Importance of a Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business
What is a marketing strategy and how do you develop one for your small business?
Running a business without a marketing strategy is like going to the supermarket without a grocery list—you’ll probably forget something you need and come out with lots of stuff you don’t. Like a grocery list, a focused marketing strategy is a good practice that will help you get to where you need to go.
What is a marketing strategy anyway?
Marketing strategy is a long-term section of your business plan that outlines your overall blueprint for what you want to achieve for your business, and how you’ll attract clients or customers. Sometimes marketing strategy is confused for a marketing plan, but they are different. Your marketing strategy focuses on what you want to achieve from your marketing efforts, and a marketing plan details how you’ll achieve those goals. Both are important, but part of implementing an effective plan requires creating a compelling strategy first.
A good marketing strategy focuses on how your business fits into the market and uses the 5 Ps of marketing to develop tactics and techniques to achieve your objectives. But first, take time to research key areas that will help shape your strategy. During the research phase, you should determine: how your product or service benefits consumers, what makes it unique from other businesses, understanding the competition, your target market and other factors that could affect your ability to reach customers. Then use this information to develop a targeted, unique marketing strategy for your business and the market environment it will compete in.
Having a marketing strategy in place for your business is essential to integrating your business in the most effective and efficient way possible.
- Appropriate research and a subsequent marketing strategy give you control of your business. When developing your plan, you’ll set milestones that will also help you allocate resources, budget and manage performance.
- Marketing helps determine what makes your business unique. Some of the same questions you’ll answer when creating your marketing strategy are also the same fundamental questions you’ll need to prepare your business plan, such as: what the needs of your target customers are; how your competitors meet the needs of your target customers; and how you can help differentiate your business to customers.
- Without customers, your business would not survive. An effective marketing strategy is essential to attract and retain people to invest in your product or service.
Once you’ve created a marketing strategy, remember that it can—and should be fluid. Your marketing strategy and plans should change when necessary to adapt to (or prepare for) changing market conditions, shifts in demand or overall performance in your business. After all, as paraphrased by Charles Darwin, it isn’t the strongest species that survive, but the most adaptable.
Do you have questions about creating a marketing strategy for your business? Contact me to set-up a free marketing evaluation for your business today.