When it comes to young entrepreneurs and launching products, the importance of an efficient marketing strategy shouldn't be underestimated. Good business concepts and brilliant products are the foundation of a successful business, but it’s also important to have a very clear understanding of how everything is going to perform, and how you can achieve success fairly quickly and avoid confusion.
First of all, a light must be shed on what strategic marketing consists of. Doing this will save a lot of time and money which can be spent later on further developing your business and improving your product.
On many occasions, startups don’t realize how crucial marketing planning is. This is mainly because they want to save money - which is understandable, especially when financial resources are limited. However, marketing is not something you should cut your spending on. Here are 5 ways of implementing a cost-effective marketing strategy.
One of the cheapest methods that is also the hardest to do is to build a virality component into your strategic marketing planning. That's how Dropbox, Hotmail, Eventbrite and Snapchat acquired millions of users with almost no money spent on marketing. Virality for both startups and product launches depend on two things though. Time and viral coefficient. One cannot work without another. Let's imagine it as a simple graph with one line representing time and another is the number of your user signups. By implementing this method you'll be able to generate your viral coefficient. For instance, if it's 1, it means that you will get a linear growth which presumably will retain your users. If the coefficient is 1.1 or above, there is a chance to achieve an exponential growth. It might sound complicated but it works. The easiest method to measure the user's likelihood to recommend your product is to use a simple test asking people about how likely it is that they recommend your product or service to a friend by applying a score from 1-10. Obviously, the higher result you receive, the higher chance you get to achieve exponential growth.
The second way, and probably one of the crucial ones, is that you must do your research and treat it with respect because it will most definitely pay off. It might sound obvious, but surprisingly there are many cases where startups skip this step because they are overconfident in their product success and assume that there is nothing new to learn out there. It is always worth looking and checking up on your competitors, even if you are certain that you know your industry well. There is no such thing as being too clever. Then, try to find a couple of good readings and case studies. You might find something that may seem old fashioned, but with some valid points because some things never get old. For modern research, look up recent industry trends such as content marketing, social media, and SEO, and apply them to your marketing strategy.
Number three for strategic marketing planning is taking into consideration some environmental factors. This will help to determine whether it's the right time to launch your service or product because those factors can affect your business in a good or bad way. In both cases, you want to be ready for that. Check all recent government actions. Make sure that your company is protected from legal issues. On the other side, it is worth checking how it can benefit your strategy. Consider everything from subsidies, safety and operational regulations to licensing requirements and price controls. Staying up to date with what's happening in society can be useful too. Demographic changes in education, age, and income can significantly benefit your planning or warn you on something you should avoid. Cultural trends can work depending on the product/service you offer.
The next key element is to be honest with yourself and your enterprise. An honest appraisal of the strengths of your company is a critical factor in the development of your strategy. Estimate the capability of your enterprise to make critical decisions without undue influence from distributors, suppliers, creditors and unions. The enterprise's infrastructure must be healthy in terms of organization, recruiting capabilities and employee benefit programs because success will only come when your team is motivated and you have the best specialists.
Last but not least is the strength of your customer services. Its function has a strong influence on long-term market success. Things do not always go as planned, thus, you have to make sure that there is always access to your service and ensure you have reliable technical support.