A Complete Guide To Market Strategy
Every entrepreneur understands that a new day presents opportunities and challenges in equal measure. The changing consumer patterns dictate that companies and individual innovators must continuously explore avenues for increasing their customer bases, modifying existing products to meet consumer trends and retain previous customers.
The thing that separates companies offering similar products is the type of market strategy they adopt for their operations. Each company needs to set short-term and long-term goals to increase revenue streams to the company and tackle any challenges that arise after launching delightful products.
This article describes everything that an entrepreneur or company needs to know about a market strategy. It provides tips for establishing and strengthening market penetration approaches through the life cycle of the product. The article outlines some of the factors that companies should pay attention to when designing a product-specific market strategy. In the end, innovators gain valuable insights for growing startups and scaling already existing businesses effectively.
Use marketing to introduce new products to consumers
What is a market strategy
Marketing strategy is a plan that entails any publicity interventions that a company undertakes to reach its proposed target markets. The aim of a market strategy is to generate leads and position a business on a growth trajectory. It applies to both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) models.
The benefits of a market strategy are immeasurable and vary from one business to the other. Some businesses use short-term market strategies to launch disruptive products and services. For others, a long-term strategy is essential as they already have a reasonable presence in consumer markets and focus on effectively serving their clients.
Aside from that, companies can establish a market strategy for brand awareness if they are relaunching a product with additional features. The company has to explain how a change of brand images relates to the value propositions, quality and the competitive advantage of products.
A market strategy keeps everyone in the company at par, providing them with relevant information regarding product promotional activities, tips for engaging target audiences and customers and ways to strengthen public relations.
It is easy to identify a business whose growth is built upon a robust marketing strategy. Establishing a long-term business goal has been instrumental in sustaining some of the world’s leading brands that continue enjoying a favourable market segment over their competitors. Automotive companies across the world understand the pain points of the different markets they serve. Some focus on producing luxurious vehicles for the super rich and can sustain their businesses by selling a few units every year. On the other hand, some automakers focus on affordable and reliable brands, manufacturing several millions of vehicles every year. Both scenarios explain how companies define consumer problems and structure the product roadmapping activities differently.
At the moment, automakers across the world are exploring ways to shift from the reliance on fossil fuels. Most brands are rushing against time to develop sustainable e-mobility vehicles. There’s a proof of concept that electric engines can perform better than their internal combustion counterparts. As it stands, there is an existing market segment. However, a few brands are already spearheading the revolution towards electric mobility by establishing and implementing futuristic market planning and penetration strategies.
The early success of some of these companies is giving them a competitive advantage over their rivals. That does not mean that new entrants have no space in the sustainable mobility consumer markets. Innovators can conduct research and identify persistent consumer challenges, create a suitable market strategy and launch a disruptive solution or technology that will see them compete favourably against established brands.
What is the difference between a market strategy and go-to-market strategy?
A market strategy and a go-to-market (GTM) strategy sound similar and contribute to the success of a business. The former is more of a marketing plan for wooing more customers and reaching wide consumer markets. GTM addresses the company’s quest to launch a new product or service. It tests the interests of target markets to acquire and use specific products new to consumer markets.
A GTM strategy focuses on a sole product well a marketing strategy encompasses everything from product branding, supply chain and distribution channels, long-term value addition, pricing strategies, marketing channels and sales enablement. The latter provides comprehensive details on how the company will manage future business expansion changes, variations in consumer trends and innovative marketing actions. It also evaluates the competitive advantage that a product or service will offer the company against its competitors, established or upcoming.
The common elements of a go-to-market strategy are:
- A budget for launching and initial marketing of the new product.
- Pricing strategy for a new product release.
- A plan for potential customer journey maps.
- Primary marketing tactics.
Who can use a market strategy
Although there is no definite formula for designing and updating a market strategy, anyone willing to introduce a new product can utilise it to achieve personal or business goals and objectives. Any of these categories can adopt a strategy to grow their market segments.
- Innovator or startup company launching their first ever software or hardware product.
- Companies that are diversifying their existing product catalogues.
- Established companies that are in the process of rebranding.
- Innovators building on early product success to speed up concept development.
- Companies or individuals relaunching consumer products with advanced innovations.
- Established companies introducing their brands in a new market. Take for example, a company operating locally and wishes to expand its business regionally or globally. The company must develop a market strategy to guide operations against a wider customer base.
What a market strategy does
Are you considering to scale up the operations of the company or working on a new project and uncertain if there is a need for a marketing strategy? It is a powerful tool for companies and individuals to estimate revenues based on consumer engagement. A business strategy enables you to:
- Set business goals and establish metrics performance indicators to measure success over time.
