May 31, 2017
In a previous post, we introduced you to the Marketing Equation, a five-segment roadmap to marketing success. Let’s dive right into the first segment: strategy.
It seems that strategy is a fairly ubiquitous word when it comes to the marketing world. Many marketing departments talk about their marketing strategy, but it seems to be more of an umbrella term or some mystical, mythical creature. What does it comprise of and how do we get one? When it comes to the Marketing Equation, strategy is fairly easy to digest, consisting of external and internal strategy.
To figure out external strategy, ask yourself this question: Who are you targeting? Trying to market to everyone just because they have money and might buy your product is a waste of time and money; segmenting your audiences will make your marketing much more efficient. After all, even products classified as “needs” are segmented. There’s toothpaste for kids, for those focused on fresh breath, and for those on a low budget. I mean, would you buy expensive, disgusting toothpaste to help cure sensitive teeth if you had no trouble eating frozen treats? Didn’t think so (and no offense to those who do indulge). Once you know who you’re going to market to, you need to get to know them at a personal level. What are they motivated by? Is it cost, safety, being able to post a picture of their outfit on Instagram? Figure out their motivation, and then determine if your product or service is able to satisfy their wants before anyone else’s.
Strategy Part Two comprises of positioning and differentiation. It answers the questions who are you? How does your audience perceive you? How are you different from your competitors? Like many motivational posters proclaim, being different is good! This is especially true in marketing. Netflix beat out Blockbuster because it mailed DVDs home and began streaming online. Dollar Shave Club, a relatively new and unconventional underdog, has acquired a slice of the billion-dollar shaving industry by shipping quality unisex razors to the customer’s door for a low monthly price. What can you do to make your business stand out from the rest? Take your segmented public from your external strategy and create distinction and connection to a specific audience segment to add a layer of clarity. Perhaps you can try blending two different industries and create your own niche, or add a creative new element or service. Think about price, value, quality, and innovation—what can give your business a leg up? You want to curate an attention-grabbing element so desirable that your consumers will take action. And don’t be afraid to change with the audience and the times! “Tween girls” in 2017 behave much differently than they did ten or even five years ago. Flexibility is key when it comes to your unique selling promotion (USP).
External and internal strategy set up a marketing plan for success. Although it may be a lot to think about, they give your marketing plan direction and become the foundation for the remaining Marketing Equation segments.