A marketing strategy is the angle at which a company approaches their customers to bring in business. There are many different types of marketing strategy, and some of them will be more suited for a certain kind of company, while others will be more appropriate for another.
Overall, a strong marketing strategy is one that effectively combines various marketing communication tools and serves the needs of the targeted customer. It's always important to focus on customer needs and organizational capabilities when selecting a strategy to execute.
Let's take a look at types of marketing strategy:
In the past, marketing was a discipline with a primary focus on transactions. It was very short term and didn't really create much value for customers. In recent decades however, we see that most types of marketing strategies try to implement an overarching type of marketing strategy which we call 'relationship marketing'.
Relationship marketing focuses on building long-term customer relationships. With relationship marketing, organizations consider the lifetime value of their customer and strive to offer better services, higher-quality products, and meaningful long term relationships.
Over the last few years, relationship marketing has included a greater use of social media, an increased focus on customer relationship management, as well as implementing corporate social responsibility.
The goal today is to make a memorable impact on the consumer. Regardless of the specific strategies you chose to implement, you always want to make sure that they satisfy the customer relationship in the long-term.
Internet technology has undoubtedly changed the way that businesses go to market. There are a wide range of tools now available for the smart marketer, let's consider the main ones:
Large-scale media events are a good time for brands to appear on the scene and make themselves relevant. Real-time marketing is when brands create or join online conversations during large events to create a buzz on social media. Examples of these events are the Super Bowl and Academy awards. This is a good strategy to create brand awareness and liking because brands can associate themselves with something that the consumer is already interested in.
Real-time marketing takes advantage of the online buzz surrounding these large events to reach a wide audience.
People want information that solves a problem for them by teaching them to do something or that even entertains them. Content marketing is when brands share expertise that is designed to inform and engage with customers. Content marketing involves tools such as e-books, blogs, how-to-videos and webinars.
Content marketing provides value to consumers by provide a free resource that essentially helps to motivate them to buy your paid products in the future. The content you provide builds trust and gives them a taste of the great things you have to offer.
Check out this useful guide by Moz to help you create an awesome content marketing strategy.
Social media is one of the best tools you can use to grow your business and attract customers. Why? Because it's free!
We've talked about real-time marketing, an avenue that utilizes social media marketing. But social media is a valuable tool for a wider range of approaches.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow you to share posts such as videos, images and infographics and these can in turn be shared by audience members who love them and want to show them to their friends.
If you have a budget, you can also create ads on social media that further the reach of your posts. Social media can be used to deploy campaigns and to monitor, measure and respond to questions, comments and inquiries.
Here are 3 top tips for creating a powerful social media strategy:
Partnership marketing is when brands collaborate for greater success.
The whole idea of a partnership marketing strategy is for the brands to create formal associations between them that will result in more business for both brands than could have been achieved separately. Brands with similar customers but different distribution channels can combine marketing expertise and use each others strengths to build brand awareness.
A partnership marketing strategy generally requires these 3 steps:
Partnership marketing can be short-term or long-term. A long-term partnership arrangement is known as a strategic alliance. A strategic alliance extends beyond short term promotional offers into long-term business agreements.
An example of this is the SCENE and Scotiabank strategic alliance. SCENE members collect points for movie theatre purchases that can be redemeed for future purchases (like getting a free movie), and Scoiatbank Visa credit card holders earn additional points when they pay with their Scotiabank Visa card. How does each side benefit? In it's first 14 months the SCENE loyalty program built a database of a million customers and Scotiabank ganed 100,00 new bank accounts from the program.
Partnership marketing is effective.
A market segment means a piece of the market. In marketing, there are two main market segments: the business market and the consumer market. Let's look at these main types of marketing strategy:
A business-to-business marketing strategy involves the marketing of products to companies, governments or non-profit organizations for use in the creation of goods and services that they then produce and market to others.
B2B marketing techniques rely on similar principles as B2C or business-to-consumer marketing. However, a key difference is that consumers generally choose products based on price and other emotional factors such as popularity and status, while business markets focus solely on price and profit potential.
This is a type of marketing strategy that most people are familiar with, and perhaps what they usually think of. B2C marketing is business-to-consumer and it involves the promotion of products and services to consumers. When you are marketing to a consumer, you want to focus on the benefits from an emotional perspective (again, this is a key difference between B2B and B2C). Another difference is that consumers usually expect a variety of distribution channels for convenience. B2C is the most commonly used strategy out of the two.
Here are market segmentation strategies used for B2B and B2C markets:
A mass marketing strategy is when a product with broad appeal is widely marketed to the entire market with no product or marketing differentiation at all. This approach is seen less frequently today (due to competition), but can be found with items such as fruit and vegetables (e.g. broccoli) that are sold to all target groups with no variation from either a product or marketing perspective.
