The Simple Business Plan – Marketing Strategy

Your Marketing Strategy is how you’ll sell your product and services as well as to whom.  You’ll have to define your ideal customer and in doing so also identify who is not your customer.  A common marketing problem for a business is that it tries to be all things to all people.  You’ll need to develop a sharp focus on exactly who your customers are and align that with what make or provide.  This will ensure that your sales are focused on the right things resulting in more sales.

How do you accomplish this?

Your Marketing Strategy is defined by three things:

  • Your target market
  • Your value proposition (market differentiators)
  • How you provide your product or services

Target Market

This is the definition of who your ideal customer is.  You are identifying not only who but where you find them and what they are.  A common method is that many companies use a shotgun approach to identifying their target market.  While common among startups, over time, this method is inefficient.  You’ll want to develop a more laser focus to your target market which in turn will be more efficient and productive.

Value Proposition (Differentiators)

This is what makes you different from your competitors.  You don’t want to be the same, and the differentiation that you define is what makes you unique in the marketplace.  By being unique, you improve the value of what you sell by standing out.  In this step, you want to develop as many differentiators as possible.  At the same time, you don’t want too many.  Ideally having three to five differentiators as your value proposition presents a strong front for sales.

These differentiators are what you excel at; they are what you do best.   An ideal way to help you determine these is to ask your existing customers.

Provide Product and Services (Your Process)

This can be the simplest part of your marketing strategy to document.  It is how you do what you do.  Often companies use polished sales presentation that tells what they do.  Salespeople use words and psychology to win sales.  You don’t have to do that and shouldn’t.  Ideally, you want to show what you do.  You want to tell your customers HOW you do things.  By documenting your “How” you can then turn it into a picture, a visual representation that shows your customer what you ho and how you do it.  Think of the motto of the State of Missouri – “Show Me.”  Think of the old saying, “actions speak louder than words.”  This is what you are doing in this step; you are creating a visual message that clearly and simply communicates what and how you do what you do.

The information you’ve identified and assembled above will become your Marketing Plan.  You’ll know each of the key areas of Target Market, Market Differentiator, and Process,  and as a result, be able to target your ideal customer.

Next week we’ll address People as we help you design, develop, and execute your business plan.

The Series So Far:

The Simple Business Plan

The Simple Business Plan – Mission, Vision, and Values