.
It has a section named user and session segmentation. They generate reports on your customer’s demographic, geographic, and behavioral data.
Use it to hone your target market.
Here’s a support article to give you a general idea of how it works.
Consider Husky marketing planner as a hub for marketing activities.
The planner offers features for all the primary functions, from planning, and executing to evaluation. The activities are visible to team members, making it easier to communicate.
Visit their site for further details.
I hope this article is going to help you when you prepare your next marketing strategy.