- Identify target audiences and measures for attracting them.
- Analyse the behaviour of consumers and tailor products to give them maximum value and delightful user experiences.
- Outline the features and benefits of the new product.
- Establish appropriate communication channels, content marketing strategies, social media engagement and incentives for customers enrolled in referral programs.
- Estimate the amount of effort required from different team members working on the launch and distribution of the product.
- Identify measures for driving sustainability and overcoming stiff competition from local and global peers.
Who is responsible for creating a market strategy
Most marketing strategies are customer-sided. Companies focus on expanding the market segments by the day. The revenue that the company earns is directly proportional to the quantity of sales. It means that whoever is responsible for creating and updating a market strategy needs to establish measures for acquiring new customers, retaining old customers and enhancing engagement through digital marketing and a variety of marketing mixes.
In a typical production facility, the marketing department is responsible for activities revolving around lead generation, product launches, brand promotion and awareness and continuous customer outreach. However, modern product and concept development requires a holistic approach to improve the chances of market success. Everyone in the company becomes responsible for product planning and distribution.
From the onset, the marketing department works hand in hand with the production team to ensure that the ideation and concept phase is a success. The marketing team provides information on the preferences of customers and how the company’s products rank against those of competitors. The production team analyzes this information and utilises it as feedback to improve the quality of products, to improve acceptance by consumers immediately they land in consumer markets.
Therefore, it is vital for the marketing team and production team to work together when crafting and executing a market strategy for any kind of product. It is upon both teams to decide who takes the lead.
Types of Marketing Strategies
We understand the different companies establish a marketing strategy to achieve specific business goals. In each case, the company is looking to introduce a new product or improve their share in existing markets. Which are the most popular strategies that companies leverage to grow the businesses and how do these plans vary in terms of investment and scale of activities?
Marketing strategies increase business success
Product Development Strategy
It is a strategy that companies enjoying loyalty from customers utilise to create and introduce new products to them. Such companies rely on the cordial relationship they have with existing customers to introduce similar or better product offerings.
Take for example, a utility company having a city-wide power distribution network wishes to provide internet services to its customers. The company conducts research to identify how to introduce a fibre optic network without the need to invest in additional infrastructure.
A product development strategy involves a lot of research into the preferences of customers and their willingness to invest in a new product or service from the same company. Companies that offer excellent services and customer support have an easy time creating awareness around the newly developed product.
When working with this strategy, the company needs to invest in research and development. They need a solid proof of concept to ensure the proposed product meets the requirements and the needs of their current customers.
A product development strategy requires time to develop and test the quality of products before offering them to customers. This strategy could be risky to implement if the product in question is costly for the customer or requires heavy monetary investment that could derail the quality of the core product. The company or individual needs to conduct thorough research and ascertain that the existing customers are interested in the proposed product or service.
Market Penetration strategy
Companies conduct a pilot product launch to establish how consumers interact with their products. With that, the company establishes a customer base and begins the process to build the trust of existing customers and expand their reach. The market strategy focuses on activities that boast in the loyalty of customers, increasing the sales quantity and attracting fresh customers.
The product management team increases product awareness through digital marketing, social media campaigns, Google ads, search engine optimization or display ads while expanding the distribution of products. The company can also improve penetration by increasing the usage frequency for the new products.
A market penetration strategy could involve promotions like discounts for bulk purchases which attracts customers from the direct competitors. The company can also introduce loyalty programs where frequent users receive favourable discounts, after-sales services or redeemable points that they can use for future purchases.
The market penetration strategy is a low-risk endeavour since the company is working with well-known figures. It has a clear understanding regarding the existing customer base and production patterns. The strategy offers a quick return on investment and the company can proactively estimate sales and monitor the growth of customer sizes with the introduction of the different marketing techniques.
Once in a while, a company resolves to deal with new products in an entirely new consumer market. The company creates a new business stream by developing an innovative solution with the hope that it will attract new users.
It is a risky market strategy that involves developing new products from scratch. The product undergoes a full product development life cycle beginning with a user research and a SWOT analysis on the viability of the product supporting business goals and objectives.
A diversification market strategy requires time to materialize since the company is working from the unknown. There is literally or no data regarding the interactions of customers with the proposed product or the level of reliability and performance of the new product. The company must invest in concept development, prototyping, planning and continuous market research before they turn profitable.
Market development strategy
After a product launch the company acquires a specific market segment. The initial success pushes the company to scale up its marketing effort and expand sales by introducing current products to new consumer markets. The marketing efforts enable the company to grow beyond its initial operational locations. The company steps up from a local geographic market to a regional or international market.
