The most effective marketing strategies are those that are targeted at a specific audience, focus on key benefits based on the audience’s point of view and interests, and are delivered at the right time – when the audience is most likely to pay attention to and be interested in the message being delivered.
Product, production, placement, and promotion are the four main components of a basic marketing strategy. Consider drafting four different, connected papers that, when put together, define your strategy. What you’re looking for is clarity, precision, and direction for your plan’s actions.
Depending on your product, you can conduct production in a variety of ways. You can manufacture or provide your base materials in-house, or you can outsource production or intellectual property to vendors. To make whatever you sell, you might use outsourcing, private labeling, joint ventures, or licensing. If you work with intangibles, such as in the case of a consultant, your Production sections can talk about how you plan and offer your service. Do you get testing materials from a lab or an IP owner and then use them to create assessments?
Regardless of your production processes, explicitly state what you’re doing now and who you’re working with. You haven’t planned any future production adjustments with a justification or a deadline. Most businesses do not adopt the best available production option, either because they are unwilling to pay the costs associated with a change or because they are unaware of the alternatives. Writing up your Production section might be a wonderful motivator to survey vendors to determine whether you’re making the best decisions. Instead of switching to another vendor, you can have a meaningful conversation with your present vendors and possibly negotiate better pricing or conditions.
The information in the Placement section is quite simple to create. Make a list of the venues, media, and timing you’ll use to launch or sell your items or services. Include the rationale for each of these decisions. Here’s an example of a product from a fresh pasta manufacturer:
The Promotion component of your marketing plan is the most subjective, and you’ll almost certainly have to choose between what you want to accomplish and how much money you have. Small businesses might get carried away and spend money on campaigns that make them appear larger than they are. To avoid wasting money on frivolous purchases, evaluate your expenditure objectively and set goals for expected responses, sales, and so on. Make sure to include the reasoning behind each of your choices.
Many experts can help you create the essential collateral material to sell your services. Make a detailed list of the various types of promotions your company intends to use. Include details about print advertisements in industry periodicals, magazines, and trade journals. Also, consider handouts, event sponsorship, charitable activities, and tri-fold commercials, among other things. Of course, a blitz isn’t necessary for all products and services, so prepare accordingly.
Even for readers who already know your company, your strategy will explain things and demonstrate that there is a “method in the madness.” A well-executed marketing plan contains all the ingredients to lead your marketing team in the proper direction for success.