Marketing: What is it
and who needs one?
The term business marketing strategy might sound like it is
esoteric or stratospheric, so let’s take the mystery
out of it so you can devise and implement your own business
marketing strategy that fits in to your small business plan.
Strategy comes from a Greek word “stratagein”
meaning “to be a general”. Think of a strategy
as an overall plan of action needed to win a war. The smaller,
detailed actions are called tactics. You can have tactical
plans which help you achieve your strategic marketing plan
or overall business marketing strategy. That’s simple
enough, isn’t it?
A business marketing strategy or strategic marketing plan
is an overall plan of marketing actions you intend to take
in order to accomplish a specific goal for your company.
Start with a goal: $2 million in sales this year; expand into
new premises by a certain date; double the size of the company
in 2 years?whatever the goal may be. Something realistic but
challenging. That's the "war" you want to win. Guess who the
Then work out a simple, overall plan of the major marketing
steps needed to accomplish that (for example):
1. Publish a newsletter for all existing customers and mail
2. Work out 4 special offers in the year and promote them
to all our customers.
3. Set up on-line shopping and expand the web site.
4. Direct mail campaign promoting the web site to all customers.
5. Get mailing lists of (target markets) and do a series of
3 mailings of postcards to them and follow up on and close
You get the idea. Don’t rush this. Do your homework.
What worked in the past? Read up on successful marketing campaigns.
Your business marketing strategy needs to be laid out in the
right sequence and you should have some idea of budget when
you write it. “Run a series of 30 second TV ads during
the Superbowl” might sound like a good thing to do but
can you afford it? On the other hand, when you build your
business marketing strategy you mustn’t try and cut
corners. If you don’t promote heavily, it doesn’t
matter how good your product or service is, no one will know
about it and you will go broke. What really works when it
comes to marketing?
Many business owners don't have a good enough answer to this
important question. I learned by a combination of study and
trial and error.
From my own hard won experience I have discovered that a real
marketing campaign will take into consideration at least the
seven points which are outlined below:
1. Target Your Market
Your marketing will produce the best results for the lowest
cost when you target prospects with the greatest need for
what you offer. Identify the best people to send your postcards
to. Design your postcards to appeal to their greatest need.
If you are able to break down your target market into sub
markets you can then write postcards that specifically speak
to the needs of those people (an example is breaking down
your own customer list into customers who buy most often,
customers who spend the most money with you, customers who
have been your customers the longest and then making them
special offers based on the category they fit into).
2. Create A USP For Your Business USP stands
for "Unique Selling Proposition". It is a statement of what
is different about your company and its products. Your USP
gives the reason people should do business with you. It amplifies
the benefit of doing business with you and your company. My
USP is POSTCARD MARKETING EXPERTS. Create your own USP and
put it on all your promotional materials, invoices, shipping
labels etc. Use your USP to communicate the benefit of doing
business with you and why you are better than any of your
3. Always Make an Offer
Make sure you ask your prospects and customers to do something
when they receive your postcard. By offering them something
you know they are likely to want and giving them a smooth
path to respond on, you are making it easy and desirable for
them to respond.
4. Create and Maintain a Database of The Customer
Information You Collect From The Responses To Your Mailings
Most people who receive a postcard from you won't contact
you the first time they receive one. But once they contact
you, you must create and maintain a database which allows
you to repeatedly contact them with offers to respond to.
Fifty percent or more of many businesses' sales come as a
result of following up with people who were previously contacted,
but didn't buy right away. No kidding, repeat contact does
drive sales. One-time mailings can get response, but are bound
to leave sales on the table. Those sales can be picked up
with repeated mailings.
5. Take Away the Fear of Loss
People don't want to be fooled, plain and simple. Unfortunately
trust does not run high today between customers and businesses
in general. People have been disappointed too many times by
being sold one thing and getting another. A guarantee or warranty
is a good way to reduce or eliminate the customers’
risk of getting something other than what they bargained for.
Guarantees and warranties increase response and sales by reducing
6. Expand Your Product Line
Getting new customers is more expensive than selling to existing
ones. By regularly developing new products and services to
sell to your customers and offering these new products and
services to them, you can expand your business efficiently
7. Test Your Postcard Promotions
Track the effectiveness of your postcard mailings. How many
people responded to your mailing? What dollar amount of sales
resulted from those responses? Is the money you are spending
to attract new business giving you a good return? What can
you do to make your marketing more effective? Change your
offer, headline, price, the timing of your offer. When you
do track the results and improve your response. These are
the points to follow when designing your own marketing strategy.
When you are done, you will have laid out the steps needed
to accomplish your goal using existing resources to achieve
a great marketing ROI (return on investment). After that,
you simply have to get those steps executed and that might
require further planning but it is all in the context of your
main business marketing strategy.