A Reality Check On Your Marketing Strategy

A Reality Check On Your Marketing Strategy



The 'Marketing Strategy' is​ the​ way we have come up with for achieving our marketing goals and it​ should include two mandatory elements:

- Which target consumers whom we can reach,​ hold a​ viable potential to​ buy whatever we intend to​ sell?

- What is​ the​ offer (the entire marketing mix) we will be presenting to​ these consumers in​ order to​ appeal to​ them and thus realize the​ said potential,​ given their alternatives?

You must not think of​ these as​ two separate questions but rather as​ two parts of​ the​ same idea. Let me clarify. What are "target consumers with a​ potential to​ buy"? These are consumers (a sizeable enough group with buying power) likely to​ desire what you​ are offering. Why would they want it? That is​ the​ potential that you​ are supposed to​ identify. There may be several reasons. For example,​ maybe they are not consumers of​ your kind of​ product yet,​ however,​ they might be if​ something happens,​ or​ if​ they are exposed to​ a​ certain message. it​ could be that they have special needs or​ preferences,​ which up until today were not catered to​ by any of​ your competitors' offers (and don't forget that psychological,​ social,​ aesthetic needs are real needs). Maybe they are bored with what they routinely buy. When you​ identify such a​ situation,​ you​ know that the​ potential is​ there.

Identifying potential is​ only the​ initial stage of​ your mission,​ of​ course. Your strategy would also have to​ include something that you​ are going to​ offer these consumers that might improve their situation in​ a​ certain way,​ solve a​ problem,​ give them more than what they already get for the​ same price,​ or​ open new opportunities for them. in​ short,​ something that will motivate them to​ buy from you​ and thus materialize the​ potential.

The 'Marketing Scenario' is​ a​ synopsis of​ the​ logic of​ your marketing strategy. in​ the​ same breath,​ it​ also enables you​ to​ make sure that that logic really works. the​ 'Marketing Scenario' translates the​ 'Marketing Strategy' to​ simple everyday language. How will it​ happen in​ reality? How will the​ materialization of​ marketing goals occur? I don't know whether or​ not you​ have already sunk in​ this fact,​ but marketing goals are achieved through customer acts. So,​ let's assume that we install a​ webcam with enhanced psychological insight capabilities inside the​ market and that it​ captures the​ materialization of​ our marketing plan,​ one purchase after another.

What is​ the​ 'Marketing Scenario'?

The 'Marketing Scenario' is​ an​ amazingly simple tool to​ use: Only four questions. Are you​ jotting this down?

1. Who are the​ people who we believe have the​ potential of​ buying what we intend to​ sell? Yes,​ these are the​ same people we so often refer to​ as​ the​ 'Target Consumers'. First,​ we must define our targets. What do these people have in​ common that makes them probable prospects (in the​ sense that they are likely to​ be particularly interested in​ our offer)? We could use demographic,​ socioeconomic,​ psychographic,​ as​ well as​ lifestyle descriptions. Note that at​ times,​ we target not a​ specific group but a​ wide almost indefinable group of​ people in​ a​ specific mood,​ a​ specific situation,​ or​ a​ specific need or​ state.
Make room for another possibility. you​ can target not a​ defined group of​ consumers but rather a​ state of​ need/desire or​ a​ consumption context shared by many diverse consumers at​ one time or​ another.

2. What precisely should they be doing (that they are not doing already and will probably not do if​ we will not intervene),​ that would direct them to​ eventually choose our brand specifically? it​ is,​ by the​ way,​ the​ first and only objective of​ branding. What do they have to​ do so that your marketing plan will materialize (even before the​ actual purchase)? Do they have to​ go somewhere? to​ call? to​ agree to​ meet your salesperson? to​ stop and pick out your product from the​ shelf? Which activity,​ which does not occur today,​ would lead them in​ the​ correct path on​ the​ way to​ buying?

3. What is​ the​ sound reason that should motivate them to​ change their behavioral inertia? How will they benefit from that change? Why would you,​ in​ their place,​ buy what you​ are offering? you​ can think of​ it​ as​ your differentiating factor (what makes you​ differentially better?),​ or​ as​ your competitive advantage (what makes you​ comparatively better?),​ according to​ your preference. What could make their situation better compared to​ their current standing and to​ the​ other options available to​ them in​ the​ market?

4. How exactly will they extract the​ benefit (that which answers question 3) according to​ your marketing plan? That is​ not a​ repeat question. Notice that the​ third question dealt with the​ 'why' of​ the​ target consumer's planned motivation,​ and now,​ we are trying to​ understand the​ 'how' of​ your marketing plan. How are you​ planning to​ provide the​ benefit defined in​ the​ answer to​ question 3? If,​ for instance,​ you​ said before that you​ are making something more accessible,​ easy or​ comfortable for them,​ now explain how it​ will become more accessible,​ easy or​ comfortable,​ due to​ you​ product.

Let us look at​ an​ example: the​ introduction of​ Palm Pilot to​ the​ market. O.K.? Just the​ main points:

1. "Residents" of​ the​ business community,​ gadgets fans,​ who manage a​ dynamic,​ constantly changing schedule,​ and have not yet embraced the​ electronic organizers,​ or​ were disappointed by them because of​ their being laborious to​ update and generally unreliable.
2. ... will step into the​ nearest office equipment store and ask about the​ Palm Pilot.
3. ... because at​ last there is​ an​ organizer which is​ not only sophisticated,​ small and wonderfully shaped,​ but is​ also easily kept up to​ date and preserves the​ stored data when damaged or​ when upgrading to​ a​ new model
4. ... because the​ Palm Pilot can 'converse' with the​ PC,​ making the​ updating process a​ simple task to​ perform,​ as​ well as​ enabling creation of​ backups which could be easily transferred on​ to​ the​ next generations of​ organizers.

That is​ what the​ 'Marketing Scenario' is​ all about. All you​ have to​ do is​ answer the​ questions. Be precise. Be thorough. Be honest. Do it​ in​ writing. Even if​ you're absolutely sure that the​ answers are positively clear to​ you​ and there's nothing to​ be gained. Only when your 'Marketing Scenario' is​ totally translated to​ a​ written text,​ should you​ go on​ and proceed with the​ brand development process. Otherwise,​ you​ will get trapped along the​ way,​ and don't say I didn't warn you.




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