What does a marketing strategy consist of?
Before crafting a marketing strategy, ensure that you have a rock-solid plan that is constructed to weather all storms and meets your business goals. Every strategy you think of putting into play has to be built around this plan and customized according to various market environment variables. So essentially the flow to a strategy looks a little like this:
Idea -> Plan -> Strategy
A great go-to market strategy for a product consists of five basic elements:
- Localization of products: You have to take into consideration various factors such as language, culture, purpose of the product etc. Adapt your software product or application to the specific market that you are aiming at.
- Launch Strategy: The goal of a launch strategy is to create awareness for your product and generating interest in potential customers to buy your product. A great way to do this is to offer a free trial version of your software product.
- A support strategy: A support strategy should include supporting customers with your software product in a changing environment and helping to improve performance, efficiency and reliability.
- Always be in Beta: The software product needs to constantly evolve either by adding new features or improving existing features.
- Be Scalable: Your software product should be scalable and ready to adapt to changes in the product landscape
Now that you know the key elements of a marketing strategy execution, here are the next steps to get started:
Step 1: Know how the economy is doing
There is a constant flux in the market climate with changes in share, leadership, costs, competition and multiple other factors. Strong analysis and market research should be conducted to understand the market climate and how receptive potential customers would be to your particular product at that point in time. This will give you a better insight into how to market your product.
Step2: Have a clear idea of your target audience
Your target audience should be clearly defined because all of your marketing plans, the content of the message you are looking to distribute, and the channels you choose for your marketing campaigns should be customized towards your target demographic. Perform apropos customer analysis and customize your strategy accordingly.
Step 3: Choose the right channels
Defining target audience is a pre-cursor to this step. If you know who you are marketing to and who you expect to be your customer, you can define what channels you want to reach them through—whether you want to sell directly, through an intermediary or adopt dual distribution.
Step 4: Make a strong case for value by focusing on key differentiating factors.
A customer is always be looking to get his money’s worth. You should be able to clearly explain how your product adds value to the customer. Indicate how your product does more than the existing options on the market. You can affect the customer’s decision to buy in your favor based on the value-adding factor even in a down market. Unless your product is a completely new innovation and has no precedent in the market, you will have to subtly provide an overview of what the strengths of your product are compared to the weaknesses found in the competitor’s product. You should always be prepared to answer why you’re different, better and more importantly, why you’re worth it.
Step 5: Measure success
The best way to get your ROI on all of your marketing efforts is by measuring the success you’ve achieved with the methods employed. Analyze both quantitative and qualitative factors against your business objectives. It is not likely that you will see overnight success. Infact, any achievements you will see will be the result of a very slow and time-consuming process of making your product known to your potential customers and gaining their trust in your product and your business but you should be able to assess your marketing techniques and methods and see how they stand compared to your ultimate business goals. At the end of the day, what really matters for a business is revenue and cost. So, get all the required data, measure your ROI and customize your marketing strategy accordingly to truly make a financial impact.
Image Credit:Christopher Sessums
Ankita Katuri is an Inbound Marketer and tech enthusiast, with a passion for researching and sharing the best practices of optimizing software development processes. Find me on on Twitter, Google+ and let's connect on LinkedIn.