It is essential to proceed in a planned manner in marketing to set specific goals and consciously select suitable marketing strategies. Get to know proven methods from offline and online marketing and find out what is particularly important for success. An example shows you what the development of an overall strategy could look like in practice.
Develop Definition & Marketing Strategies Step By Step
A marketing strategy bundles all measures for aligning a company on the market in terms of its overall design. This includes sub-strategies from the four areas of the marketing mix, also known as 4 P: Product ( product policy ), Price ( pricing policy ), Place ( sales policy ), and Promotion ( communication policy ). Marketing is often equated with advertising. However, advertising measures are only one of several strategies in the field of communication.
Do not use individual marketing measures haphazardly, but proceed strategically and develop a well-founded overall concept. The following steps are necessary for this:
- Analysis of the current situation: The SWOT analysis, which clarifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks, is suitable for this task. Examine, e.g., B. the current market share, your company image, and sales.
- Objective :
- Based on the analysis results, you formulate strategic goals and determine the period for target achievement. Example: In the next two years, the market share of product A is supposed to increase by 30%.
- Determination of the measures :
- Select from the possible instruments and marketing strategies those with which you can achieve the set goals.
- Measure success: Use suitable vital figures to monitor the degree to which goals have been completed regularly. If the results are insufficient, change your strategy.
Different Types Of Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies can relate to any of the four areas of the marketing mix. Which ones are suitable in each case depends on the individual situation of the company and the desired goals. The following list is not complete but only provides a few examples:
B2B Marketing Strategy :
When dealing with business customers, providers have to pay attention to different aspects than when marketing is intended to address end consumers. For example, several people often make purchase decisions, and information opportunities are more important than in the B2C area.
International Marketing Strategy :
If you want to open up international markets, you have to proceed differently from limiting yourself to the national market. In addition to the other competitive situation, cultural differences must be taken into account.
Online Marketing Strategy :
Online marketing offers exciting opportunities that are based on most people’s everyday lives. Often, however, a combination of online and classic offline strategies makes sense.
Market Development :
This marketing strategy is used when existing products are to be introduced into new markets. An alternative to this would be the product development strategy, in which new products are developed for a market in which a company is already established.
Special Pricing Strategy :
The market should be stimulated through occasional, temporary price reductions. This must be distinguished from the exploitation price strategy, in which products are sold below their value to capture market shares.
Skimming Strategy :
The company brings new products to the market at a high price and thus siphons off good profit margins. Sometime later, the price drops. This works z. B. in the technical equipment market, as customers are willing to pay more for innovative products.
Specialization Strategy :
A company can specialize in a relatively small range of products (e.g., print items) and offer them in several markets (e.g., advertising, office equipment, gift items). Or it specializes in a market (e.g., sports equipment) and sells many different products there (e.g., clothing, equipment, sports equipment).
The following two sections deal with specific marketing sub-strategies that can mainly be assigned to the area of communication. A distinction is made between classic offline strategies and online marketing.
Seven Classic Marketing Strategies That Work
Even if marketing strategies in the online area offer many exciting possibilities, every classic method also has its advantages. When selecting and combining the measures, consider how you can best reach your target group.
Typical of direct marketing is the more pronounced individualization compared to other classic marketing strategies. You can achieve this, for example, using personally addressed letters, catalogs tailored to the interests of the recipient, or addressing customers directly at the point of sale or in public.
The goal is to initiate a reaction or dialogue, e.g., B. via reply cards, questionnaires, or the invitation to telephone on advertising material. This ties up the attention of the addressees and provides management with valuable data.
From a company’s point of view, sponsorship aims to improve awareness and its brand image. The sponsor supports z. B. an athlete, a cultural event, or a social organization financially or materially. It is contractually agreed in which form the sponsor in return presents the brand of his sponsor.
As many successful examples from sports sponsoring the show, strong emotions are often associated with the brand. Be sure to fund a cause that is important to your target audience. For example, an ecologically oriented company could support an environmental organization.
If a customer is delighted with your company, they will ideally recommend it to others. This is a free and very effective form of advertising that you can promote with targeted recommendation marketing. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Ask customers to do so
- reward successful referrals
- Issuing vouchers not only for customers but also for their acquaintances
- ask for references that you can publish (for a reward)
- Encourage communication about the company, e.g., B. through giveaways with advertising print or events.