The market development strategy requires vigorous product awareness campaigns and the streamlining of production, logistics and distribution channels to satisfy the ever-growing consumer demands.
When using this strategy, the company should research the different statutory requirements on product quality, type of packaging and consumer instructions since consumer regulations vary as the business expands beyond borders.
Using this market strategy has a few risks. The preferences for customers in the new markets could be uncertain. The company needs to invest in brand awareness and tailoring the marketing considerations to satisfy the beliefs of the target audiences. It may take longer for the company to recoup its investment when it begins selling existing products in the new markets.
Effective Marketing Strategies
After identifying a business need, working on concept development and setting goals for the new product, the company begins engaging with the target audiences and markets. There are several marketing strategies that different companies can use to drive product sales depending on:
- The type of product
- Marketing timelines
- Target market consumer trends
- Desired marketing mix
You may be wondering, is there a difference between a target audience and a target market? Aren’t they the same thing? Although the two are interchangeable in marketing circles, they have different meanings and are valuable for the business.
A target audience represents a large group of individuals or businesses likely to buy a company’s product or service. A target audience could be the target market. It also includes a few individuals who can extend product referrals by word of mouth about a product or service from a given company.
The target market represents a specific group of people who will use the product or service by the company. Usually, the end-users are the ultimate target markets and share similar characteristics. The target market could be people living in a specific geographical location, individuals with certain skill sets, age groups or people earning certain income levels.
Consider a company dealing with beauty products. A company like that will develop a market strategy to reach individual consumers and beauty service providers. The consumer and the service provider are the target audiences. When it comes to the actual utilization of the product, it is an individual who decides which product to use. The end-user becomes the company’s target market. The service provider, in this case, comes across an advertisement regarding a unique beauty product in the market. They internalize the contents of the advert and share it with their customers, who then decide whether to buy the product or not.
Developing a marketing strategy requires access to vast amounts of data. Like product development, the marketing team should keep abreast of the dynamics of the target markets and make decisions based on the preferred business models. Some companies utilize a business-to-customer marketing strategy, while others prefer the business-to-business model. Below are some of the marketing strategies that entrepreneurs can use to cast their nets wide and improve the prospects of the products.
Effective marketing strategies
Social media marketing
Advances in social media are disrupting engagement between companies and their target markets. Consumers rely on social media platforms to access valuable information about products, provide feedback on the quality of certain brands and deliver unbiased product reviews. Similarly, companies use social media to improve brand visibility, enhance traffic to their websites and share relevant information about new products to millions of potential clients.
Companies in the social media presence curate engaging product content with search engine optimization to improve its relevance. Existing customers and potential clients share this content with others in the networks. Companies can create videos, audio, image, or text content for social media marketing.
The most popular social market networks include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. This marketing strategy is gaining popularity because it provides cheap means to increase lead generation for new and existing products. The social media platforms have tools that marketing teams can use to analyze content reach, evaluate long-term progress and conduct marketplace predictions.
How can companies capitalize on the loyalty of their customers to boost sales and attract more customers? Some companies offer incentives to their customers through free products, discounted prices and loyalty points. The customer goes ahead to advertise the credibility of products from the company to others within their social circles.
Using referral programs for marketing creates a sense of instant satisfaction among customers. Verifying product purchases allow the company to expand the target markets systematically.
Adopting referral programs as a market strategy leverages first-hand recommendations of satisfied clients who are eager to authenticate products, strengthen brand loyalty and reinforce the retention of long-term customers.
Not all marketing strategies focus on selling a product. Innovative companies prefer creating educational content which indicates the target audiences and impacts their consumer behavior. The company structures the marketing content to educate the masses on the benefits of using certain products and gain maximum value from them.
Content marketing involves creating blogs, website content, ebooks, white papers or podcasts that outline the benefits of using certain products and how they influence customer workflows and experiences. This marketing strategy is flexible and allows the company to continuously modify marketing content depending on consumer behavior and the effectiveness of the content in creating additional buying leads.
Companies using content marketing can grow their brand visibility by posting the content on authoritative consumer platforms. It enhances the credibility of brands and allows curious individuals to comprehensively understand the features and the value of a particular product before purchasing. The company can monitor the number of clients accessing the content and estimate the prospects of increasing product sales.
It is among the best marketing strategies that a company can leverage to attract and engage potential customers. The company’s marketing department strives to attract the attention of a particular market segment and redirect them to the company’s website where they access insightful product content.
