A marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services. A marketing strategy contains the company’s value proposition, key brand messaging, data on target customer demographics, and other high-level elements.

A thorough marketing strategy covers the four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.

Increasing revenue or sales is one of several common marketing objectives. Companies often employ this objective initially to build a customer base and, as time goes on, to generate cash flow or turnover merchandise near the end of a season. Several specific marketing techniques work well in driving sales.

Product Diversification Strategies

Marketing and product research are elements of marketing aimed at increasing the desirability of your offering for the target market. This includes development of “new and improved” products. Companies often update and launch new versions of successful products, such as the Apple iPad or the Sony PlayStation, as a way to drive sales from users satisfied with previous versions.

Additionally, companies can leverage a strong brand to expand into other similar or unrelated product categories. This allows for increased sales to existing customers who trust the company brand and reputation.

Market Diversification Strategies

An alternative to diversifying your product is to diversify your markets. This means attracting new customers with an existing product or format. Companies with successful high-end products may offer a lower- to mid-range option for economical buyers to attract a new market. This may not offer the same profit potential as high-end solutions, but it provides access to a new market and higher sales volume.

Different Sales Promotions

One way to drive sales, often at the expense of short-term profit, is the use of sales promotions. This includes an array of price-driven promotional offers to attract budget-conscious customers. Coupons, percent-off discounts, rebates, giveaways and buy-one-get-one free offers are among common promotions. This technique is commonly used by new companies or existing companies trying to generate fast cash or clear out inventory. Overuse can negatively impact long-term profitability and brand image, though.

Integrated Marketing Communications

Traditional advertising, through broadcast, print and digital media, is typically used to implement long-term marketing communication objectives. With the increased use of the internet and other digital tools for content consumption, small-businesses should integrate a variety of promotional tools into their messaging. These can include social media campaigns, texts, email blasts, website banner ads, native advertising and sponsored content and video.

One way to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing communications is to have your staff ask customers how they heard of you.

Increased Quality Control

When consumers and businesses buy products and services, they assume risks. One way to reduce the risk and increasing buying activity is to offer assurances about the customer’s experience. Product or service guarantees and warranties are two common assurances offered by manufacturers and resellers. A guarantee or warranty simply means that if the customer has a dissatisfying experience, you offer a refund, free product or service, free repair or some other form of retribution. Offering these safety nets, along with flexible product returns, allows customers more carefree buying opportunities.

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