Marketing strategies are different for every company, but most can be broken down into three main areas. These are:
1) Market Research
2) Market Positioning
3) Marketing Activities
A market research section must be a core part of any marketing plan. It is the first step in any long term marketing strategy and will be the foundation for many of the next steps. After all, your marketing strategies are the actions to meet your marketing goals. It will identify the needs of your customer, explain how you will meet those needs and describe how you will advertise your products or services.
This is where you will spend the most time focusing on your product or service. Once you have done your market research you will have a pretty good idea of where your business is in the market. You will know where you stand out from the competition. You may even be able to suggest product changes to make your product or service better and more unique to your market.
These are the tactics you use to market your business. In a typical company these include advertising, presentations, press releases, client letters, web sites and promotional items. These are the most tactical in nature and can be the easiest to procrastinate on. There are two types of promotions in business. Tactical promotions are those that are fast and easy to use and then there are strategic promotions which will take more effort but will be effective more often.
In a typical company it will be tactical promotions which will be put off until last because they take too long to do. The problem with these types of promotions is they never really build up to the same extent as the other two areas. Most companies end up doing the same things over and over again with the same results. In your company it will be promotional activities which will be the tactical type and promotional activities which will be the strategic type.
In summary marketing strategies include research, tactics, activities and positioning. Marketing strategies build on the previous two and are the actions to take when you have completed your market research. In order to be a successful business your marketing strategies should be focused and effective. It is essential that your company makes decisions based on the marketing plan as a whole and not on individual tactics. Tactics are those actions which are done to make your business appear unique and professional. It is an immediate action to use when you haven't got the time to do the longer term tactics. Activities are the actions which build on activities and can be used after activities have been completed. Activities can be used in conjunction with other tactics. For example if you have decided to put up posters outside your store then you must first put up the poster and after that go around your block and photograph the adverts that are up.
What are the pros and cons of developing your own budget?
If you are planning to use the corporate budget the main question you should ask yourself is does it make sense for my company to use one? There are several cons to using a budget which you should consider.
* You need to ensure that you choose a budget which is right for your company. It is important to find a budget that is large enough to cover all of your projected costs but not so large that it becomes an obstruction. When you are planning your budget you should ensure that you use a budget that will allow you to plan without worrying about every little expense coming up for approval.
* It is important that you have time to plan and test your budget. If you don't give yourself enough time to plan your budget then you may end up paying later.
* It is important that you do not try to do too much. Trying to put up more than one ad, or more than one ad campaign, or more than one marketing tactic will overwhelm you and you will end up not getting enough sleep. Instead take your marketing plan one step at a time and put your most important ads up first.
* Your budget may end up being over 1000$ when you only need to budget about 600$. Taking this example your best option may be to put up your second best ad and then put your best ad in a later campaign when you have the extra budget.
* Developing a budget may take too long if you don't take sufficient photos. Try and schedule the taking of your photos so they will be done within the week of your budget being submitted.
In conclusion the easiest way to plan for your marketing budget is to create it ahead of time and then treat it like your sock pack. Plan it and then treat it just like your sock pack and you'll get results.
What about you?
What is your marketing budget? Do you treat it like your sock pack?
Let me know what your tactic is in the comments below!