Developing a Marketing Strategy is a very useful process to go through to hone your message and to help you get your product or service to market successfully. They are not just for big corporate businesses. Marketing strategies are as relevant to a woman looking to sell her handmade hats online, as they are to global gas and oil companies. It is not complicated and it is fairly straight-forward once you know how to get started.
In my experience as a business mentor and coach, a common stumbling block I hear from my clients, time and again is: Where do I find people that would want to pay me for my product/service?
This is where a Marketing Strategy proves invaluable.
Marketing Strategies change continuously. External factors in the market are always changing and any good marketer will advise you to adapt your strategies accordingly. With this in mind, don’t put undue pressure on yourself by trying to write the perfect Marketing Strategy at the first attempt (or worse yet talk yourself out of doing it at all).
Nobody needs to read your strategy. You can keep it as a working document for your eyes only if you wish. If however you feel you want some input, approach someone that you can trust and whose opinion you value. A business coach or mentor might be ideal, as they provide impartial advice and guidance. There are also good resources online.
Two things to keep in mind:
- The actions you take daily, working on your business, will flow from the strategy. Therefore the strategy will make you more aware of the bigger picture and what you’re working towards, as it will be in the front of your mind.
- In turn you’ll find that the way you prioritise your activities and spend your time will shift to support the business mission and goals.
It is personally satisfying knowing that your efforts count towards your greater business objectives. It also helps you to identify when you go off-track. It can help you keep yourself in check – making sure your time is spent constructively. There will be fewer days when you say: “I’ve been so busy, but not sure with what”.
You will also find yourself networking more efficiently. You will know what specifically it is that you need at the moment, be able to verbalise it succinctly and effectively and therefore connect quickly with the right people in a room. It can help to reduce the anxiety of networking which so many people feel. Instead of leaving with a handful of business cards from nice people and a feeling that it may not result in much, you’ll have contact with people who can help you move forward. In turn, perhaps, you can support them too – a good recipe for building lasting relationships for the business journey ahead.
So, if you want to know where to find people that will want to pay you for your product/service, it’s a good idea to write a Marketing Strategy.
Look out for my next blog post where I will share the outlines of a good marketing strategy. It will cover your business mission, objectives, macro-environment analysis (just a clever phrase for external factors that impact on your business), SWOT analysis, market research (primary and secondary), competitors, market segmentations and behaviours, marketing mix – tactics (the 4 P’s) and a marketing conclusion.
You can also Google examples of marketing strategies. Personally I always find Business Balls a very useful resource.
Here’s to good strategies that are bound to win you more customers.
About Melanie Maritz
Mel Maritz is a Marketing and Business Development consultant, Business Mentor and Coach focused on helping women in business. Mel specialises in helping SMEs take newly conceived ideas to market. She is currently consulting for a senior partner practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management.