The customer enjoys access to relevant marketing content available on verifiable company websites. The strategy minimizes interruptions that may limit customer attraction and retention.
Inbound marketing is appropriate for a business of any size or type and enables customers to make informed choices since the marketing content targets a specific consumer category.
It is a traditional market strategy that enables sales agents to engage directly with the consumers. The company shifts the distribution of products from a retail setting and commissions individuals who visit customers at the residential or business premises. The sales agent demonstrates to the customer how the product works and the benefits of purchasing it. Such a market strategy limits the company’s reach but boasts of higher turnover.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
When it comes to digital marketing, companies understand the importance of maintaining an online presence. Digital marketing is necessary since more consumers adopt digital tools to access product information and purchase them. Websites remain popular among companies and are crucial for increasing potential buyer leads. They are the primary contact points between the clients and the company.
SEO improves the visibility of a website. It enables the company to rank websites on the first pages of the different search engines available in the market. SEO enhances the relevance of company websites and continues to evolve. It simplifies online searches for customers looking to purchase a particular product. This marketing strategy is cost-effective and increases the awareness of a company.
Paid media advertising
It is an effective marketing tool that enables the company to grow its website traffic by paying for advertisements on social media platforms and websites. The company develops a pay-per-click link that appears when a customer visits certain web pages or searches for a product in any search engine.
Curious customers click on the links, redirecting them to online shops or company websites, accessing the information on the product they are looking to buy. The company pays a small fee for every click on the advertisement and when the customer makes a valid purchase.
One way for companies to engage and attract more customers is through virtual and physical trade shows. Companies selling similar products gather for a trade fair and peach to the potential customers on the type of products they sell. During the trade show, ebony demonstrates how the products work and their benefits to customers. In the end, potential customers select a brand that suits their needs, is competitively-priced and is readily available in the market.
Companies can generate leads by sending out emails to potential clients. Email Marketing involves sending product brochures, articles or technical specifications of consumer products to prospective clients. The content aims to influence buyer behavior and increase traffic to websites.
When dealing with email marketing, keep the content short and easy to avoid interrupting potential buyers. Sending the emails frequently could cause the potential clients to mark them as spam, turning the marketing campaign futile.
External Factors Affecting the Establishment of a Market Strategy
Developing a market strategy is not a one-off thing. The market strategy could be successful at the early stages after the product launch. It may fail to match the challenges occurring as the market segment grows and demand increases. It is critical for the company to carefully evaluate external factors that may affect the reliability of a market strategy. The company can use the following analysis methods to create a foolproof market penetration, expansion, or diversification strategy.
- SWOT analysis
- PEST analysis
- Competitor analysis
A SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that companies can utilize to evaluate their position in consumer markets and make necessary adjustments to streamline their preferred market strategy. A SWOT analysis is crucial for analyzing internal and external factors that may challenge the long-term vision of the product in question.
SWOT analysis explores the strengths and weaknesses of a product. They are internal aspects of the business that include product quality, branding, cost of production and product roadmapping. These are factors that the company can control. It also evaluates external opportunities and threats. Does the target market promise to grow over time, or will it stagnate after the product launch? How does the product compare to what direct competitors offer?
Evaluate internal processes to identify strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on the strengths and use them to grow the competitive advantage over rival businesses. If the company excels in communication, make it a priority to share product marketing content through the appropriate communication channels. Try to identify a unique selling point for the company’s products. Encourage proactive participation among company employees to enhance brand promotion and awareness.
Fix any weakness that impedes or slows down the company’s marketing strategy. Some of the witnesses could be difficult to fix. However, innovative companies can convert these weaknesses into opportunities to grow the business.
When working on a market strategy, opportunities can arise from any direction, giving the company a chance to scale up sales and increase the sizes of its target markets. A good business opportunity could be an expanding market, emerging trends that align with the vision of a product or events that increase the purchase of your product.
Responding proactively to these opportunities is integral in strengthening the company’s competitive advantage and popularity of brands. Acting quickly to market changes promotes customer loyalty and continuous business development.
External threats can make or break a business. Threats are in the form of external competition, statutory regulations, geopolitics or technological advancements that impede the quality and success of a new product.
When working on a business strategy, leave room for uncertainties and threats that can appear at any stage in the product life cycle and threaten business continuity.
Product development revolves around human users. Every activity from the design stage to marketing should focus on the end-user. It explains why companies should invest and research them to understand how market trends and conditions vary from time to time. Human behavior and activities directly affect the purchase of different consumer products. PEST analysis looks into the following external factors:
How does the political environment look? Are there product-specific regulations that the company must pay attention to during production distribution and marketing? Politics has immense effects on company operations. Political factors may favor or impede the success of a product in a particular market segment. Companies should be aware of the political landscapes and analyze how political events impact the performance of the marketing strategies.
