05 Jan 5 questions that every marketing strategy should be able to answer
In order to successfully market your business it is important to have a plan in place that will give it direction and enable it to remain focused. You may have a great product or service, but you need to be able to give people an incentive to purchase it. That is where your marketing comes in and why it is so important to have a strategy – without one you are doomed to fail before you have even begun.
An example of a well-executed and clear strategy comes from Red Bull. They know their audience – extreme sports and adrenaline junky sports – and rather than pushing their product, they supply content that will be of interest, among which you will often spy their logo, which gives the incentive for the product to be brought. They offer the user the lifestyle that comes with their drink as opposed to just offering them the product.
It is important to do your research and to ensure you are aiming for success – to help you stay focused there are five questions that every marketing strategy should be able to answer.
What is your product or service? What exactly are you marketing? If you aren’t clear on this, there is no way you will be able to answer the next four questions! This could change over time and there could be different areas to your business – but a core offering will position your business in the market.
Who is your target audience – who does your marketing need to reach? There will be a significant difference in the way you approach marketing if you are aiming at teenagers rather than their parents.
Your marketing needs to be aimed at the right people and if you know who these people are you will be able to reach them in the right place, in the right way. Therefore knowing and understanding your audience is a very important question you need to know the answer to right from the start.
Why should people buy your product or service over your competitors? What is the incentive and what are you unique selling points?
Why are you different to your competitors? Perhaps look at what they are doing and then see how you can do it better in your own way, take inspiration without copying – you need your strategy to be specific and personal to you.
The ‘why’ is so important as it could encourage people to pay the extra money, or travel the extra distance for your product or service.
A very important question that needs to be answered by the marketing strategy is this: Where will you reach your audience? Is it via SMS, social media, your website, advertisements or elsewhere? Having already answered who your target audience is will help you to answer this question. It is more than likely that will you reach them on all platforms, but one or two will be more successful for you than the others, so where should most of your effort and money be put?
How will you know if your strategy is successful and how will you monitor the progress of meeting the targets you have set yourself? To enable your strategy to continue successfully, you need to know what is working and what isn’t.
Whilst answering these questions will ensure you are prepared, it is also important to remain flexible. Your success could come from your ability to adapt to circumstances rather than sticking firmly to your original plan.