To answer this question, let’s consider a scenario:
- Assume a universe of individuals or organizations – each with a specific need or want.
- A business owner, whom we shall call “Joe the Plumber,” seeks to satisfy the needs and wants of this universe by offering his products and services.
- Joe recognizes that it is not effective to try and satisfy the needs and wants of everyone in the universe. Therefore, Joe aims to serve a specific part or segment of the universe.
- How does Joe decide which segment of the universe to serve? Joe’s choice might involve a quick decision, or, on the other hand, Joe’s choice may entail a more rigorous, strategic analysis of the various segments in his universe. Whatever the case, Joe hopes to realize a positive economic return on his investment of time and money.
- Still, there is an important issue for Joe to consider; that is, other people or institutions may choose to target the same segment of the universe that Joe seeks to target. These other people or institutions would then be considered Joe’s competition. For example, Joe may face competition from “Jane the Plumber” or “Bob the Plumber.”
- How will Joe differentiate his plumbing products and services from the competition? Moreover, Joe wants to elevate his brand of plumbing above Jane’s brand of plumbing and Bob’s brand of plumbing. Joe does not want to “brand” his products and services in an arbitrary fashion. Instead, Joe seeks to create a connection — an emotional connection — with his target customer.
- Are there other considerations for Joe? Yes, sure there are. Here are just a few: Joe must decide how to price his plumbing products and services, how to promote his products and services, how to package his products and services, and both how and when to communicate with his target customer. Should Joe use print advertising, e-mail marketing, social media, or some combination of all or none of the aforementioned communication vehicles? What should Joe do?
- Joe knows that he should not make business decisions in a random or haphazard way. Joe’s decisions need to be based on market research and an understanding of his target customer — all of which are considerations that comprise the fundamental elements involved with developing a marketing strategy. How exactly will a marketing strategy benefit Joe?
A marketing strategy will help Joe create a plan to sell his plumbing products and services in a cost-effective and profitable manner. In short, a winning marketing strategy and plan is critical to Joe’s success. Joe, in turn, hires S.B. Lemons & Company to help grow his business. You should too.
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