Why SMEs should have a marketing strategy

 

Effective marketing, for any company, starts with a considered, well-informed marketing strategy. A good marketing strategy helps businesses to define their vision, mission and business goals and outlines the steps to take to achieve stated goals.

 

Before moving onto the why, one must understand exactly what a marketing strategy does. It affects the way a company runs the entire business and so it should be planned and developed in consultation with the entire company. It is said to be a “comprehensive strategic planning tool” that

●      Describes the business, products and services

●      Explains the position and role of products and services in the market

●      Profiles the customers and competition

●      Identifies the marketing tactics to be used

●      Allows the business to build a marketing plan and measures its effectiveness

 

A marketing strategy helps to set the overall direction and goals for the marketing, and is therefore different from a marketing plan that outlines the specific actions that will be taken to implement the marketing strategy.

 

Some benefits of a good marketing strategy for SMEs include

●      Providing the business with focus and direction by identifying the best opportunities worth pursuing as well as the threats to be avoided

●      Identifying the tools that the company can effectively use to “fight competition” and eventually gain market share

●      Saving the company’s time and money by focusing resources on attracting the right employees and investing only in marketing initiatives that support the overall business objectives

●      Differentiating the company from the competition by identifying the distinctive advantage and supporting elements

●      Translating company’s vision, mission, objectives into effective marketing initiatives

●      Serving as a foundation for all communication campaigns

●      Improving the effectiveness of the marketing message to customers and partners

●      Increasing sales and profits

●      Creating consumer preference for the brand

 

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES

 

Streamlined Product Development

●      Helps to create products and services with best chances of making profits

●      Marketing strategy starts with a marketplace research - taking into consideration optimal target customers, competitors and common (current) business trends

●      Determine what customers and clients want / how much they are willing to pay / how to differentiate product and services from the competition

 

Helps Determine Optimal Prices

●      Setting the right price for products and services based on the research done previously

●      For example, if the company has learnt that customers want a high-end product in the category, the pricing strategy might require the business to sell at prices that create a high-end perceived value

●      On the other hand, if the target customer is bargain conscious, one pricing strategy would be to sell at or below the competitor’s price

 

Establishes Effective Distribution

●      Once it is clear what product features are being offered, who the target customers are and what the prices would be - the company can select where to sell the products and services to maximise marketing effectiveness

●      For instance, younger customers will be more likely to shop using a smartphone or on a computer. Older customers, on the other hand, might prefer to shop at retail outlets

 

Assist with Marketing Communications

●      Marketing research will help to create the brand and image that the company wants established

●      A marketing strategy lets the company determine if a type of marketing communication fits into the selling plans

 

Organisational Impact

●      With a marketing strategy, the different departments can better work together as they are all working from the same plan

 

 

Let’s not forget that marketing is one of the more exciting aspects of running a business when you plan and conceptualise well! Putting in time and effort into researching, planning, stress-testing and getting help from different channels will help you get one step closer to achieving your business goals. 

 

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