Marketing Strategy Template Basics
1.Distinguishing Marketing Strategies and Tactics
Real stumbling block to effective marketing is not knowing the difference between these terms. Let’s review what they mean:
A strategy is a broad plan derived from environmental analysis that is designed to achieve a company’s objectives.
A tactic is one of many actions used to execute the strategy. The distinction is important. If we have an existing product and we want to sell it that is a tactic. If we want to know if buyers of our kinds of products (e.g., business planning software) are regular internet users and, if so, how they use internet, we are on the road to developing a strategy. We could give value to our community by having reviews of new tools, tips on using tools and links to sites that sell software we don’t make.
At its heart, a marketing strategy template answers the question: Why should our customers buy our product (or service) and not our competitors’? The strategy will later form the heart of your marketing plan for that offering.
2.Setting Marketing Strategy Goals
Strategy happens on several different levels within an organization. In big companies, people create strategy at:
- the corporate level
- the strategic business unit level
- the product level
In many smaller companies, strategy creation may take place on all three levels simultaneously. In fact, a product manager developing a market strategy at a small firm might not only ask, “How should we market this product?” but also “Should we be offering this product at all?”
In creating a marketing strategy for a product, your main goals are:
1. to answer the question: “What’s our product’s competitive advantage?” Or, from the customer’s perspective, “What need would this product or service fulfill more effectively than any other similar offering?”
2. to shape your marketing strategy to ensure that the product does fulfill the customer’s expectations, needs, and desire.
To achieve these goals, you should have the following information:
- your target market’s size and typical behavior (its demographic characteristics)
- the primary benefit of the proposed product in the consumers’ minds
In addition, you will need to estimate the sales, market share, and profits that the product could generate in its first few years on the market plus establish the planned price, distribution strategy (how you’ll get the product to customers), and marketing budget for the first year, project the product’s long-run sales and profits.
Marketing Strategy Template Matrix
A firm’s context, or position in its market, has significant implications for strategy, and the marketing strategy matrix is a prescriptive template that links marketing strategy to market context. The matrix can be used to identify these implications and make sure the strategy reflects them.
You can use this tool for generating strategy or for reviewing strategies proposed by staff or operational managers. The prescriptions of the matrix are based on a compilation of many studies of marketing strategy, and while not 100 percent valid in every situation, they can be expected to be valid in most circumstances. Deviations from the prescriptions of the matrix should be justified by an explanation of how the situation differs from the norm.
Marketing Strategy Template Matrix Example
Here are the instructions to follow in order to create the marketing strategy temlate matrix.
Identify the context by delineating possible strategic situations.We have chosen to illustrate five strategic situations on our marketing strategy template.
1. Market development. Early entry or technical leadership makes a company a pioneer in its market.
2. Market domination. The leader in an established market. Holds an advantageous and influential position.
3. Differentiated advantage. A firm (not necessarily the leader) has a sustainable advantage such as low cost or patent protection.
4. Market selectivity. Characterized by segmented buyer wants and many small firms addressing these wants. Local service businesses such as restaurants are good examples (segmented based on price, menu, and location).
5. No advantage. The other situations all imply a strategic advantage or at least the potential to create one. Sometimes there is no immediate or obvious basis for creating an advantage.
List generic strategy options in the marketing strategy template matrix.
1. New product development
2. Segmentation and targeted marketing
3. Product positioning through research and marketing
4. Sales and marketing productivity improvement
5. Acquisition or merger
6. Harvest or divest
Use the marketing strategy template matrix to:
- Identify feasible strategic options given a specific market context
- Evaluate marketing plans and proposals to see if their underlying strategies are realistic given the marketing situation
As a recap, here are the procedures to follow when using the marketing strategy template matrix.
- Select one of the five generic strategic situations that best describes the marketing context for your business and product.
- Use the matrix to identify applicable strategy options or to see whether a strategy is appropriate for the given situation.
Fill in the marketing strategy template matrix with your own data and thoughts at the intersections of each strategic situation and strategy option.