Developing a marketing strategy is key to extending your reach into the marketplace. With your research in hand and competitive analysis completed, it’s time to analyze the results, assess operations, evaluate partner capabilities, and develop your go-to-market plan. With your plan in place, you’ll be ready to implement your strategy and extend your reach.
To get started, determine whether …
- You sell to other businesses, consumers, or both.
- Your business operations are aligned to take advantage of market opportunities, and if not, what actions are needed.
- Your company’s long-term vision or exit strategy (5 to 10+ years out) is consistent with market opportunities uncovered in your research.
- Partners – alliances or channel partners – can help you reach your goals faster and better than trying to go-to-market with your product/service offering alone.
Which marketing strategy is best?
It depends. There are several types of marketing strategies to employ depending the results of your research. For instance, if you have a new tech gadget to sell and your product is a technology leap over what’s currently available in the market, you may need to focus more efforts on educating prospects about benefits and uses. On the other hand, if your product offering is simply an incremental improvement over what’s available and costs less, perhaps you want to follow a flanking or niche marketing strategy to avoid head-to-head competition.
Keep in mind: You will likely have more than one strategy to extend your reach, but it depends upon your offering, financial resources, and capabilities.
Start with a skeleton plan
- Write down the market opportunities that leverage current operations and the short-term objectives that can be attained in a 3-9 month time frame. Be as detailed as possible and leverage your competitive advantage wherever you can.
- Create a timeline with goals, objectives and milestones needed in the next 3 to 5 years.
- As your marketing strategy takes form with more short term details becoming clearer, a go-to-market plan will start to materialize with specific actions to take in the near term.
- Revisit your marketing strategy annually to make sure your business stays on track.
While specifics will vary by industry, your unique offering, and where your organization and offering is in its life cycle, the process or methods used for determining your strategy will be similar.
Types of marketing strategies
Here are some examples of different types of marketing strategies that can be pursued individually or in combination with others to penetrate the market, extending your reach.
- First-mover advantage – see “First-Mover Advantage” on referenceforbusiness.com
- Copy-cat strategy – see Oded Shenkar’s article, “Just Imitate It! A Copycat Path to Strategic Agility,” on Ivey Business Journal.com
- Cause or sports marketing – see Sam Ashe-Emunds article, “Examples of Marketing Strategies Used to Sell a Product,” on smallbusiness.chron.com
- Warfare strategies (flanking, encirclement, etc.) – see summary of Al Ries and Jack Trout’s Marketing Warfare on QuickMBA.com
- Guerrilla marketing tactics – see Dave Samuels’ (Demand Media) article, “Guerrilla Marketing Warfare Strategies,” on smallbusiness.chron.com
- Point product/add-on solutions or differentiation strategy – see Randolf Saint-Leger’s article, “Pros & Cons of Differentiation Strategy,” on smallbusiness.chron.com.
- Overall cost leadership – see M. Scilly (Demand Media) article, “Examples of Cost Leadership & Strategy Marketing,” on smallbusiness.chron.com
- Redefine/segment the market or develop new markets – see Steve Bassil’s article “How to Implement a Winning Segment Strategy” on MarketingProfs.com
- Increased speed of product or service introduction/innovation/delivery – see Joe Tertel’s article,”Marketing Strategies for Innovation,” on jplcreative.com
- Push or pull strategy – see Vinny La Barbera’s blog, “Pull Marketing vs Push Marketing,” on imforza.com
- Leveraging strategic partnerships – see “Strategic Alliance” reviewed by Will Kenton on Investopedia.
- Niche marketing – see Omo & Eulanda from Hey! Dip your toes, “The True Value of a Niche Marketing Strategy,” on trekksoft.com