Marketing Strategy

This article orinally appeared in the "Marketing Tip of the Day"newsletter. For more information on MTOTD, see the end of the tip.
Today's Tip: Develop a Marketing Strategy

By Ira M. Pasternack

Before you do Internet marketing, or any other type of marketing, you need to have a marketing strategy. Marketing includes many different functions,including researching and identifying needs, developing a product orservice which fulfills the needs, choosing the proper vehicle(s) to deliver the product/service, managing the quality of the product/service,promoting and advertising the product/service, customer service, and of course sales. Your marketing strategy should address each of these functions.

This tip will help you develop the basics of a marketing strategy.Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is beyond the scope of this tip, but this will help you organize your thoughts and at least form the basis of a solid strategy. If you already have a strategy, use this tip to improve or revise your strategy.

Steps to Carry Out the Tip:

1. Make a list of your products and services. Also, list potential new products and services, based on your skills and resources. After you make your list, go through it and write down the need that each item fills.Also, make note of how you may need to modify, improve, or replace products of services as time goes by.

2. Make a list of your competitors. Determine how their products and services compare to your own. Also, assess how your competitors promote their goods.

3. Think about any gaps in the market, needs that people have that are not being met by you or your competitors. Consider adding products or services to your list in step #1, but only if you feel you can meet some of the currently unmet needs.

4. Put together a profile of your customers and potential customers.Where are they located, what do they do, how much do they spend, why do they need your product? What do your customers have in common with each other?

5. Based on who your customers are and what you are selling, consider as many different ways as you can to promote your products/services. Make a list, and then determine the most cost effective means to reach your customers. Take into account the methods used by your competitors.

6. Based on what your products or services are, the habits of your customers, and the methods of your competitors, determine the best way to sell your product. Consider how you will close the sale with potential customers, how much you should charge, and how you will deliver your goods.

7. Remember, your job is not done once the sale is made. For most products and services, repeat business is much more lucrative than new business. Keeping your customers coming back depends on how well you serve their needs after the sale. Make sure you are prepared to deal with problems (even some that you may consider unreasonable).

List Owner/Editor - Ira M. Pasternack, Clearly Internet
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