The term “marketing” is associated with selling your company’s products and services. You must first bear it in mind that marketing is not just an important part of your business success rather it is the business itself and this is because of the fact that everything else in the business depends upon marketing.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and several media and entertainment companies, puts it as succinctly as possible: “No sales. No company.”
Advertising is the most obvious marketing activity, but so is consumer research, which better matches your product to consumer wants and needs. Product design, also, is a form of marketing, as it helps match your company’s products and services to known customer needs.
Now let us discuss about Strategic Marketing below:
According to research, Marketing strategies encompass these strategic activities:
- Determining the need for a product through consumer research and by observing and quantifying sales patterns of similar goods in the marketplace
- Modifying existing products or creating new products to match consumer wants and needs
- Determining how best to reach potential customers to make them aware of your products and to persuade them to buy them
- Creating marketing campaigns based on your determinations of the most effective way of reaching customers
- Confirming customer relationships via follow-up sales campaigns and loyalty programs
1. Identifying Consumer Need
Marketing encompasses not only determines consumer need, it also helps create consumer need. It really begins with understanding your potential consumer. One well-known 21st-century marketing failure had to do with U.S. companies’ attempts to sell deodorants in China. What these U.S. companies failed to realize is that, biologically, ethnic Chinese do not have the same body odor issues as Westerners.
They also failed to take into account that Chinese consumers commonly regard sweating as a healthy activity that among other things purifies the system and not, as is common among Americans, as a social problem.
It is a truism of marketing education that marketing can’t create a need, but many marketing campaigns are based on creating an awareness of a product and the desirability of owning that product. What is important is that this awareness creates the need. Some common strategies for creating an awareness of the product and giving it a context that stimulates a desire to own it are:
- Demonstrating scarcity. Apple, for instance, increased the demand for the Apple 5 by cutting off further shipments of the phone for two weeks immediately after announcing the release.
- Developing a “we” bond between consumers and product, often by announcing the product first to a selected audience, and inviting consumers to participate in the development of the product or product launch.
- Interacting with social media, such as responding to consumer comments, whether favorable or unfavorable.
2. Responding to Consumers with Ongoing Product Development
Successful companies don’t release products and then move on to new products. They stay involved with their current products, continually modifying and improving them. Apple has been particularly adept at this strategy, with frequent updates of existing software, backed by extensive, clear information releases about the updates. This keeps customers involved. Apple has one of the highest loyalty and customer satisfaction ranking among all major brands.
3. Finding the Shortest Path Between the Consumer and the Brand
As social media has evolved and has become an important part of the consumer experience, successful companies have demonstrated a continuous involvement in social media, participating with timely campaigns aimed at their audiences.
Oreo, for instance, rated highly by AdWeek for social media use, has campaigns that tie into major social events, such as their Vine video series, which featured Oreo cookies starring in classic horror films.
4. Creating Campaigns that Respond Quickly to Consumer Preferences
Companies that respond quickly to consumer preferences raise consumer awareness and increase brand satisfaction and loyalty. Netflix, for example, uses other media, such as The New York Times, to spread and increase consumer awareness with lists of upcoming films and series.
Businesses use advertising to accomplish varied goals, and companies place those ads in diverse media. Besides advertising products in traditional venues such as newspapers and general interest magazines, businesses advertise in media that reach specific markets.
For example, a portable communications device is advertised on a social media site that reaches younger customers. Home furnishings and decor are advertised in a Home and Garden Show program guide. Effectively produced ads help to further business goals.
5. Product Introduction and Awareness
When a business introduces a new product, advertising provides a means to make a large market aware of the product. Ads often focus on the product’s solution to a common problem, such as a new cell phone’s touted ability to solve the “dropped call” problem. In a very visual example, ads for an anti-frizz hair treatment can show “before and after” photographs to illustrate the product’s effectiveness.
6. Product Sale Events
Advertising provides an effective way to inform the market about limited-time product sale events. Sale-based ads can be generated by local retail outlets, or can originate from the product’s national manufacturer.
