Defining The Types Of Marketing Strategy That Are Right For Your Business
What is a marketing strategy and what are the marketing strategy steps to take for your business? These are important questions if you want a successful plan for your business to grow! Don’t count out the importance of this step in your business development if you want to see loyal business growth.
Have you ever heard the analogy of throwing spaghetti against a wall to see which ones stick? That’s what running into growing your business without a marketing strategy plan is like. You’re trying all sorts of different ideas to reach and connect with people and just waiting to see which ones work. Instead, starting with a solid marketing strategy can help you define exactly where and how to reach your potential customers so that its not a haphazard game of chance.
This is not a textbook article that’s going to walk you through specific types of marketing strategy one by one, but rather a resource to guide you through determining what YOUR strategies should be and helping you to see how they connect to your marketing plan (or plan of action).
We’re going to walk through 4 specific marketing strategy steps below to narrow down what your marketing strategy should look like. There’s no right or wrong approach at the end of these 4 steps, but walking through them should get you to a place of understanding how you want to proceed with your marketing in a way to reach your desired customer base.
NOTE: IF YOU HAVEN’T YET DEFINED YOUR TARGET MARKET, IT’S IMPORTANT TO DO THAT BEFORE PROCEEDING TO CREATE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY. YOU CAN READ ABOUT HOW TO DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET HERE.
Marketing Strategy Steps:
1. Where does your target market hang out?
Again, if you haven’t yet defined your target market, make sure you check out my post on that here before working through this step. Once you know who your target market is try to think through the below questions about them:
- Where does my target market spend time?
- What voices do my target market listen to?
- What voices do my target market trust?
2. What outlets can I use to meet my target market there?
Once you’ve narrowed down where your target market spends time and who they listen to and trust, try to think through different channels that you could use to meet your target market where they spend time and/or to influence them through the voices that they trust and listen to. For example, if your target market is stay at home moms or college students they probably spend a lot of time on social media sites. You can meet them there. Moms may also listen to and trust other moms in their local circle. You could meet them there. Students may listen to and trust campus news sources or local radio. You could meet them there.
It will look different for every business and target market, but try to think through how you can connect with your target market in the places that they spend the most time and through the voices that they listen to and trust most.
What does it look like to meet your target market in their circle? Again, it will look different for every business – but it could look like any of the following:
- Being active on and sharing your life through social media (think specifically about which ones!)
- Joining a local or online club or group
- Joining interest-based online forums
- Building a website to show up in searches
- Hanging flyers in local stores or handing them out in person
- Joining a trusted directory for referrals
- Partnering with other trusted businesses for referrals
- Setting up a booth at a local fair or having a table at a craft fair
- Paying for ads in a local newspaper, online news source, or tv/radio
These are just a few examples! Think through YOUR target market and where you can:
- Get the most exposure with them.
- Build their trust.
3. What do you want your voice to be?
If you haven’t set your business purpose and goals (or “why” and “where”) yet, make sure you check out my post on that here before working through this step. It’s very hard to define what you want your business voice to be without first having a firm grasp on what your purpose is as a business and where you want your business to go.
Once you know your purpose and have a vision for your business’s future, try to think through what you want your voice (or message) to be with the below questions:
- What is my “sell”?
- What am I trying to sell my customers? Is it a product that I want them to buy? Is it a service that I want them to sign up for? Is it content that I want them to read? You need to know what you want your customers to follow-through on before you communicate with them or they may have interest in what you’re offering but not know where to go with it. If you’re trying to sell a product, it’s not enough for you to just get a lot of social media views from people who are interested in your life. You need be sure that your “voice” is pointing them to your product.
- How do you want people to connect with you?
- This relates back to where you meet your target market. Try to think through how you want to use your voice. Make sure your voice is also received in a way that your target market connects with. Do you want to communicate digitally or in-person? Or both? And do you need to have an on-going relationship (or frequent communication) with your target market? Or would it serve your needs to be more transaction based and lead target customers to a sale and be done?
4. How do I connect my voice and my outlets for reaching my market?
You’ve already established where you can meet your target market and what you want your “voice” to be in the above two steps. So now it’s time to pair them together and figure out your marketing strategy. This is not a detailed plan of exactly what you are going to execute in your marketing (that comes in your marketing plan). This is just an establishment of the general means that you plan to use to promote your business.
Think through what you determined for where you can meet your target market and whether you want your voice to be relational, transaction based, and short or long-term. Where do your answers to those two steps line up? That’s where you want to concentrate your promotional efforts!
For example, if your target market spends a lot of time online and you don’t need to have a relational voice to sell to them – then simply having and promoting a website would be a great strategy for you. If your market values and trusts face to face voices and you need a more relational voice to sell your business to them, then joining a local community group in their area of interest would be a great marketing strategy for you.
Some other examples are:
- Building an email list to send regular emails (relational interaction, digitally)
- Creating and managing a Facebook group (relational interaction, digitally)
- Handing out flyers in neighborhoods (transaction based interaction, in-person)
- Spending money on digital advertisements (transaction based interaction, digitally)
Look at YOUR business needs and where YOUR target market hangs out. Look at who they listen to and where to meet them there. You may not need a lot of marketing strategies to grow a dynamic business. You may only need one or two. Find the channels that are right for your business and target market and you will be well-equipped to grow!
As I always say, there are no right or wrong answers. You simply need to know who you are trying to sell to and how to get your voice to be trusted and heard by them.
Once you’ve determined what your marketing strategy looks like for your business you should know:
- What means to use to reach out to your target audience
- What kind of statement you want to make on these platforms
After you’ve narrowed down these details, be sure to check out the next step: How To Build A Marketing Plan.