There are many reasons that a firm should have a marketing strategy. However, making a successful marketing strategy requires several ingredients, which have to be seasoned and then harvested for the best results. The number of competitors are increasing for any business and hence the need for marketing strategy is even more then ever before.
A successful marketing strategy is one which brings the best result for the organization, regardless of the number of pitfalls faced by the business on the way. A successful marketing strategy also assumes, that there would be hindrances to the implementation of the plan. Such a strategy always plans for the “Ifs and Buts” of the business world.
The following are some of the points to be considered to design a marketing strategy for success.
1) Develop goals and objectives
Imagine for a moment, that you are running a business. However, you do not know what is the profitability levels you want to achieve, or what should be the ideal profit ratio of a firm in your segment? If you do not know the objective of running your business, then how will you know whether the business is running good or bad.
When I started an E commerce business, I was clear that I should get 40 orders a day. No less, and no more. Consequentially, I was dissatisfied whenever I used to get 20 orders a day as my goal was not getting achieved. I knew that at the end of the month, I will not be satisfied with what I have earned. This dissatisfaction pushed me even farther.
If you did not develop any goals or objectives for your business, then you will not have the fire to push your business even further. If you don’t know your destination, what pace will you apply when walking on the road?
2) Involve your key personnel
Below is an excellent image which I have always wanted to share with people who are non believers of delegation. Whenever you want to achieve something, you need to involve your key personnel.
Ultimately, when you are implementing a marketing strategy, you want people other then yourself in sync with the strategy. This ways, you ensure that you yourself are not the bottle neck due to which the process has been delayed. If you give the decision making power to others, and involve them in the strategy implementation, then it can lead to to a successful marketing strategy.
3) Always keep a long term vision
Many a times, the short term business problems are so tough that you forget your long term vision. Any company, which has been caught doing unethical work, has lost the long term vision it had. It succumbed to the pressure of short term business, and hence forgot completely what it wanted to become in the long term.
A long term vision, gives you purpose to move forward in a balanced manner. For the success of your marketing strategy, you need to plan 3 years, 5 years or even 7 years down the line. And then keep that long term vision always in your mind.
4) The strategy should penetrate from top to bottom
In the article on marketing strategy vs marketing management, I had mentioned the fact that marketing management involves a bottom to top approach, wherein the first question is asked from customers. On the other hand, marketing strategy involves a top to bottom approach wherein the decisions are made at the top and then communicated down the pyramid.
However, if the communication is not passed on, it can leave your employees power less to take informed decisions. For example – a company decides to walk out of a region because of certain external reasons. Now, the same thing is not communicated to the employees in that region. This leaves dissatisfaction in the minds of the employees as well as the channel partners. And if the reason for leaving is not communicated, and the brand wants to enter the region later on, it will find establishing itself to be slightly difficult.
5) Control bureaucracy
With too many long time people in the organization, or people who want a organization to run only the way they want it, flexibility is strangulated and young people, or people with creative solutions to tough problems, will not be allowed to express themselves freely.
Once this starts happening, the organization becomes lethargic, with the same tried and tested methods being implemented, and without any innovation or changes happening at the product level. At such times, controlling the bureaucracy is critical for the implementation of a successful marketing strategy. A firm cannot advance forward if it is not flexible or creative in its product approach.
6) Resistance to change
A marketing strategy is ultimately ready for any possibility. Hence, many a times there is a complete restructuring done to achieve the goals of marketing strategy. At such times, there would be resistance to change observed at all levels of the company. Managing such change resistance is important for the organization.
Once change is implemented, employees become dissatisfied with it and several might leave the company altogether. However, change is important for the company if it wants to achieve its goals. And at such times, the company has to minimize the damage done on an employee or customer front whenever a restructuring is happening. Managing resistance to change and retaining employees can give a boost to the company morale instead once everyone becomes adjusted to the change – thereby resulting in the success of marketing strategy.
7) Do not outsource strategy development
There are many firms out there who will design your strategy for you. You need to take feedback from third parties, yet the responsibility of finalizing the right path and the right strategy lies with your company and its directors only.
The reason why outsourced companies should only be used for research and analysis is that the market environment is constantly changing and the strategy needs to change along with it. Having in house strategy driven employees who steer the company to the right course from time to time is better then having external and outsourced employees who wouldn’t have the required attachment with the firm.
8) Do not make it too complex
There are too many things which can go right or wrong in an business environment. Ultimately, you have to take it as it comes. Forecasting too much and keeping your eyes only on the future will create problems in your current business situation.
A firm is meant to make profits from its products. That’s the most simple definition of why a company or a firm exists. By making the process and the marketing strategy too complicated, you are making yourself inflexible, which will cause problems when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Overall, the above 8 tips are importance for a successful marketing strategy to be implemented.