By Updated September 24, 2020
Marketing strategies give your small business a direction toward effective promotion. Marketing strategies differ from one business to the next and should be customized to suit the needs of the particular company. The development of a marketing strategy involves the isolation of a target market segment, a set of clear-cut goals, a fair amount of consumer research, and the implementation of initiatives aimed at getting the word out.
Identify Target Markets
Target markets are those segments of the population that the small-business owner deems to be potential customers. A variety of criteria ranging from income level, to age, to geographic location can be used to determine these targets, depending on the product or services you sell.
Your marketing strategy should be designed to address these markets first and foremost. For example, Forbes suggests that if a company’s goal is to reach millenials, digital messages should be succinct, eye catching and engaging.
The remainder of the market can also be addressed with a separate undifferentiated marketing strategy in an attempt to leave no stone unturned if you so desire. Your target markets should be specific to your type of business and should be discerned through market research and experience.
Set Measurable Goals
Clear-cut goals are an essential part of marketing strategy development. Your small-business goals should consist of distribution and financial mile-markers that will gauge the success or failure of your marketing strategy, and will help you to know when you’ve hit on the right strategy for you.
Goals and projections should be based on customer and market research, starting with past performance, and factoring in the changes that additional marketing efforts and promotions will bring. If your marketing strategy fails to reach the goals you’ve set, alterations to the plan and additional investment may be required to right the ship.
Conduct Marketing Research
Don’t be left in the dust when it comes to digital marketing. Data mining from multiple online sources and Artificial Intelligence allows you to zero in on your customer’s likes, dislikes and buying behavior, according to Markets Insider. Once you have this information, you can select the most effective media channels to disseminate your message.
Sometimes surveying your own clients is the best way to get a firm handle on who your marketing targets should be. For example, if you notice that 80 percent of your sales are made to members of the legal profession, your number one target market should be lawyers and paralegals. Market research is also a key part of marketing strategy development, even though it deals with larger generalities than you may be used to.
For instance, you find through research that 78 percent of luxury cars sold in your area are sold to homeowners and only 22 percent to renters. If you own a luxury car dealership, you know that your marketing strategy should be directed at people who have their own homes. Research helps to eliminate wasted efforts and fine tune your marketing so it hits the targets that will mean the most to your company’s success.
Evaluate and Adjust
The development of your marketing strategy does not end once the campaigns hit the market. It is an ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and adjustment to be successful. If economic factors or changing trends cause sales to suffer, your marketing can be altered to take up some of the slack.
If your product line changes or your market position shifts, your marketing strategy will have to change along with it to ensure that the initiatives you produce are relevant to the current situation. Marketing strategies cannot be developed and left to run on autopilot. If they are to be successful they must remain in a state of constant evolution.