Lately, the market has been becoming bigger and more complex. The idea of selling and buying products has evolved and the need to make a further effort to sale a certain product or service in a competitive environment has made this area/marketing, a matter of deep study and attention for every business, small, medium or big, doesn’t matter anymore. Every type of business can benefit themselves from a structural and organized marketing plan which, if done properly, will improve the opportunities for selling a product.
STEP 1: Start with an image of the company’s current situation, which is called a “situation analysis”, including the unique selling proposition the company has to offer.
It’s important to have a clear idea and perception of what the company has to offer from a realistic point of view. Leaving this analysis as a superficial matter and forgetting the importance of reflecting the most accurate picture of the company’s situation at the time of evaluating a marketing plan can be considered risky and if luck is not strongly involved it could end in a huge failure.
A marketing plan cannot be considered good nor optimal if it’s done without taking the “situation analysis” into account. As a matter of fact, even if a previous plan was extremely successful once, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work again the same way. Sometimes, in extreme cases, it can result harmful for the company to apply a plan thinking that a previous success determines also the future development if applied once again without changing anything. Therefore, making a SWOT Analysis is the most recommended advice since it’s a really organized and precise way of expressing the current business’ situation making the right questions for it.
STEP 2: Define the most realistic view of the current target market.
Just as it’s not a safe move to employ old or previously used marketing strategies without making the proper modifications or adjusting it to the new circumstances of the company and environment, it’s also a bad move to plan a new strategy without taking into account the current target market for the specific product and service.,
For example, there is no use in targetting underage people when selling alcohol since they cannot buy it, as well as there is no point in trying to sell toys to the adult population, even though some adults do behave like children, but back to my point.
Every product and service has a market that must be identified in order to define a target and develop a marketing strategy. Not until the product has been properly analyzed and the target audience is identified, is it possible to start thinking a strategy to reach a segment of that audience.
STEP 3: List all the possible key strengths the current product or service of the company has as well as any possible weaknesses.
This step may seem similar to the previous step, however, there is a huge difference since this step involves the product, whereas the previous step addressed the company. Every product in the market has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the consumers, there can be pros and cons for the company, which must be used to it’s fullest.
The company and the marketing strategy must make the most out of the key strengths while the weaknesses must be evaluated carefully with the goal of correcting any potential pitfalls that can occur, especially from market competitors. Just taking the strong points into account and forgetting the weaknesses may result in a problematic situation in the future.
STEP 4: Internet marketing, direct marketing, public relations…? Which one is the most suitable for the company based on the goals and the target audience?
One of the many marketing definitions says: “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
This means that every action taken in order to promote a business or product is considered marketing activity and it can be as effortless as putting up a sign outside a store to a full-blown marketing campaign for the next iPhone. This means marketing is not meant to be focused on a specific amount of people. A marketing campaign can be focused in a small neighborhood or the world population.
The characteristics of the product, the places where it’s being sold, the target audience, the economic resources, etc… Everything determines the gameplan to promote a certain product or service. Formulating a practical strategy It’s especially important; there is no use in employing the same amount of resources to sell a car than to sell a candy.
Every channel has it’s own characteristics and can be used to reach a different target audience. This is further studied in our next post.
STEP 5: Set the marketing budget.
Once everything has been studied and decided it’s the time to analyze the budget and with that to decide the most realistic approach to reach the estimated marketing strategic goal.