In the information age, it is nearly fatal to approach a business venture or company idea without having a marketing strategy. It is and will be the key to your success to a degree. In turn, your ability or lack thereof to implement successful marketing strategies will often make or break your venture.
Marketing is defined as those actions that you take to bring potential customers to an awareness of your company’s existence. It also includes the promotion of the products or services that your company offers to potential customers. In essence, why they should buy them from you. In one sentence, “We are company A and we make product X for target audience Y.”
There are a lot of different aspects to successful marketing, and there are several different ways something can be marketed, with a different strategy for each. The focus and driving foundation of your personal marketing strategy should be one of making absolutely sure that your products and your services actually do meet customer needs and wants. You can’t just do this once either.
Your marketing also has to create and develop long-term and profitable relationships with those customers too, so they come back for more products and services in the future. To accomplish this goal of marketing, you will need to create, test, and then implement a very flexible strategy that can thusly respond to changes in customer perceptions and demand as the years go by and as tastes change. Your marketing strategy would also be considered very well put together if you can use it to investigate and scout out whole new markets that you can successfully target.
Marketing Strategies Definition: a combination of business goals, online company information, competitor analysis, and other digital data that provides recommendations for best ROI on marketing efforts.
The benefit of a successful marketing strategy is that it seeks to target key consumer segments and groups. Being able to identify and locate these groups and their needs through market research. It then addresses them more successfully than your competitors are doing, that should be the focus of your strategy and that will be where marketing can be most effective.
Successful marketing allows you to keep an eye on your strategy and your business and how you are getting customers. Successful marketing is a constantly moving, shifting, and changing machine. Different customers will hear about you and want to buy from you because of different marketing techniques as the years go by. A benefit of a good strategy is one that can shift and adjust with the times.
When putting together a marketing plan, there are specific instructions. Go over your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Take a close look at each one and how it could affect your marketing strategy, for better or for worse.
Marketing is being called the number one most important business and entrepreneurial tool of the 21st century. It is, rightly so too. It is the driving force behind so much of what makes a business successful. Lack of it can cause a business to fail. These are the most important tools and tricks here, as the success or lack thereof, your marketing campaign will often make or break your business. For some statistics on the importance of marketing:
When you are putting together a marketing strategy, your own personal strategy will be totally key and totally outfitted for you and your business alone, but that does not mean that there are not a few general points and tips to keep in mind when putting together such a strategy. That said, keep the following key aspects in mind when putting together your strategy:
At its very core, marketing is about effectively promoting a product or service to an audience. When marketing’s done right, people are dazzled and excited, not coerced or brainwashed, into purchasing the product or service. When it’s done poorly, the results can be embarrassingly laughable or, even worse, forgettable.
Let’s look at some of the world’s top companies dominating the marketing realm. Some of the companies listed below have been doing it well for decades, showing the longevity of a successful marketing approach.
Coca-Cola’s origin story is already a good place for marketers to start. Any creator mixing alcohol and cocaine together and trying to sell it to the public is gutsy! The sugared, carbonated concoction it became still turned into a success. Over the decades, the trademark logo and bottle design have provided a sense of consistency. Additionally, this drink has become intertwined with the classic image of Santa Claus. The image of a rotund man with a red suit and rosy cheeks holding a Coca-Cola made Santa a real person who gets thirsty after a long day of gift hauling. Ultimately, the marketing for Coca-Cola is larger than the product; it’s about the merry experience and the nostalgia you feel when you have a Coke.
The biggest changes to the Coca-Cola brand came with the “Share a Coke” campaign, starting in 2011 in Australia and subsequently spreading internationally. Essentially, the Coca-Cola label is replaced with “Share a Coke with” and a person’s name. Coca-Cola printed 250 of a country’s most common names. It was the consumers’ job to find the names of the people for whom they were buying the Coke. Eventually, the company added more names as well as nicknames and song lyrics. You can even personalize a name on a bottle you purchase online. Most recently, Coca-Cola has made the “Share a Coke with” part a sticker, which you can put on your t-shirt or photo album as a memory and also use to win prizes. The campaign encourages an experience of people spending time with each other and enjoying a Coke.
Simplicity of brands is key. Marketers need to be creative without confusing their target audience. Using an identifiable image of an apple was all Apple needed to say, much more concise and precise than when Prince tried to change his name to a symbol, resulting in the long-winded “The artist formerly known as Prince.” Even former CEO Steve Jobs’ signature attire was jeans with a black turtleneck.
Apple knows how to showcase its sleek, compact products with colorful accents and silhouette-inspired TV commercials that blast catchy pop tunes. While the hardware has struck a chord with millions of users, the hardware is the shell of what Apple really wants to promote—its apps, interfaces, and services. In fact, Apple’s senior VP of marketing showed off the very first iPhone, saying this piece of glass is what will launch Apple’s new software. At this point in time, Apple’s users are devoted fans, purchasing multiple pieces of hardware that sync all of the apps, chats, photos, and videos that matter to them.
Amazon is an e-commerce giant. The company targets a wide range of people. Given the wide range of products it sells it is still able to find ways to target specific customers. One of its marketing components is to scale easily from small to large. When looking at Amazon’s history, you can see just that: an online shop for books and music becomes a place for clothes and household items, which then becomes a place for video streaming, which becomes a food mogul. Its concept of Prime was genius, eliminating two of the hassles of online shopping, shipping fees and wait time, and combining that with the ever-popular streaming method of TV watching. Essentially, Amazon takes simple things people want and need, tying them up in a box of convenience and making them accessible to the masses.
Nike has the consistent, easily recognizable swoosh and slogan “Just Do It.” Nike has been able to make the average person capable of athletic feats with a simple pair of sneakers. Focusing on image and a way of life are at the heart of the company’s marketing. Staying on top of market research has allowed Nike to see the change in its decades-long run. For example, the team spirit of sports that inspired Nike’s original line started to move toward an individualistic style. This led to its late line of shoes in the late 1990s that customers could personalize and monogram. Right before the 2017 Grammy Award broadcast in the middle of Black History Month, Nike launched an ad campaign.
This campaign had an important social message on many consumers’ minds. Celebrities brought to light the value of equality on and off the field. Nike even went so far as to partner with organizations whose mission is to bring about equality in communities.
Netflix brought Blockbuster and much more directly to your home. Now you never again had to “be kind and rewind.” The slogan “Watch Instantly” stated exactly what its customers did. Netflix’s original shows and customers’ binge-watching behavior became very popular. So much so that “Netflix and chill” became its own code. Eventually, Netflix used the slogan for its own marketing purposes. Showing its playful connection to its customers.
In 2011, Netflix took a hit with its perception and customer base when its prices significantly rose for DVD users. What was more jarring, perhaps, was its rebranding from one entity, Netflix, into two. The new entity, Qwikster, was just for DVD rentals. Many changes came without prior warning. The idea of simplicity was lost here, causing confusion and angry feelings. The same situation happened with “New Coke” in the mid-1980s when Coca-Cola tried to compete with Pepsi. Marketing mishaps happen. The strength of both companies showed in their swift follow-up moves (e.g., quickly eliminating the disliked products).
These five marketing giants share the following elements in common, which can inspire other companies on the horizon:
Marketing is one of the most important parts of any business plan. It stands in as being a key and crucial, driving factor in any business venture. It can make a business very successful, or it can tank it. Be sure to understand marketing strategies well as you begin your journey to success in your business adventure or check out one of our other great marketing services.
We understand, and we’re here to help. Talk to our experts and get a recommendation.