Your business strategy is translated into a marketing strategy to gain customers.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is a long-term, forward looking approach and overall game plan of any business with a fundamental goal of achieving sustainable competitive advantage by understanding the needs and wants of customers.
Michael Baker, The Strategic Marketing Plan Audit
Franchise Development Marketing Strategy
If you are a business owner seeking to replicate your business model, your franchise development plan needs an effective marketing strategy to drive growth.
A geographically dispersed network of franchisees presents a significant marketing challenge which requires the alignment of franchise marketing activities.
In addition, you will need to manage brand compliance.
The key elements of marketing strategy development offered to our clients are set out below.
An effective marketing strategy begins with assessing the market you are in and defining your value proposition. This also encompasses your target market and customers, how environmental pressures might affect what you offer, as well as how your business is differentiated from competitors.
The development of a marketing strategy for your business is vital. In other words, efforts to attract customers are likely to be ineffective and inefficient without one.
Stage One - Where are We Now?
Strategic and Marketing Analysis
A strategic and marketing analysis will allow you to identify your businesses current position and level of marketing capability. Subsequently, this will provide you with the information you need to start the process of developing plans based on the future direction of your business.
Marketing Audit and SWOT Analysis
A marketing audit and SWOT analysis is designed to provide a clear foundation for the development of your marketing strategy.
For that reason, the marketing audit encompasses the following elements:
(1) the marketing environment, (2) your current marketing strategy, (3) organisational issues, (4) the marketing system in use, (5) the levels of marketing productivity, and (6) marketing functions.
The outcomes from the audit are integrated into a statement of your businesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT).
As a result, you will be able to build on your business strengths and minimise your weaknesses.
Segment and Productivity Analysis
It is useful to know how your resources are being utilised together with the amount of return on your investment.
In this respect, it helps to identify the marketing activities that have been undertaken. As each project or activity has resource implications and profitability consequences.
It may be beneficial to segment the cost implications of marketing activities as follows:
(1) product range, (2) channel of distribution, (3) territory, (4) customer or industry group, (5) size of order.
Consequently, this analysis will help you to gain greater insight into planning and controlling future marketing activities.
Developing a deeper understanding of your competitors and who the business is competing against is vital.
An analysis of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ factors can be undertaken to identify competitor threats.
‘Hard’ factors include: company size, financial resources, capabilities.
‘Soft’ factors include: company culture, market priorities and offerings, objectives.
Therefore, a competitor analysis provides you with an understanding of your competitive advantage relative to your competitors.
Accordingly, you will have the information required to outperform your competitors.
Your buyers will differ enormously in terms of their buying behaviours.
In this respect, a customer analysis will uncover answers to the following questions:
(1) Who is in the market? (2) What do they buy? (3) How do they buy? (4) What is the extent of their power? (5) Who is involved in the buying process? (6) When do they buy? (7) Where do they buy?
As a result, this analysis will provide you with an understanding of the ways in which buyers are most likely to respond to your marketing activities.
Stage Two - Where Do We Want to Be?
Strategic Direction and Strategy Formulation
Focusing on the strategic direction and formulation of your marketing strategy will help you to get your business to where you want it to be. Above all, it will highlight the marketing and environmental factors your business is likely to encounter.
Mission and Objectives
The development of a mission statement is the starting point for your business strategy and marketing activities.
Your business objectives related to products and markets will be driven by your mission statement. Therefore, the statement needs to be clearly developed.
Your business objectives may be affected by factors including the environment.
In this respect, a PESTLE analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legislative and Environmental) will help you identify changes which need to be taken into account when setting your business objectives.
Market and Environmental Analysis
The environment in which your business exists is constantly changing.
This change brings with it opportunities and threats which will affect your business overtime.
This necessitates a continual environmental monitoring process, planning system and business structure that is capable of radical change to minimise threats and seize opportunities.
In consequence, this will help to identify a strategy for matching your businesses capabilities with the demands of the environment.
