Businesses that want long-term longevity and success rely on strong marketing plans. Marketing is the key factor that allows a company to find new customers, resell to previous customers and move into new markets. While there are many components in marketing, such as branding and advertising, many business owners overlook the planning stage. Marketing strategy planning is comprised of choosing the overall marketing message, target audience, marketing mediums and measurement tools.
The basic task of choosing the marketing message is an imperative part of marketing strategy planning. This message, or value proposition, conveys what the company stands for as well as why the product or service is the best choice for the potential customer. An effective message clearly communicates the current product or service void and the differences between the company and its competitors. The message typically is 90 words or less. It should be used on every marketing tool, including the company website, sales and product brochures, emails and sales scripts.
Another integral part of marketing strategy planning is choosing the target audience. Some companies might have the best product or service but cannot sell it because they are not reaching potential customers. There is a lot of research involved in choosing the target audience, such as utilizing industry reports, creating prospect lists and learning the medium preferences of prospective customers. Most successful businesses create different marketing strategies for prospective customers and repeat customers.
Choosing the marketing mediums usually is one of the final steps of marketing strategy planning. At this point in the process, the target market’s preferred preferences should be identified. Examples of marketing mediums include print ads, online marketing and direct marketing. Many companies create a marketing mix strategy, which utilizes a wide variety of mediums, such as a direct mail letter with follow-up emails. When deciding which medium to use, business owners need to consider the costs of buying consumer lists, website maintenance fees and salaries for additional staff members.
After the main strategy has been chosen, businesses need to create measurement tools as the final stage of marketing strategy planning. This step is very important because it establishes set targets and goals as well as timelines and quantities. It enables businesses to track progress and growth over time and gives them the ability to see what is and is not working. This allows business owners to change strategies before too much time and energy has been lost on ineffective paths. Some measurement tools include the number of new customers and the rate of response to specific advertising campaigns.