Before you start creating a marketing strategy, you must understand that a strategy is a continuous process of testing and adjustment and not a single event or a majestic document. A strategy must be a dynamic and flexible set of long-term ideas that guide your marketing decisions. It’s the game plan that you take into battle that is elastic enough to adapt to the ever changing market.
However, although these strategic principles are evolving they are built upon several key fundamentals that fit your business philosophy and match the needs of your market. These key fundamentals are:
1. Who is your best qualified prospects and clients
2. What unique value you offer to the market
3. The tone and style of your marketing message
4. The desired perception of your product and service offering
5. The reasons why should they trust you and buy from you rather than any other choice in the marketplace
These five concepts must be at the core of your marketing strategy development. They are the guiding lights that you should never take you eye off of when developing any of your marketing tactics.
Too often when a small business purchases advertising from newspaper and yellow page companies they lose sight of these critical fundamental elements. Typically, the salesperson will offer free design services with the purchase of the ad space to close the deal. This seems like a no-brainer but has severe consequences to their marketing strategy.
The designer of these ads has no clue about the marketing strategy of the business. They end up designing an ad that looks the same as all the other competitors on the page. They know how to design an ad that fits the space, but they don’t have a clue on how to sell and market a product or service.
When there is no marketing strategy in place the effectiveness of your advertising severely erodes the return on your marketing investment.
Flip through the yellow pages book in your office to see the worst examples of this practice. It’s pretty scary when you really notice it.
When you have a marketing strategy in place and apply these five key fundamentals to all of your advertising and promotional tactics you create consistency. Consistency and repetition are the drivers of marketing success. By establishing your five key fundamentals, you will always have the basis to create powerful and effective marketing that creates sales.