Marketing strategy works best when it is based on sound market research, organization analysis, and group decision making by the management team. Marketing strategy is not a function of the marketing department! It is a vital function of the business as a whole.
“Strategy” comes from the Greek word for “general.” Generals plan and control military campaigns to win battles and wars. Over time military strategy evolved into business strategy, then marketing strategy. But some of the principles are the same.
Effective strategy involves concentrating your resources on your greatest opportunities, taking advantage of competitors’ weaknesses. In combat, smart general concentrate their forces where the enemy is weakest, often using the element of surprise to gain the upper hand. In marketing, smart managers concentrate their marketing dollars, programs, media and messages in areas where they can gain the upper hand, and where competitors are weak.
For example, let’s say you are marketing manager for a small company that makes gutter covers, also called gutter guards. There are dozens of companies spending millions of dollars to advertise their products and claim superiority. How can your small company compete? It must identify a niche where it can be dominant. Maybe you can offer the lowest price. Or maybe you acknowledge that sooner or later all gutters get organic debris in them, so you have an annual gutter cleaning service which you provide very inexpensively – and the first year it’s free.
Usually some dimension of superior quality, lower price, or better/faster service is necessary to distinguish your business from the competition. Your greatest opportunities will always involve building on your strengths, on ways you are better than competitors.
Then you concentrate your resources on those strengths so your brand becomes known for that advantage and customers who want it seek you out. It helps greatly to have an objective consultant working with you as you develop your marketing strategy.
To discuss how Lawrimore can help your business or organization develop a highly effective marketing strategy, please contact us via our online contact form or call 704-332-4344.