Thursday, October 14, 2010 @ 6:20 AM

Create your marketing strategy #4

Developing your marketing strategy

Once you understand your business' internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats, you can develop a strategy that plays to your own strengths and matches them to the emerging opportunities. You can also try to minimise your weaknesses.


The next step is to draw up a detailed marketing plan that sets out the specific actions that will put that strategy into practice. See our guide on how to write a marketing plan.

Questions to ask yourself when developing your strategy
  • What changes are taking place in our business environment? Are these opportunities or threats?
  • What are our strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do I want to achieve? Set clear, realistic objectives.
  • What are customers looking for? What are their needs?
  • Which customers are the most profitable?
  • How will I target the right potential customers? Are there groups that I can target more effectively?
  • What's the best way of communicating with them?
  • Could I improve my customer service? This can be a low-cost way of gaining a competitive advantage over rivals, keeping customers, boosting sales and building a good reputation.
  • Could changing my products or services increase sales and profitability? Most products need to be continuously updated to maintain competitiveness.
  • Could extending my product list or service provision meet existing customers' needs more effectively? Remember that selling more to existing customers is generally more cost effective than continually trying to find new ones.
  • How will I price my product or service? Although prices need to be competitive, most businesses find that trying to compete on price alone is a poor strategy. What else are my customers interested in? Quality? Reliability? Efficiency? Value for money?
  • What is the best way of distributing and selling my products?
  • How can I best promote my products? Options might include advertising, direct marketing, exhibiting at trade fairs, PR or marketing on the web.
  • How can I tell if my marketing is effective? Check how your customers find out about your business. A small-scale trial can be a good way of testing a marketing strategy without committing to excessive costs.

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