In many cases, the national manufacturer shares the cost of the ad with the local retailer. This type of advertising is called co-op advertising, and commonly uses manufacturer-supplied graphics and ad templates. The local retailer’s name appears as the local product outlet.
7. Product Differentiation from Competitors
Businesses frequently use advertising to show how their product has more benefits, or is more effective, than similar competitors’ products. In some cases, the retailer feels it’s necessary to advertise because the competition is blanketing newspaper pages or television airwaves with its own ads. Unless other market retailers that aggressively highlight their own products, they are likely to be overlooked in the minds of consumers.
8. Product Breakthroughs and Advancements
Advertising is used to communicate dramatic product breakthroughs. In September 2003, “Advertising Age” depicted a long history of “soap wars” in which bar soap manufacturers promoted their respective products.
In 1980, a product breakthrough occurred with the first liquid hand soap introduction. This refillable soap solved the problem of messy sink residue. This liquid soap product was purchased by a national brand, while competitors’ liquid soap products also emerged.
9. Institutional Advertising to Promote a Good Image
When a business communicates information about its operations, or illustrates why its product is the best choice for consumers, the company uses institutional advertising. Sales expert Zig Ziglar notes that this type of advertising isn’t really designed to increase sales, but is structured to promote a good image of the company or product.
This perception will hopefully translate into future sales. Ziglar emphasizes that even if the consumer doesn’t buy the product right now, the company will have kept its name in front of its consumer market.
As far back as Ancient Egypt, advertising has served a critical purpose in the business world by enabling sellers to effectively compete with one another for the attention of buyers.
Whether the goods and services your company provides are a necessity, a luxury or just a bit of whimsy, you can’t rely on a one-time announcement or word-of-mouth chatter to keep a steady stream of customers. A strong commitment to advertising is as much an external call to action as it is an internal reinforcement to your sales team.
10. Promotion of Products and Services
The primary objective of advertising is to get the word out that you have something exciting to offer, says George Felton, author of “Advertising: Concept and Copy.”
It can be anything from an upcoming entertainment event you’re promoting, a new product line you’re selling, a political campaign you’re managing, the expansion of an existing platform of services or officially hanging out a shingle for your first business.
Whether your promotion takes the form of print ads, commercials, billboards or handbills, the content adheres to the rules of journalism by identifying who, what, when, where and why.
11. Creating Customer Awareness
Advertising helps to raise your target demographic’s awareness of issues with which they may be unfamiliar as well as educate them on the related benefits of your product or service. A popular example of this is the health care industry.
If, for instance, a consumer watches a television commercial in which someone describes aches and pains that are similar to those experienced by the viewer, the ad not only identifies a probable cause but suggests a potential remedy or treatment option to discuss with her doctor.
12. Comparisons with Competitors
Advertising invites your target audience to evaluate how your product or service measures up against your competitors, says Gerard Tellis, author of “Effective Advertising: Understanding When, How, and Why Advertising Works.”
Demonstrations of household cleaning products are a good example of this because they provide compelling visual evidence of which product does a faster and more effective job of tackling stubborn stains.
Political ads are another example of how advertising serves up side-by-side comparisons of the candidates’ qualifications and voting records for readers and viewers to make informed choices at the polls.
13. Retention of Existing Customers
An ongoing advertising campaign is essential in reminding your existing customers that you’re still around, say Kenneth Roman and Jane Maas, authors of “How to Advertise.”
In a troubled economy where so many shops, restaurants and companies are going out of business, maintaining a strong presence through regular ads, fliers, postcards, events and a dynamic website is invaluable for long-term relationships.
This also serves to attract new customers who may not have been in need of your products or services when you first opened but are now pleased to have their memories jogged.
14. Boosting Employee Morale
When people ask your employees where they’re working, the latter will likely feel better about their jobs if the reaction to their reply is, “Wow! I’ve heard a lot of great things about that store” instead of “Nope, never heard of it” or “Oh, are they still around?”
Investing in an advertising plan keeps your business an active part of the conversational vocabulary and community buzz. This, in turn, gives your workers a sense of pride and emotional ownership in an enterprise that’s generating positive feelings and name recognition.
Read More: Connection Between Marketing and Sales