The key to successfully growing your business is effectively implementing an effective marketing strategy. Of course, there are a lot of other pieces – the financing, developing the product or service, producing the product, internal accounting controls, legal HR policies, for example.
However, a successful marketing strategy brings in customers and profitable sales. Without sales, you don’t have a business. Growing sales make a growing business.
So, what is the core of a successful marketing strategy? One that will grow your sales and your profits. Simply put, it is competitive advantage.
Competitive advantage (assuming good customer service exists) is the surest safeguard to ensuring your customer list will continue to grow, and your revenues will continue to grow. It will also give you more freedom in your price point.
To be clear, competitive advantage is offering a service or a product feature that your competitors don’t offer or don’t equal. This service or feature needs to be something that your market really cares about. It needs to be important to them.
So, how do you do this? First, you need to know what your target market is and what your product or service is. If your target market is too general, you will not be able to find a service or feature that matters to all of them.
Second, you need to really understand your target market. You need to really know what matters to them. Perhaps there are some market needs that are not being met right now. Keep your ear close to the ground to find these out. . Talk to customers often. Perform regular market research – there is a free SurveyMonkey tool that you can use for this. And, you can put a survey on your website to get critical information. The bottom line is: Know what is important to your target market when it comes to your service or product.
Once you find an unmet need, then consider how easily competitors can replicate the service or feature. The more difficult it is to create the service or product offering, the more difficult it is for a competitor to emulate it. Consider a strong branding initiative. Consider a patent, if applicable. You want to get a return on your advantage, before your competitors can copy it.
Or, it is possible to develop a strategy of being the fastest to create new service or product features. Then, you need to have a constant source of unmet needs to fill, and a streamlined process for delivering them to the market. This is an equally viable, if challenging, strategy.
This has been synopsis of the keys to developing an effective marketing strategy. Next, I’ll discuss implementing an effective marketing strategy. In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions, so I know the topics you would like me to cover on the Building a Business blog.
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson
For more resources, see the Library topic Business Development.