There’s a lot of information out there on marketing strategy. In fact, if you type marketing strategy into Google, you’ll get around 23,600,00 results.
But most of those entries on the first page or two aren’t exactly small-business-friendly, even though some of them claim to be.
Here’s a definition of marketing strategy from www.businessdictionary.com.
A marketing strategy is a: Written plan (usually a part of the overall corporate plan) which combines product development, promotion, distribution, and pricing approach, identifies the firm’s marketing goals, and explains how they will be achieved within a stated timeframe. Marketing strategy determines the choice of target market segment, positioning, marketing mix, and allocation of resources.
Yeah, right. Now honestly, how useful is that definition to you? Don’t you just want to run right out and get your own marketing strategy? Nah, didn’t think so.
Here’s the jargon free version of what a marketing strategy is and isn’t and how to start thinking strategically in your business.
So what exactly is a strategy, and how does it relate to marketing in practice? Well, a strategy is basically a way to plan your business moves in a way that gives you the best results for your efforts.
If your goal is to get some publicity for a new product range, say your latest spring jewelry collection, you can write a press release, distribute a flyer, hold some evening shows in local homes, buy advertising and a whole host of other things. But unless you have an overall strategy guiding you, you’ll almost certainly waste a lot of time and money.
So, when you write your press release, tie it in some way to your local advertising efforts and your home-based shows. Make each tactic work as part of an overall strategy to create some buzz around your product launch.
Think of it a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. Every piece is important. Without each piece, the whole puzzle just doesn’t look right. The final, completed picture is what gives each puzzle piece its own place, its own purpose in the bigger scheme of things.
In the same way, each bit of marketing you do, each tactic you try out, is important in its own right. But none of them will do you any good if you forget the bigger picture, the whole puzzle. And that whole puzzle is what your stategy needs to be – the glue that holds the pieces of your marketing plan together and makes it work.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be going into the details of how to choose the best strategies, and how to make them really work for your business.