Include not only customers in your referral marketing but also employees and partners in business networks. Smaller companies, in particular, often benefit from networking and mutual recommendations.
Events are not an everyday occurrence, which is why they attract attention. They bring the company into a conversation and offer space for maintaining contacts and for presenting the offer. Participating in events as well as organizing such highlights yourself can be part of the marketing strategy. Examples are:
- Participation in trade fairs
- Corporate management
- Lectures, seminars, conferences
- Cultural or sporting events
- Charity events
- Family celebrations
- Hands-on activities and competitions
Many events can trigger positive emotions in the target group, which in turn promotes customer loyalty. This context makes sense to capture special moments by photo or video and share them on social networks.
What distinguishes guerrilla marketing is that it gets noticed. It’s one of those marketing strategies that require a lot of creativity and unconventional thinking but don’t necessarily have to cost a lot. The actions often address emotions and sometimes polarize.
Whether as unusual installations in public spaces, initial reactions to current events, or staged sensations, guerrilla marketing can take on very diverse forms. The fact that the actions in social networks often go viral and thus significantly increase the effect shows that marketing strategies from the offline and online areas can be combined well with one another.
Issuing specific vouchers is one of the classic marketing measures that are simple but effective. You achieve two main effects: On the one hand, you make your customers happy and strengthen customer loyalty. On the other hand, you encourage further purchases with vouchers. This is often used to grant discounts, but free services or small gifts with the next purchase are also conceivable.
There are numerous opportunities and occasions to distribute vouchers, e.g., B .:
- Special promotions, e.g., B. via flyers.
- directly before or after a (more significant) purchase
- Birthday or Christmas vouchers for existing customers
- on the occasion of special events such as new openings or company anniversaries
- The reward for referrals or customer loyalty
In addition to the classic vouchers on paper, voucher codes that can be redeemed online are gaining importance, as are barcodes or QR codes provided via apps for saving in brick-and-mortar retail.
The corporate identity contributes to branding and should therefore not be neglected in connection with marketing strategies. Whether in design, communication, or the behavior of employees, uniform standards improve the company’s public perception and strengthen customer loyalty.
As the founder, decide on suitable company colors and a logo (corporate design). A catchy slogan also appeals to customers and increases the brand’s recognition value.
7 Successful Online Marketing Strategies
As people become increasingly active online, marketing should reach them this way too. Compared to the classic marketing strategies, the online methods offer more options, especially in terms of customizability and measurability.
Email marketing via a newsletter is a comparatively inexpensive and effective method for companies to remind customers and interested parties from time to time and present current offers. For this, however, the email addresses must be known and the declarations of the consent of the addressees for receiving emails.
Nevertheless, many advertising emails are deleted unread. To prevent this from happening, newsletters must be attractively designed and contain valuable information for the recipient. They should also not be sent too often. In this context, individualizations that can also be automated with the help of CRM tools are advantageous.
Social Media Marketing
Publicizing your brand, winning new customers, and strengthening the bond with existing customers – social media marketing is very suitable. Use networks that are important to your target group to post engaging content regularly and respond appropriately to comments from your users.
Addressing customers via social media is one of the marketing strategies that are also suitable for smaller companies. Occasional postings can, e.g., For example, encourage customers to visit a local retail store or restaurant more frequently. It is also possible to place individualized advertising.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you are looking for a specific product or the solution to a problem on the Internet, you will, in most cases, use a search engine. For companies whose websites are then displayed among the first search results, this creates a good chance of being perceived by potential customers.
The ranking on the search results pages can be improved in the medium to long term through SEO measures, whereby both technical and content-related aspects play a role. Search engine optimization is a prerequisite for other marketing strategies such as content marketing or inbound marketing to work.
Content marketing is based on potential buyers researching the Internet if they are interested in something or looking for solutions to problems. Companies, therefore, publish targeted content that is of interest to the target group. These are intended to draw the seekers’ attention to their offers. As forms of content are among other potential candidates:
- Advisory article
- Online tools (e.g., comparison calculator)
With high-quality and valuable content, companies win new customers, strengthen customer loyalty, and acquire expert status. This is why content marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies, especially in the B2B area.
Inbound marketing is based on the basic principle that potential customers find their offers by themselves during their research. In contrast, people encounter outbound marketing measures involuntarily in their everyday lives, e.g., B. in the form of advertising.
