A marketing approach is an organization’s overall strategy for selling its products or services.  To develop a marketing strategy that works, you need to deeply understand your business, customers, competitors and market.

Does this sound overly technical and downright daunting? Building a marketing plan isn’t as intimidating as you might think. Plus, you don’t need a degree in marketing to figure it out.

To take your business to the next level, here’s a list of 7 marketing tips you should follow.

1. Run a SWOT Analysis

One of the first rules of running a company is to know your business. Start by doing a SWOT analysis to identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is a vital planning process that allows teams to contribute to the critical steps in building a marketing strategy. 

To prevent bias and get different perspectives, allow as many team members to contribute as possible. Think of this section as an opportunity to figure out the general overview of your current business processes, as well as your internal and external environment.

Being clear about what you’re good at and the areas you need to improve on. Also reflect on factors that can potentially place your business at risk can help you build a well-informed marketing approach.

2. Define Your Customer

To solve your customers’ problems through your marketing approach, you first need to understand them. You can then focus on aligning your company’s products or services with the needs and wants of your most valuable customers.

You can use traditional research methods, like focus groups or surveys. This will help you get the information you need about your customer. Smart online tools and platforms also do a great job providing customers’ demographics, conversations, and online behaviors.  

3. Determine Your Target Market

A target market is a key ingredient for building effective and successful marketing strategies. Identifying and defining a target market can help you create sales processes, advertisements and promotions. These materials will resonate with people most likely to buy your products or services.

When it comes to developing a marketing approach, you should list everything and anything you know about your ideal customer. This includes basic demographic information like age and gender. You also would like to explore their behaviors and decisions further.

Collect any data you can find. Why do they shop with you? What problems are you solving for them? What’s their source of information? How do they spend their free time?

Knowing your potential client inside out will be helpful when identifying your marketing strategies. Consider designing products and marketing tactics around their buying habits.

4. Define Your Marketing Approach

Once you understand your market, customers and resources, choose the marketing methods that will most effectively promote your brand and share your unique selling proposition. Think about the marketing tools you can use to make a customer make a purchase.  Be sure to show customers the value of your products or services.

While there are many marketing avenues, consider your target customer when you’re determining which one to use. Some of the strategies that might work for you include online advertising, direct mail marketing, trade shows, and TV ads.

5. Research Your Competition

It’s crucial to devote some time to run a competitor analysis. It can provide a deep understanding of your competitors’ marketing strategies. This includes considering their target markets, pricing structures, and brand identities.

Even if you’re the only business on the market and it’s a niche with little competition, sooner or later there’s going to be more players getting in the game. Your competitors will likely have their ideas about proven ways to acquire customers.

The point of doing market research on your competition is to help you identify the things you can do differently or better than the crowd. Remember, don’t replicate your competitors’ moves. Instead, identify what they’re doing right, uncover untapped opportunities and do it better. 

Analyze all elements of your competitors’ marketing, including their market share and total revenue where possible. You’ll also want to dig a little deeper into your competitor’s social media accounts. Actively study your competitors to understand better the tactics and patterns they are using.

6. Write Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Use the information you’ve collected about your target audience, products, and competition to create a USP.  A USP is a unique reason people buy from you and not from other sellers.  

Your USP should describe your business’s essence and focus on your customer, your offers, and why you’re the best option for them. The things you were able to find out about your audience can help with enhancing your product pages and convert leads.

Knowing what makes you stand out from the crowd and conveying it to potential customers can improve your business. Keep in mind that your USP will guide your marketing efforts, including your messaging and branding.

Several questions can help you develop a USP that works. For example, how will customers benefit by buying your products? What do you like most about your products? What special skills do you have?

7. Identify Your Business Goals

Identify your main business goals to develop your strategic marketing approach.  This will help you put in place a set of marketing approaches to support the objectives.

When setting business goals, it’s important to be very specific to measure the results against your expectations effectively.  Your business goals might include reaching a new customer segment, selling more products from a specific supplier and promoting your products or services. The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) method is one of the simplest criteria for goal-setting.

Speaking of being SMART, be clear about what you want to achieve, and set tangible goals to measure your outcomes. Also, set targeted objectives that are within your budget. Make sure the set objectives are achievable within a specific time-frame.

Master a Marketing Approach to Improve Your Business

As you already know, you can’t just set up a business and wait for potential customers to find you. Instead, being a successful entrepreneur means regularly marketing and promoting your business to get more eyeballs on your products or services. It’s important to continually examine and update your marketing approach to determine whether you’re getting the expected outcome, such as increased sales. 

Being intentional and consistent with your plan can carry you far. For more tips and discussion on marketing your business, check out our digital marketing section of the blog.