One of the most common questions that I get asked by those who are starting out in business; also by those who have been involved in business maybe for some time who maybe running a functioning business and making a decent living is : ‘just how to I actually go about developing a marketing strategy’ ??
At a recent networking event when speaking a business owner who by his own admission if well versed in the technology of his business (but not in the marketing) I spoke of the three pillars that I use when thinking about, explaining and developing a marketing or business strategy. They are :-
Channels To Market
… that is to say, we work on defining the category of the market that the Product or Service fits into, we then work on the marketing Channels. When it comes to channels we consider the channel that we use to deliver the product or service to the marketplace and secondly the channels that we use to push the message to the marker place through. And finally, we have to ensure that our preferred market segments are at the end of the channels that we use. That is the essence of the framework that I work through when refining and developing a marketing strategy.
Now, let’s assume we are you are selling massage therapy services [as one of my previous clients were]. For sure the channel for delivering the service would be in the therapist’s salon but they business owner will have many options in terms of channel marketing for delivering the branding message and services of the business to the market place at large. They can use direct mail, blogging, mobile, articles, newspapers, radio and more to deliver their message to the target market.
Next, we need to ensure that our product/service is positioned appropriately in terms of location, offering and pricing – a particular segment of the market may wish to pay say $15/hour for a massage but other high end clients may be perfectly happy to pay $100/hour if they see the value in what it is that you have to offer. The question is – which market segment is it that you will choose to target ? If this discussion we have covered the market segments and the category of the market that we wish to be positioned in.
So there you have it – an insight into my methodology for developing marketing strategies whether working with $multi billion clients in China [Swatch Group] or with a wedding reception services business such as http://www.lowcostchaircovers.co.uk/ that I consulted for last year.
In summary we want to be thinking of Channels, Market Segments and Product/Service categories.
To your marketing strategy development success,
Let me know if you wish to engage with myself and the team to assist you in your business.
When it comes to both marketing and distribution, you need to come up with a plan. This plan should include both the goals that you intend to achieve, in a measurable form, and the steps that you plan to take in order to get there.
Having a plan will make it so that you can determine how effective your current marketing and distribution efforts are, and help you to figure out where you can improve on them in the future based on the results that you get.
In order to be able to track the results of your multi channel marketing and distribution plans, you will need to have a good customer relationship management software program. This will help you to figure out just who your current customers are, and what they are buying. Then you can try to market to them in other ways, or use this data to develop new markets that you can target in addition to your current customers.
You can use this software to keep track of how new customers heard of your product, for instance, so you can get a better idea of which channels are working and which are not, and switch from ineffective channels to those that might produce better results for your company.
It is important to keep at least one backup of your database, if not more because you don’t want to lose this all important information. You might want to have it backed up on different computers as well as having a copy at an off-site location just to make sure the data is safe.
Those who want to market their product internationally will need to keep in mind that this might require different marketing materials and different marketing channels.
You will want to do a lot of research into your target market to figure out what methods and channels are most effective there.
You also want to look into the culture to make sure that you do your marketing in a culturally effective manner without offending anyone.
It might take some trial and error in order to figure out just which marketing channels will work out the best in each different place that you market your product.
In recent months, much of my work has been centred around that of Channel Marketing and I cover specifically that of what we call “Multi Channel Marketing” which is being expected and demanded by the end user customer more and more these days. So – why Multi Channel Marketing ? one may ask. Well it is for the exact reason that is has been shown that many people will not end up purchasing a product until they have heard about it through a number of different sources or what we call marketing channels.
This is why it is so important not to focus all your marketing efforts just on one channel, such as :-
Word of moout
or even Television Advertising.
There are so many different marketing channels that are available for any company to make use of in order to a) promote its products and services and b) to actually deliver given products and services into the hands of customers, with that said it is advisable to make the efforts to divide up and spread out company advertising and marketing efforts and making use that multiple marketing channels are used. This is particularly true when we speak of digital marketing; this in itself is a marketing channel that can readily be further sub divided into sub digital marketing channel through which specific and targeted marketing messages can be pushed.
Looking into multi channel marketing further, another reason why companies may well want to look deeper into making use of multi channel marketing a key component of their top level business development strategies is the fact that different channels are likely to reach different target market segment customers. One simple classification can be made with the use or non use of digital marketing; it is clear that some customers that may wish to be reach may spend a lot of time on the internet, whilst a certain segment of the population may not want to or care for using computers in their everyday lives.
When it comes to the topic of direct marketing; the evidence shows that some people just tend to throw away direct marketing mail items without even looking at them, while others always look to see what type of deal are on offer from the company in question.
The points above are made in order to illustrate the fact that by using multiple marketing channels companies will be able to reach more people in total with their product and service offering messages. Of course with any coherent marketing strategy development and execution appropriate research into the desired target market in advance will determine which types & classfications of channel marketing to make use of. Marketing professionals will then be able to determine which channels to market are more likely to reach the client that they are attempting to reach.