For inbound marketing to work, you need to combine several marketing strategies. This includes, above all, content marketing in connection with search engine optimization. You can also use social networks to increase the reach of your content. In many industries, it is worthwhile to determine contact details of interested parties (leads) connected with the retrieval of content and identify these potential customers, e.g., B., to motivate them to buy through individualized email marketing.
In affiliate marketing, as an entrepreneur, you cooperate with publishers who, for example, operate a blog, an advice site, or a comparison portal. These integrate links to your online shop or your website. Depending on the agreement, you pay the publishers a commission for every click on the link or every sale or lead generated through it.
The technical processing takes place either through your affiliate program or you use a specialized network. With success-based pay, affiliate marketing is a relatively inexpensive marketing strategy—select affiliate partners interested in your target group.
In influencer marketing, you use the influence of known people to promote your own company, your brand, or your offers. Although this marketing strategy is not limited to the online world, it is of most importance thanks to the wide range of specific formats. Do you work, e.g., B. with bloggers or YouTubers who address a target group that essentially corresponds to yours?
For influencer marketing to be credible and effective, you must work with your company to identify influencers. You agree on the form of cooperation individually. For example, you can have articles created in which influencers test and rate your products for a fee.
Example Of A Successful Marketing Strategy In Practice
A newly founded company would like to sell self-designed outdoor and leisure clothing, both in a stationary shop in a small town and via its own online shop. The development of the marketing strategy could proceed as follows:
1. SWOT Analysis Of The Current Situation:
- no shops with a similar range in the immediate vicinity (chance)
- great competition in online trading (risk)
- Unique selling point: own design (strength)
- no customer base yet (weakness)
- Development of a customer base in stationary and online retail (definition of customer numbers as target values)
- Planning of sales for the first year
3. Determination Of The Measures:
- Choice of corporate colors and design of a logo
- Voucher campaign for the new opening (online and via locally distributed advertising flyers)
- Sponsoring a sporting event in the city
- Running a blog (including SEO measures) on the subject of outdoor activities with a link to newsletter registration for email marketing
- Building a community on Facebook
- Affiliate corporations with publishers from the outdoor area
4. Measure Success:
- Observation of the development of the customer base, also in connection with individual marketing strategies
- Monitoring of online and offline sales
- Cost control: which marketing strategies are profitable and which are not?
Seven tips for a successful marketing strategy
In addition to a skillful selection and combination of individual sub-strategies, other aspects also play a role in the success of your marketing. Pay particular attention to the following points:
- Keep An Eye on your target group :
Think about the marketing strategies you can use to best address your target group. You can probably best reach a heterogeneous clientele in a highly competitive market with guerrilla or event marketing. In contrast, all online marketing measures are only suitable for target customers who are internet savvy.
- Do Not Forget To Measure Success :
You can only tell whether a marketing strategy is successful or whether you should instead invest in other measures through regular success monitoring. In online marketing, suitable tools can support this task.
- Combine Online And Offline Strategies :
Marketing strategies from both areas can complement each other well. For example, if you are z, organize an open house, share it on social networks, and combine events and social media marketing.
- Working With Storytelling :
You can effectively support many marketing strategies with storytelling. Whether as content, via social media, or in personal conversations with customers – interesting stories speak to people emotionally.
- Use A CRM System :
With software for customer relationship management, you can keep track of your customer relationships. This enables not only better service but also individualized marketing strategies.
- Pay Attention To Available Resources :
The individual marketing strategies are cost-intensive to different degrees. When planning, consider which resources are available to you and how you can use them as sustainably and profitably as possible.
- Adjust Strategy Regularly :
Companies and markets continue to develop. You should, therefore, regularly review your marketing strategy and make any necessary adjustments.
Each of the marketing strategies will only appeal to your customers if it offers them added value. This can be information, but also entertainment or a sense of belonging to a community.
Also Read : The Online Marketing Trends 2021
Conclusion: No Marketing Without A Strategy
Whether for founders or established companies, marketing strategies are always an issue and must always be tailored to the specific situation. The starting points are the overarching goals that the company would like to achieve.
The overall strategy is made up of several sub-strategies that are coordinated with one another. In addition to the many possibilities of online marketing, this also includes classic offline designs that are still impacting.