What is a Marketing Strategy?

We find it is always helpful to start with a clear definition. If you Google ‘Marketing Strategy’, a myriad of different results and definitions will appear. 

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What's The Definition?

These are some of the definitions you might find if you do a google search for 'What is a marketing strategy?':

As you can see, not all academics agree. Everyone has a slightly different spin. After 25 years in the field, I like a simpler and more pragmatic definition: 

A marketing strategy clearly defines the market segment and target audience, where your solution is uniquely positioned to meet the emotional and rational needs of the target audience."

Why is a Marketing Strategy Important?

The importance of a marketing strategy cannot be overstated. It’s like driving without GPS. You might eventually find your way, but you have a good chance of getting lost. But, you’ll get there faster if you have the right map.

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How You Build the Right Map

After 25 years in marketing, I've found that the following process is the most helpful in developing a comprehensive and, more importantly, effective marketing strategy. It may look a bit overwhelming all at once. But, like any challenge, it can be tackled by taking some basic steps.

Now, let's go through each step of our process in more detail. It's easiest to think of our process within the framework of two key concepts: Brand Strategy, steps one through three, and Brand Messaging, steps four through six.

Brand Strategy Development

What is Market Segmentation?

Market segmentation is all about relevance. It’s about finding the group or groups within the larger market where your product or service has a unique advantage and/or where it will be perceived to be providing its greatest value.

The first step in developing a marketing strategy is to perform a market segmentation. The concept behind market segmentation is relatively straight-forward. It is about dividing the market for your products and services into smaller, more manageable groups. This is our process:

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Defining The Target Audience

If the segmentation was done correctly, the target audience is defined by the market segment. If they all truly respond to the market in the same way, then your target audience is defined by membership within the chosen market segment. If not, you will need to find the largest group within the segment where your product or service has a meaningful benefit.

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Building a Persona

The classic definition of a persona is the public face a person presents. It’s a role they play. The character isn’t real, but he or she is relatable and believable. It is different from a stereotype in that it is based on observed behavior, not just assumptions. A persona is a relatable person. A stereotype is simply the lowest common denominator of traits a group may or may not possess.

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How to Build a Persona - Quick Video

As I mentioned, the digital tools that we have at our disposal today have leveled the playing field significantly. Historically, you would spend months doing a proper segmentation. This would be followed by more months of customer research using focus groups or interviews, for instance. It would cost so much time and money, few could afford it. Today, that’s all changed. Social monitoring can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. It’s a matter of dollars spent on people or software.

We apply our trademarked process to any business with any reasonably sized market. We follow these three steps, using digital platforms to gather, sort, and synthesize the data into several personas that we would test to find the best one(s) for you.

How Does This Apply to My Small Business?

Every business needs a marketing strategy, regardless of size. The methodology is the same whether you are a corner mom and pop store, or a mega Fortune 500 company. You are still marketing to people. Human psychology is the same. The only real difference is the amount of data that is available to you and the resources you have to analyze it.

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Ready To Transform Your Business?

Schedule a time to chat today and find out how you can improve your brand strategy!

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