Proper marketing strategy stands companies in good stead

Meghann Showers

• Corporations and companies prepare a marketing strategy in order to determine the best path in defining the market, target customers, marketing mix, competitive position, and achieving targeted sales • Thus, factories aim to prepare a strategy to achieve marketing and sales goals in the shortest and most efficient way […]

• Corporations and companies prepare a marketing strategy in order to determine the best path in defining the market, target customers, marketing mix, competitive position, and achieving targeted sales
• Thus, factories aim to prepare a strategy to achieve marketing and sales goals in the shortest and most efficient way possible

How a company prepares marketing and sales strategy? The marketing strategy includes information about each of the project’s market idea, the strategic framework and the operational measures of the sales and marketing mix, as per the following details:
Components of a marketing strategy, evaluation and identification of opportunities: Marketing strategy formulation processes begin with an assessment of the internal and external environment of the project, with a view to identifying opportunities and comparative advantages.
The evaluation of the internal environment of the project includes studying its performance, owners, and assets to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
The ‘SWOT’ (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) tool is also used in this analysis; for example, the distinctive project location, strong brand, marketing and operational experiences, competent employees, knowledge and patents are elements of strength and comparative advantages on which the project is based in formulating a marketing strategy.
The researchers also use the ‘PESTEL’ tool to study the external environment, which includes political, economic, social, legislative, technological and environmental changes, and the extent of these influences on the future performance of the project.
A PESTLE analysis is a framework to analyse the key factors (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environmental).
The evaluation studies conclude by identifying the opportunities and the comparative advantages of the project, which represent a strong basis for formulating the marketing strategy of the project.
Prepare the marketing idea of the project: It includes information about the suitability of the innovative solution to the problem, the marketing mix, the product prototype, the value propositions and comparative advantages of the project, the target customers and the target market, an estimate of the market size and its expected growth.
The project idea also includes information about the analysis of the supply and demand structure of the project product, the risks involved and the rationale for choosing it.
Preparing the strategic framework: The strategic framework represents the second component (after the idea of the project in formulating the marketing strategy for the industrial project) and it consists of the following details.
Defining strategic direction: It examines and identifies the best options and strategic directions that a project takes to produce, sell and generate profits. Strategic orientation demonstrates the best approach for an enterprise in managing project sales and marketing, operation, workforce, and finance.
The options available for strategic direction are excellence, technology focus, lower product cost, and targeting a limited segment of consumers. For example, the automaker’s strategic options include differentiation, intense focus on technology, low cost, and focus on a limited segment of consumers.
Usually, the owners of the industrial project decide the best strategic directions based on the results of the market study and the study of the external and internal influences of the project idea, the promising opportunities and its comparative advantages.
Defining the competitive position: It is defining how the project competes in the market. This can be done after mapping the competitors and analysing the elements of competition.
The competitive position of any industrial project illustrates how the customers perceive the industrial enterprise and its marketing mix. The marketing strategy will determine the competitive position of the project by determining the position of the industrial project in relation to the factors of the marketing mix or the elements of competition compared to the rest of the competitors in the market.
Defining objectives: It is the process of formulating specific and measurable objectives for the project. The strategic objectives cover a period ranging between three to five years, and it is recommended that they be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and achievable within a specified time frame.
Formulating initiatives or strategies: This process includes defining initiatives or strategies to achieve strategic goals. Initiatives represent methods or methodologies for implementing project activities and achieving its objectives. Initiatives and strategies differ according to the nature of the project and its products, and strategies for the competitive position include focus, excellence, cost reduction, pricing, superior quality, and others.
Sales strategies are also varied to include product development, market development, and penetration or diversification strategies.
For example, to achieve the strategic goal of increasing sales by 10% annually, the initiatives available to achieve this goal may be the intensification of advertising campaigns, the development of new products, the development of existing products, or the opening of export markets and so on.
Defining key performance indicators: approved performance indicators are goals and standards and a quantity that is usually derived from the performance indicators of the industrial sector and puts them by the industrial project management as standard foundations to measure and judge its success.
Define the operational metrics for the marketing strategy: Marketing strategy includes in addition to the marketing idea and strategic framework operational measures according to the following: Description of the marketing mix is the determination of product specifications, benefits, selling price, distribution channels, and promotional programmes for the project’s products in the market.
Sales planning: is the determination of the quantities and values of future annual sales for an organisation.
Estimating Marketing and Sales Expenses: It is the determination of the annual marketing and distribution expenses, including the cost of the marketing team, distribution, promotion, advertising campaigns, public relations and media.
Customer relations: This item describes how the project will find, retain, and increase new clients, the number of annual target customers and their annual growth rate. For example, factories implement identification programmes and promote their products for the purpose of discovering new customers, while maintaining their customers by intensifying continuous communication with them and ensuring their satisfaction with products, while growing the number of customers by implementing programmes to attract new customers from competitors and increase sales by selling more quality and price products.
Preparation of the Executive Action Plan: This plan defines the daily operational procedures, interim goals and annual resources to achieve the strategic goals.
Determining the required resources: It includes identifying the necessary resources to implement the strategic activities and achieve the goals. The resources for any industrial project consist of human resources such as the marketing and sales team, capital, and tangible and intangible assets.
Results Measurement and Control: This includes adopting a system for preparing periodic reports, measuring and evaluating performance. This system also defines when, how, where and by whom project performance reports are prepared, evaluated, and distributed to work teams.

* Saad Abdulla al-Kuwari graduated in Chemical Engineering from Qatar University and obtained an MBA in Oil & Gas from Liverpool University. He was appointed CEO of Tasweeq in 2010. During his career, he has occupied several key positions in refining projects and processing, oil, gas and refined products, storage tanks and export terminals operation. He also has considerable experience in the field of Gas Processing Operations. He was also manager of Gas, Oil Petrochemical Marketing in QP Marketing Directorate for several years.

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