Your marketing strategy sets out how you’ll bring customers to your business, so it’s important to get right. Using marketing strategy tools is a great way to make sure your strategy gets complete coverage. The following few tools can be used in your next marketing strategy meeting.
The Marketing Funnel
Consider how you communicate different stages of your marketing process. Your strategy should account for all of your funnel. At its simplest, the funnel has three parts.
- Top – widest and shallowest section of your marketing. You want as many people aware of you as possible. This will catch many that won’t care, but maximises the odds of reaching the ones that do.
- Middle – make yourself interesting to those with the potential to convert, without being overbearing.
- Bottom – once you’ve caught their eye, focus on them more heavily. Here you can have much deeper marketing given to a smaller number of high-likelihood prospects.
The 7 Ps (Marketing Mix)
Originally the 4 Ps, the 7 Ps of Marketing breaks down a definition of the marketing process. It’s useful to make sure you understand all the elements of how you want to market yourselves.
- Product – what do you want customers to buy? If you’re a diverse business, you may find that different products suit different approaches.
- Place – where are your customers found? This is where you should focus your efforts.
- Price – does your price and the customer’s perceived value match? Check against competition to make sure your pricing isn’t a turn off
- Promotion – what is your message? You want your marketing to match your market so they can connect with it.
- People – who will be handling the process? You need people to run the marketing, but don’t forget your sales team has to be up to the task when all the new leads come in too.
- Process – how will a customer receive their purchase? Generally, your customers will want to know the methods by which their product or service will be delivered to them.
- Physical evidence – what will the customer get as proof of purchase? If they’re getting a service, they won’t have a physical product to hold as proof. Consider what you can provide them, such as a certificate.
Porter’s Five Forces
Analyse your business’s environment to understand what your strategy needs to account for. Good strategy is adaptable, and will take into account external actions as well as your own.
- Competition – who are you currently competing against for market share? You need to be a more attractive option than they are
- New entrants – what barriers need to be overcome as a new entrant to a market? The faster you can break into a market, the greater the threat to the existing businesses. This is important both if you plan to diversify or to adapt as one of the established companies.
- Supplier power – how much power do suppliers have in your industry? The more powerful the supplier, the greater the chance that you will have to deal with their changes.
- Consumer power – how much power does a customer hold? You should understand how important an individual customer is. Very niche businesses may need to be ready to adapt to their market more than broad ones.
- Substitution – what’s available to substitute what you provide? The more options that are available for your customer, the less power you hold. This can be from similar products, so you need to understand what additional costs come from making the substitution.
Your brand is an important part of your marketing. It’s how you’re seen, so you want to understand what makes you special. Brand boxes break your business down into 4 categories and identifies strengths and weaknesses, so you know what to focus on in your marketing.
- Unique – identify what is unique to your business. What is it that only you can offer the customer? You’ll want to make sure that they know about this
- Strengths – what does your business do better than its competition? These are the points in your favour that a customer will consider when deciding who to use, so you want them to know these.
- Weaknesses – what is it other businesses do better than you? As well as identifying where you can improve, this tells you what you need to be careful with. You only have so much space in your marketing, so you only want to include things that increase the odds of generating a lead.
- Common – what is shared by your industry? There are certain things that all of your competition will do alongside you. Sometimes, you still need to mention them. Mostly, however, these aren’t selling points for you and won’t add much value to your marketing.
Customer Decision Making
Knowing how your customers think allows you to tailor your marketing funnel. Each stage requires slightly different approaches for best results.
- Awareness – the customer knows that they have a problem. You want them to know you’re an option.
- Interest – the customer has decided to find a solution. You want them to know what you provide.
- Consideration – the customer is aware of multiple options and choosing which to go with. You want your marketing to make you the best option amongst your competition.
- Purchase – the customer has made their decision and is moving onto their purchase. Your sales process needs to be easy to navigate and use so that they aren’t dissuaded from completing the purchase.
- Loyalty – once someone has bought from you, don’t think you’re done. You want them to have an excellent experience so that they want to come back and make it easy for them to advocate for you via reviews or referrals.
Marketing tools are there to help you shape your marketing strategy, but they can’t give you all the answers. These tools should help you ask the right questions and find the information you need.
If your business could benefit from support with its marketing strategy, our Part-time Marketing Directors are available with the regularity that suits you.