Segment, Targeting and Positioning
To maximise your businesses competitive advantage and serve your target audience effectively you need to position your business accordingly.
A policy of market segmentation, targeting and positioning is pivotal to success.
In other words, by categorising your potential customer wants and needs you can adapt either your product or a marketing campaign to satisfy differences in customer tastes and demands.
Accordingly, the outcome of this analysis will allow you to target your customers much more effectively and position your business accordingly.
The Formulation of Strategy
Your business should be viewed as portfolio of products and services. Where each aspect of the business is monitored. Decisions can then be taken to either develop, maintain, phase out or delete products and services that are no longer profitable.
Having identified the strengths and weaknesses of the product portfolio you will be in a stronger position to identify a generic strategy for developing your business, for instance, overall cost leadership, differentiation or focus.
Therefore, the decision on which strategy you choose will be based on your businesses capabilities and competitive advantages.
Stage Three - How Might We Get There?
Achievement of your business objectives is made through the 7Ps of the marketing mix.
The marketing mix encompasses the development of products and services to meet the needs of target audiences, communicating the benefits to the target audience and ensuring the product and service are available at the right place, price and time.
Product or Service Strategies
Encompasses: product quality, image, branding, features, support, customer service, availability, warranties.
Pricing Policies and Strategies
Encompasses: positioning, discounts, credit, payment methods, free or value added elements.
Promotional and Communication Plan
Encompasses: marketing communications, personal promotion, sales promotion, PR, branding, direct marketing.
Encompasses: trade channels, sales support, segmented channels.
Encompasses: individuals employed in marketing activities, individuals employed in customer contact, recruitment, culture, training and skills, remuneration.
Physical Evidence Plan
Encompasses: sales/staff contact experience of brand, product packaging, online appearance
Process Management Plan
Encompasses: customer focus, business-led, IT-supported, design features, research and development.
Stage Four - Which Way is Best?
As a business owner you will want to make the most effective and efficient choices possible and approach to evaluating your marketing decisions.
Criteria for Choice
Specifying the criteria against which choices are made is crucial for the overall success of your business. The criteria may include financial and non-financial considerations, as well as marketing inputs and outputs. We’ll work with you to make the right choices for your business in line with your overall objectives.
Evaluation of the available choices may include using financial modelling approaches. However, there are limitations as financial systems can only measure what can be measured. In marketing there are other matters that cannot be reflected in financial models. For example, matters may include risk and uncertainty, policy, portfolio, product positioning, We’ll support you in deciding which approaches are best for your business.
Stage Five - How Can We Ensure Arrival?
Strategic Implementation and Control
Problems to Overcome
If the implementation of the strategy competes against any internal pressures your business is facing, for example, coping with crises, reacting to competitors’ activities, internal politics, individual career needs your marketing efforts are unlikely to succeed.
The effectiveness of implementing your marketing strategy and plan requires the resolution of two opposing forces. The forces of integration (pulling together) and segmentation (pushing apart). Consequently a number of key elements within your business need to align with the strategy and plan, for instance, leadership, culture, structure, policies, human and physical resources, evaluation and control procedures.
The existence of a control process will identify where your business stands in relation to a future position. Progress towards your overall business objective can be observed, measured and redirected if any gaps appear in your actual and desired position.
Identifying the key success factors that reflect your businesses most important objectives will provide a basis for establishing appropriate performance measures, determining the allocation of resources and establishing a reward structure.
A basic control system includes marketing audits, budgeting and variance analysis.
Other Marketing Strategy Services Offered Include:
Any of the above strategies can be used in franchise development.
Everything we do is backed by research
A recent report indicates that the top challenges facing marketers include strategy formulation (deciding what to do) and strategy implementation (doing it). Further information can be found here.
Book A Free Business Strategy Review
Take advantage of our free business review and we’ll give you the feedback you need to pursue your business aims and objectives.