The marketing plan focuses on the best opportunities for increasing sales and rising above the competition by focusing on the company’s strengths. The interrelated elements of the marketing plan build the course of action for a company.
Setting realistic goals is a major element of good marketing strategy. You can set realistic goals by stating what you want to accomplish with your marketing plan. Obviously, one major goal of any marketing strategy is to gain customers and profits. Along with this, your company’s name and reputation should be developed and built within the community and, more specifically, in your target market. Your brand and identity lay the foundation for the way customers perceive your company.
The identification of your existing and potential customers and their needs is a key element in a marketing strategy. With this information, the company works to address these needs more thoroughly or successfully than the competition. Of course, your business cannot meet every need for every person, so you must analyze the market to determine how to focus on the individual needs within the target market. Without focusing on your target, you will be wasting time, energy and money, casting too wide a net.
A solid marketing strategy includes an honest SWOT analysis of a business, which is a breakdown of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If your company name is recognized within your market, that's a strength; lack of recognition is a weakness. An opportunity might come from rising demand somewhere in your market; a common threat is new competitors. The results of the SWOT analysis guide your marketing strategy.
Within a good marketing strategy, the company’s message must be clear and inviting. The business should stand apart from the rest by communicating a consistent marketing message. This conveys the company's unique stature as a business that will offer more or better service or higher-quality product than the competition. Each marketing message should be about the benefits the company's product or service will offer its customers.
Performing various tasks and activities can help you educate your target market about your product or service and is tremendously important to the marketing strategy. These activities, which typically build on the company’s strengths and the needs of the target market, include advertising, public relations, Internet networking, exhibitions or other events and use of print media.