When it comes to online internet and digital marketing [search engine and social media] methods this can a great way to reach those that are known to be tied to their technologies that continually interface with the internet, on the internet there will be certain clients [all of this would be defined within the definition of the ideal client profile for the business] while more traditional print, radio, and television advertising might be better methods for reaching those that are maybe more elderly or prefer not to be using the internet as often as other target market clients.
When we look at the overall economy of the united kingdom it is amazing to consider how much revenue is generated in London alone and; the amount of businesses that are starting up on a weekly basis.
Now – we do know that many businesses have readily understood how critical it is to make full use of the internet as a marketing channel which has lead to the demand for london internet marketing consultants.
Business owners who are looking for products and services turn to the internet in order to make their initial assessments, on the other hand corporates, small businesses and work from home organisations are doing all that they can in order to deliver their message via the internet to their chosen target market.
With all that has been said, it is unfortunate that for some and internet marketing strategy is not much more that having a pretty looking website, this is where making sure that making full use of the skills and competencies of a professional who can demonstrate their expertise in using the internet as a marketing channel comes into play.
As well as developing coherent go to marketing business strategies, we are able to integrate the internet and all of its components into your :-
Marketing channel strategy
Category marketing options
Ideal client profiling
… and all of other possible components needed to develop an ongoing marketing strategy.
As you read this post, consider your need of some of the services that we are able to bring to your business in terms of kick starting your day to day activities through the development of your internet marketing based business marketing strategy.
As always, any thoughts or comments ? Get in touch.
I consider Niche Marketing or Market Segmentation a key element to any business and/or business plan. Failure to analayze your target market into specific niches or market segments will inevitably mean that you end up marketing and promoting your product in less than the most efficient manner.
For those who have a business and how are not familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of niche marketing should look to get some basic education on the subject even if they are looking to hire a consultant to work with. I follow leaders and Stephen Pierce is a world leader in internet marketing and business strategies. Take a look at http://www.winningintheniche.com/ which is an excellent resource to give one a solid foundation on the benefit of niche marketing.
Thanks to the popularity and user-friendliness of digital multimedia and of online video, you can rejuvenate your product offerings in several different ways by offering video on a webpage without having to either recreate it or give it away. Best of all, it’s much easier to use streaming video than you might think as now the price of technology has fallen to a level which enables most individuals to compete at a level which previously you would not have been able to.
One of the first things that you ought to consider whe thinking of your internet marketing; what does your product or service actually do or have to offer and how can you use streaming video to present that product or service to the world ? If it solves a problem or makes a task easier that’s common to your target market the streaming video can also help. Why not find a recognized expert and do an interview about a topic related to your product or service? Include this with your product using streaming audio and video broadcasting and breath new life into your sales. To use streaming video on your website see http://www.addingstreamingvideo.com/ now.
I will finish up on this in the next post, thanks,
Some Internet aficionados prefer e-shopping on their own. In which case, your (secure) site could offer complete transparency when it comes to products and services offered. This might entail more time to create, and a lot of Internet marketing research. This gives your customers a sense of control by being able to cross reference information, packages and prices with other online business ventures like yours. You could also offer alternatives to your products that will link them to other trustworthy sites.
In other words, make your home business customer-friendly by offering assistance without seeming to.
A system for organization and technical aspects
Like any form of business, your home business should have market research and analysis. Knowing your target market is important; knowing what your target market wants at the moment is more important. Trends change. Your bookseller home business may be doing well with one title at the moment. Next thing you know, nobody wants it anymore.
Make sure that your company has devised a way for secure and reliable transactions that is not only convenient to you but also to your potential customers. Credit cards accounts for 90% of all purchases in online business ventures. If however, is of no service to you, there are other software and / or sites that may help you like Paypal or money order.
Budget permitting, aside from hiring the services of an Internet Marketing business, your management team should be well versed with Internet protocol. Designing, updating and upgrading a website is important; because this is the face your customers can see. Also, should technical difficulties arise, your team should be able to deal with it promptly. A down site means a loss of revenue for your company.
Go check out http://www.onlinebooksellingbusiness.com/ If you liked what you read to learn more on using the internet for your home business in general and; selling and making money from selling books online.
This is the final post on this topic on this critical topic of Diversity with the workplace.
The results of fully incorporating Diversity into the fabric of the organization’s decision making process by the management team (ably assisted by the Human Resources department) will result in products and services which are more targeted to the desired end user customers and delivered to those customers via appropriate marketing channels.
It is therefore the responsibility of the management team to keep the diverse target end user customer base in mind (where appropriate) and doing so ensure that the teams in place to develop and deliver the company’s products and services and best placed to do so. i.e. those teams should ideally have the balance of product development and marketing strategy skills coupled with an understanding of the end user customers of which they are selling to.
For various products and services the input into the product development process may well be seen to benefit greatly with the input of those within the organization who are most closely aligned to the target market customers. Getting these individuals involved in the appropriate decisions making junctures may well provide cherished career development opportunities as well as providing management with valuable interaction with those within the organization from the various dimensions of Diversity.
As always, feel free to post your comments or drop me an email.