Updated: May 24, 2019
Marketing strategy is a huge subject with many aspects that businesses must accurately address to solve marketing challenges and plan for the future.
A sound marketing strategy will take into consideration the main points of the Marketing Mix, that being what products/ services are we taking to market, at what price, or what pricing strategy will we adopt?
What will be our selling channels, i.e. online, store, locations, scale etc… Also, how will products or services be promoted for maximum ROI.
Marketing strategy is constantly evolving alongside the explosion of digital marketing channels, social media and more recent developments such as AI and VR.
Today’s marketing strategy will be very different from what would have been included even 10 years ago. Having said that, many aspects will remain the same, as in, the need to identify the right audiences to match with the product research and development.
Audience segments must be substantial enough to make the business model withstand scrutiny, i.e. is there enough of an audience out there, can we reach them with our marketing resources, and do they have the level of spending power to act on their buying impulses?
Marketing strategy can be a micro activity, where a single part of the marketing mix is brought under the microscope, or it can be much more comprehensive exercise.
It is not unusual for larger corporate companies to invest millions in their marketing strategies, such is the risk of getting it wrong.
It is wise therefore, for any business owner, or marketing manager to give their marketing planning and strategy the time and gravitas it deserves.
Of all the parts of the marketing strategy, pricing is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects. There will be a number of important factors that will determine price, either directly or indirectly.
First, there will be the cost price of a product or service to bring it to market, a pricing strategy must cover this cost, (both the direct and indirect cost elements).
It is no good having a product offered at a given price that is not high enough to cover the cost price of the product (be that a physical product or a service - both have a finite value).
The next important factor is, how will value be determined. Will the target audience accept the price as good value and act upon it, or consider it to be too expensive, or suspiciously too cheap?
Go in too high and it’s likely that your sales may fall flat before even the first hurdle.
Finally, a pricing must consider competition. This can be direct competition, those who are selling a similar product or service, or indirect competition, as in an alternative product service (maybe not even related), that will take the same potential spend.
Competitor pricing will always be a consideration for customers who can easily compare and contrast prices online.
Therefore pricing, and where you position yourself in the market (high end, low end, mid-range) must come into your marketing strategy.
Marketing tools are the methods for making the connection between your brand and the target audience.
Marketing tools are wide and varied, at the top end there is TV advertising, Radio, outdoor media and major event sponsorship.
Mid-range, there is social media, press advertising, direct mail, digital marketing.
Low cost methods could be simply cold calling by phone, or in person, sending letters, networking.
As mentioned at the head of this article, marketing strategy is a huge area and this article is just expanding on a few of the basics that most strategies will aim to include.