A Marketing strategy can be a section in your business plan or standalone document that outlines how you will find customers for your business.
Marketing strategy is often confused with a marketing plan but they are different.
Marketing strategy: focuses on what you want to achieve for your business and marketing efforts.
Marketing plan: focuses on the details of how you'll achieve those goals.
A great marketing strategy covers, in detail, what you know about how your business fits into the market and the 5 P’s of marketing to develop the tactics and actions that will achieve your marketing objectives.
When Is a Marketing Strategy Developed?
The marketing strategy is created at the same time as you start your business. The information you gather when creating the marketing strategy is then used to create your marketing plan and start your business.
How to Create a Marketing Strategy
First thing you need to be clear on is, how does your product or service benefits others and how it's unique to other businesses in your marketplace.
Next, you need to do market research to understand your competition, your target market and other factors that will impact your ability to reach and entice people to your business.
Once you have your research, you can write your marketing strategy incorporating the 5 Ps of your marketing efforts:
Product: Describe your product or service offering to the customer by your business, including the physical attributes of your products or services, what they do, how they differ from your competitors and what benefits they provide to your potential customers.
Price: Cover your pricing strategies that you will implement to help you reach your desired profitability. Consider the following, How you will price your product or service so that the price remains competitive while still allowing you to make a good margin of profit? When calculating price, make sure you take into consideration both fixed expenses (those that don't change) and variable expenses (costs that aren't set), as well as your time and expertise, to insure you're charging enough to make a profit. Highlight whether or not your price will be lower or higher than your competition and how you justify the difference (what do buyers get by paying more for your product?).
Place: Where will your business will sell its products or services and how will you get those products or services to your customers?
Promotion: What marketing methods will you use to communicate the benefits and outcomes of your products or services to your target market? Where will you advertise? What percentage of advertising will be handled by each advertising option? How much business do you anticipate each form of advertising will result in? What’s your budget?
People: Define your sales strategy. Who are the people or teams that will be providing the service and what kind of training will they need?
When writing your strategy, be specific, using detailed steps, visuals and budget projections.
Keep your brand at the front of your in mind so that your marketing strategy fits with what you want the customer to experience when doing business with you. Be sure to refer to your marketing strategy as you develop, assess, or change your marketing plan.