Segment marketing involves the marketing of a wide range of different products and brands to specifically meet the needs of an organization's varied target markets. Marketing professionals approach each segment differently, after fully understanding the needs, lifestyle, demographics, and personality of the target customer. For example, a company that sells running shoes might have a range of products of men, another one for women, and a line for children, with each range of products adapted to the specific needs of each segment.
Niche marketing is a strategy where a company restricts its efforts to marketing a limited product line to a narrow but profitable segment of the market.
A business that focuses on a niche is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. Targeting a niche market gives you the opportunity to provide products and services to a subset of a larger group that may generally be overlooked.
This article highlights some useful considerations when defining a niche market.
Internet technology enables marketers to reach consumers more directly through individualised marketing. Individualised marketing can also be called personalised marketing or one-to-one marketing and it involves customising offers and sometimes products to fit individual needs. Individualised marketing can result in an improved customer experience when companies are able to direct customer to exactly what they need. This strategy can involve tools like personalised emails and product recommendations.
Think of marketing in terms of push and pull. Inbound marketing is pull, whereas outbound marketing is push. Inbound marketing is focused on drawing potential customers in, rather than pushing out a brand or product. Digital marketing usually is focused on inbound marketing strategies such as content marketing, social media, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), in an attempt to attract people's attention. Inbound marketing uses owned and earned media (that a business owns e.g. a blog, or PR that is freely-generated), while outbound marketing is based on paid media.
An outbound marketing strategy is generally associated with paid media such as TV advertising, display advertising, and pay-per-click advertising. This type of marketing strategy aims to directly promote a product or service and is quite costly compared to inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is based on one-way communication. In the marketing world, inbound marketing is increasingly viewed as superior since it facilitates interaction and provides something useful to the customer.
Influncer marketing is one of the more new and flashy marketing strategies, because it works brilliantly in an era when people practically live on the web. Influencers are people with huge followings on the internet. They might have a huge number of followers on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or another channel. Influncer marketing is a great opportunity for companies who want to reach out to their target market through individuals that the target market respects and ardently follows. With influencer marketing, one size doesn't fit all. It's important to tailor your approach to the specific influencer and keep in mind the values of their audience before approaching them.
Transactional marketing is essentially the opposite of relationship marketing. You should know about it, but it's likely not something you want to implement since it just won't cut it anymore. Transactional marketing focuses on one-off sales rather than customer loyalty and retention. It aims to boosts the number of individual sales, but it is not as effective as relationship marketing because it does not consider the customer lifetime value, and how the company can please a customer in the long-term. This is where transactional marketing loses out - when a customer feels fully taken of, not just at the point of sale, they'll keep coming back and keep increasing your revenue.
Affiliate marketing is one of my favourite types of marketing. Affiliate marketing is a performance-based strategy, where a person earns a commission by promoting another person's products. When it's successfully carried out, it's a win-win situation because the brand sells a product and the affiliate makes a percentage on the sale. It's a reward and incentive for the publisher/affiliate's hard work in promoting the product. Companies can create their own affiliate programs as a way to get their product in front of more people. Two very popular online affiliate websites are Amazon Associates and Commission Junction.
Direct marketing is a promotional method used to promote a product or brand to the target customer without the use of an advertising middleman. Examples of direct marketing include phone calls, coupons, emails, catalogues and targeted online display ads. Direct marketing aims to compel the customer to follow through with an action such as visiting a website, calling for more information, providing their personal information for a quote, or straight-up making a purchase. Direct marketing is useful for allowing marketers to directly measure the results of a campaign. This type of marketing is also called direct response marketing.
Email marketing is an effective digital marketing strategy that involves sending emails to prospective customers. A well-executed email sequence can turn prospects into customers, and then turn these customers into loyal fans.
Email marketing is highly effective because:
A successful email marketing strategy starts with targeting the customers you want on your list. With tools like MailChimp, companies can create a sign-up form on their websites or create attractive landing pages that motivate potential customers to join their email list.
Word of mouth marketing, also known as WOMM, or simply WOM, is a type of marketing strategy that relies on our basic human desire to share things that trigger a reaction in us, whether good or bad. Word of mouth marketing encompasses the whole range of discussions and recommendations that occur whether it's face-to-face or online through social media. In today's hyper-connected world, a single recommendation can have a greater impact than ever before, so companies deploy word of mouth strategies to capitalize on this opportunity.
A great place to start with word of mouth is your employees. Companies can turn their employees into brand marketers through promoting a positive work environment and engaging them through demonstrations of the brand's/product's benefits. Treat your employees well like your other customers, and great things will happen - they'll spread the word - what's particularly special is they'll be able to excellently describe what sets your brand apart.
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As you've seen, there are many types of marketing strategy that companies can choose to implement. The first step is to do your research and see what would fit for the business and target customer. Most of the time, brands use a combination of the above strategies for maximum impact.
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