Companies should also evaluate economic growth rates, fiscal policies, inflation and exchange rates when developing the marketing strategy for their products. These economic factors affect the purchasing power of consumers and dictate how customers are willing to spend their money on products or services. Few people will purchase a luxurious brand when there is an economic meltdown. The marketing strategy should cater to product distribution during harsh economic situations.
Social factors revolve around cultural beliefs, personal attitudes, population growth, social classes and information consciousness among the target markets. Social factors affect the design of consumer products and strategies that the company adopts to distribute products for specific target markets.
A marketing strategy should accommodate the customs and social beliefs of the target markets. Companies leverage social norms as a motivation for creating appealing consumer products that will address user needs.
Technological changes drive innovations in different industries while eliminating the prospects of other products. Technology can add or lower the value of a product or a service. A robust market strategy has provisions for the company to update marketing activities and integrate advanced technological solutions to improve the quality of products and serve customers better.
The prosperity of a business depends on how innovative and flexible it is against its direct and indirect competitors. The competitor could be a company offering the same product or are targeting the same target market as your business. Performing a competitor analysis before establishing a market strategy is essential. The company can identify the weaknesses of its competitor in terms of product quality or consumer engagement and capitalize on them to expand the market segment.
Competitor analysis provides the company with information and effectiveness of their marketing strategies and enables it to establish an advanced marketing campaign. If the competitor relies on direct selling alone, improve the company’s content and social media marketing to reach more potential clients.
Competitor analysis enables the company to design a sustainable pricing structure acceptable among consumers and guarantees business continuity irrespective of the consumer market trends and dynamics.
Tips for establishing a robust market strategy
A business strategy is the surest way for any company to grow and sustain its business, setting it apart from its competitors and establishing itself as a reputable brand. We are aware that the type of product and the behaviors of the target markets affects the strategy that the company utilizes. Either way, businesses and entrepreneurs must adopt a plan that guarantees a high return on investment and minimizes the risk of failure. Use these tips to refine and strengthen your market strategy.
Set a goal
In product roadmapping, the product manager creates a vision for a product. In marketing, the team responsible needs to set goals and monitor the progress of the marketing strategy. Is the aim of the company to increase traffic to the product websites? How can the company compare lead generation to revenues?
For any company to increase sales, it must scale up the marketing campaign. The company must build influence over its target market and proposed target audiences. Utilize modern technology to improve the quality of marketing activities. Use social media to increase the company’s reach to target consumer markets. Some technologies that can improve market strategies for different products include social media marketing, display advertising, affiliate marketing and search engine optimization.
Create a consistent marketing schedule and avoid bombarding clans with repetitive marketing content.
Don’t stop innovating
Each company must review its marketing strategy over time. Products will likely enjoy success in the short to medium terms. With time, the company may struggle to reach its sales targets and grow market segments due to technological changes or stiff competition from new market entrants. The company needs a plan for continuously innovating and improving marketing strategies to match the changing times and satisfy the dynamic consumer needs.
Invest in research
Modern-day marketing is data-driven. The customer provides instant feedback while the marketing teams work on the numbers. They focus on increasing sales and delivering the right products at the right time to the right consumers. After developing a market strategy, don’t stop researching consumer markets.
Use social media platforms and consumer forums to identify if consumers gain tangible value from your products and explore how the competitors are fairing. Research on ways to improve customer engagement.
When developing a product, the company already knows who to reach. They create buyer personas to explore the behavior of the target markets, their pain points, personal interests or social beliefs. The market strategy is a bridge for companies to reach the target markets. Companies should keep track of progress from the moment they make the first product sale to exit from the consumer market. Understand how buyer trends evolve from time to time. Keep statistics on customer retention over a fixed amount of time. Use digital tools to accurately track valid leads and their direct contribution to total revenue.
Analyze if lead generation increases revenues
Any company can develop a marketing strategy to achieve its business goals and objectives. Use a marketing strategy to spark curiosity among target audiences and create brand awareness for your products. A detailed market strategy provides several tools for the company to control internal factors of production and distribution while protecting it from external factors beyond its control.
A market strategy should complement the company’s vision and outline the components of success clearly for everyone in product development and distribution to understand. Ensure you review the market strategy frequently and update it to reflect the changes in market dynamics and consumer demands. Focus on delivering delightful products to your customers.