Marketing Strategy: Your Best Asset
How do you sell your product or service? The answer to this question is known as your "marketing strategy". How do you develop a strategy and how does it correlate to your ability to sell a product or service? In order to develop an exceptional marketing strategy, you need exceptional input and marketing skills. It is in this arena, that your marketing strategy can be one of your best assets. It can also be a liability. Make sure that you have given much time and thought to development of your businesses goals and objectives.
Your first task is to take a look at your business and your business plan. Does your business plan still accurately reflect that state of your business? Do your 5 and 10 year goals still fit within your parameters of operation? There is no way to work with an outdated or inadequate business plan, and develop an effective strategy. You need to know where your product or service is in relation to expected sales dollars. Is your annual sales volume above or below your expectations outlined in your business plan? You can only realize where you're going sometimes, by looking at where you've been. Once you have clear cut goals for sales volume (in relation to your annual sales dollars) you can begin to look at the economics surrounding your business.
What is the economy experiencing? Are the consumers you'll be marketing your product or service to experiencing difficult economic circumstances? It will not matter what you're selling or how good the product or service is, if there is no expendable cash. If your target consumer doesn't' have available resources, you cannot make the sell. Realistic examination of your business and the economic structure of your target market is a must in developing a successful strategy. The advantage for an internet business is that the world is your local community; therefore, localized economics doesn't have a tremendous impact on your target market. The disadvantage: it is harder to market your product or service in a global environment.
Once you've determined your goals and objectives for annual sales dollars and sales volume, your target market, and the limits of your marketing budget you've set the basic parameters for developing your market strategy. You can begin to work on the actual marketing strategy development. At this point, creativity, and genius play a crucial role. It is at this point, that many business owners, merchants, and or entrepreneurs seek the assistance of a professional. It stands to reason, if you need financial advice-you look for an accountant, legal advice-you seek out an attorney. Marketing advice, you need a marketing expert. If you feel you have the ability to continue development solo, by all means proceed. If, however, you are like the vast majority, you will want expert input.
What sort of genius do you need to develop the strategy at this point? You need huge amounts of creativity, an ability to think outside the box, and an uncanny ability to sense what your customer wants. It's a rare find when you zone in on just the right combination of advertising, consumer desires, and highly marketable product. Nike, McDonalds, and Microsoft are a few examples of just such rare combinations. Did these businesses get lucky, or was it genius? Both. All of these businesses were in the right place at the right time. There is no way to anticipate mass reaction, or if you're coming to market with the perfect product. A good marketing strategy will utilize all of the information available, and then build upon the basics and the experience of a marketing professional is irreplaceable at this point. A seasoned professional will have a lifetime of watching, listening, and judging consumer reactions.
As an internet merchant, you don't have direct access to your consumer, not like you would if he or she entered your business and interacted with you or your sales personnel. This creates a particularly precarious position for the internet business. If your website is well put together, you are fairly well acquainted with your customer; if not, you will need some expert advice if you intend to make the most of your marketing strategy. Although it might seem that you're wasting precious budgeting dollars, the expert development of your marketing strategy is crucial to the success of the campaign. There are many avenues to explore in advertising your product, consumer feedback of the product, and your businesses ability to react quickly to changes in consumer demand. A well developed and defined marketing strategy will be an invaluable asset to the projected growth of your business, for the next year, or potentially several years. As a merchant, be it in the real world or the virtual world, your success or failure may be written among the lines and phrases of an asset or liability, known as your marketing strategy.
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