There are many different models for building your business – and different still for each aspect of it. Marketing Strategies are no exception and many models have developed over the years of studies and explorations. The Marketing Strategy Model(s) you choose should not only be relevant to your company, industry, and products/services, but should help you repeat the process and improve upon it regularly.
So, which one should your business use? Like most things: it depends…
There are many different options (including several more than listed here!) that you can choose from, but yours will be based on what your company’s goals are. Of course this is in addition to the factors mentioned above.
Some of these can combine with others while some are strong on their own. Check out these explanations and see which one is most relevant for your business.
The STP Marketing Model gets us started with some basics. While it looks simple, a lot can be encompassed within these three letters. Segmenting your audience means identifying the people in your audience in a way that makes sense to market to them.
For example: you run a SaaS business that helps small and mid-size companies. Sending emails that cater to and discuss start-ups versus emails that cater to scale-ups can be a helpful way to segment them.
Now you can ‘target’ them appropriately – especially if you’re running ads. Choosing exactly what you want to say to the right people will have an impact on whether it’s relevant to them or not.
Positioning, however, can be expanded very widely if you really want to…but essentially this is where you want to tell people why you’re different. Your “USP” if you will. This can also include the way you speak to the customer. You’ll notice Rolex speaks to their prospects very differently than Nike, for instance.
The SOSTAC model is a fantastic method to maintain a regular view and review of your marketing. It can be a guide to help you stay on track with what your activities are, why you’re doing them, and what they’re producing. You’ll notice – as are several of these methods – that it’s circular. You want to regularly run these questions through your strategies to ensure you’re heading in the desired and planned direction.
‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’ – Benjamin Franklin
The plan you create should answer the questions above. Take a look at where you are, where you want to go and how, what the big picture looks like, and what you need to do to get there. Be sure to include the who, what, when, where, and why’s in the tactics and action pieces especially.
Once you’ve run through all of the activities required, take stock of where you are by the numbers and do it again! This should be at least an annual practice unless you put out new products or services frequently.
The classic SWOT analysis. This will give you an overall picture of your company, products, and/or services you’re looking to create. You will evaluate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats as a company. The example above will help guide you in knowing what to consider for each quadrant.
Sometimes thinking out of the box in this exercise will help a great deal. Not many banks anticipated bitcoin becoming as popular as it is and may be an even higher consideration now than it was even 10 years ago. This would be an an example of a threat to their business. Knowing what could be to your detriment is just as important as knowing your strengths.
Determine each aspect of your products or services to understand your position in the market and prepare for any potential blocks or boosters to success.
Porter’s Five Forces
This model may appear a bit complicated, but the examples within each aspect will clarify for you and your company what exactly the external forces are. It will help you zoom into the “Threats” aspect of the SWOT analysis. You’ll explore all about the other companies doing what you intend to do, consider potential products or services that could be to its detriment, and understand who would purchase.
For example, Blockbuster was in complete denial that the streaming service industry would get as big as they did. They neglected to evaluate new technologies as beneficial to their business and it was to their own downfall. They lost funding and could not continue as a business, despite its size in the 90s-early 2000s.
Diving into these aspects are great if you’re looking to launch a new product or service. It can also help you understand a new market’s target audience like a different demographic or region.
If you’re looking to expand into a new region or create a new product in a new demographic, this is the model for you. The PESTLE Analysis helps guide you through all of the aspects of a culture, demo, market, etc.
Take an in depth look into your target audience’s Political, Economic, Social/Cultural, Technological, Legal, and Environmental aspects. If you are currently marketing and operating in the UK now targeting France or the Netherlands, what are the legal requirements? What kind of social norms will you need to consider?
Moving into a new market can have big risks or big rewards. Being cautious by evaluating every one of these aspects will be your protection against a costly mistake.
Growth Strategy/Ansoff Matrix
The Ansoff Matrix is a group of marketing strategies that was designed to help companies analyze and plan their strategies for growth. Each quadrant is a strategy on how to enter markets with products. Depending on the status of the product in its industry, it could be more or less risky to produce it as a company.
This is why determining the best plan of action is important. You can base it off of your findings in this exercise and decide which way to enter the market that is least costly and risky. If you’re looking to grow your business and its products, take a look at the market situation and determine if the risk is worth it to you before you decide how to move forward.
Boston Consulting Group Matrix
Designed by the Boston Consulting Group (surprise, surprise) more than 40 years ago, this matrix is designed to help you have a method to manage your portfolio of products. Working best with D2C businesses, this will be a way for you to ensure your products are getting a regular evaluation. Without knowing where the market share and demand is, you’ll be burning through money.
Over these 40+ years, the speed at which companies churn through ideas and products have been cut in half on average. Even though you should be moving quickly through your product development and ideas, the goal is to maintain a balanced portfolio throughout the matrix.
7 P’s – Marketing Mix
Previously known as the 4 P’s, it has been updated (like most things in Marketing) over the last few years. Originally there was only Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Now widely accepted, the 7 P’s have been developed to add a layer that was much needed in Marketing. The reason being, we know that we need to focus more on the three most recent additions for our Marketing Strategy: People, Physical evidence, and Process.
While these three additions are important, they play a role in the overall plan you’ll want to create to encompass all things Marketing. You’ll notice that this is also a cycle because you will regularly need to refresh your plan based on the market, sales, and customer needs.
Kotler’s Five Product Levels
The five product levels model identifies exactly what products are important to customers and what you could create that will have a higher likelihood of success in the market. This marketing strategy should be used if you are looking to enhance your current product or create a new one.
This process will help you identify exactly what is unique about your product, why people might want it, and what the primary benefits are. You’ll also be able to see what products might be able to be created in the future. For starters, look at what your customers are asking for.
If you’re looking to develop a process that helps you focus more on (social media) engagement, check out the RACE framework. This funnel developed by Smart Insights works well together with our first model: STP. Creating a segment is useless if you don’t know who you’re targeting and why.
They key here is to focus on creating content that your readers want to receive, share, or comment on. It’s much easier to remember a brand that engaged with you than the ones that constantly try to sell to you.
This model will be your constant reminder that learning what the client wants should come first, not the other way around. Remembering this will get you to your goal of helping others with your products or services much more quickly.
Choose your Goal First
No matter what marketing strategy you choose, ensure it is something that will benefit your company long-term or repeatedly. Having to re-create a process each time you want to learn more about your market, the less likely it will get done or done right. Know your goal(s), create a plan, and know how and when to execute it and you’ll be on the right track.
If you would like help choosing which direction to go, you can always contact me for Marketing consulting.