In some companies, it is generally accepted that a promotional strategy is a nominal document that is developed at the stage of business formation and then sent to the drawer for eternal oblivion. But this approach threatens the company with chaotic development and serious financial problems. And it doesn’t matter whether we are talking about a large or small business – everyone needs marketing management strategies based on the real economic situation.
What is a promotional strategy
This is a long-term plan for the implementation of activities that strictly meet the business goals of the company. A marketing strategy is an instruction for the future on market development, assortment development, detuning from competitors, etc. Competently built, it allows you to predict and prevent risks and take advantage of external opportunities for development, while preserving internal resources.
It is compiled 3-5 years in advance based on a corrosive analysis of the input. But even the most thorough market research does not take into account all force majeure and spontaneous circumstances, so the strategy needs to be regularly reviewed.
If the situation on the market is stable, then it is enough to “adjust the vectors” once a year, and in the case of dynamic changes, it will not be an extra precaution to do it once a quarter. Otherwise, there is a high probability of overlooking important trends and prerequisites. Incorporating them into your business processes after the fact can be tricky.
What you need to draw up a strategy
Any strategy is based on the analysis of initial data, and marketing and promotion are no exception. To correctly determine the directions and priority of strategic steps, it is worth paying attention to the following external and internal factors:
- the company’s business goals: a strategy built against them will obviously do more harm than good;
- the current position of the company in the market: market share, comparison with competitors, it will also be useful to make a forecast for the main economic indicators;
- assortment characteristics and trend analysis: strengths and weaknesses of goods or services, key values for customers, opportunities for development and modernisation of production;
- choosing a niche and target audience: these parameters need to be clearly defined even before drawing up a strategy;
- pricing methods: how planned, and forced price changes will be implemented;
- the financial strength of the company: sometimes, instead of promoting a new product, it is wiser to leave the existing niche and choose a new starting point.
Types of promotional strategies
Depending on the large-scale plans of the company, there are different types of marketing strategies.
For example, in a competitive struggle, there are leadership, offensive, flanking and guerilla marketing strategies.
With the so-called “portfolio” approach, the strategy is chosen depending on the market segmentation: focusing efforts on one segment, choosing a market, product or selective specialisation, mass marketing (with its own laws) or full market coverage.
Different types of marketing strategies are also distinguished in terms of pricing, and they will differ significantly for newcomers and old-timers of the market.
Each of them assumes its own set of effective tools and approaches to achieve global business goals.
In the classification of the procedure for promoting goods in sales markets, there are currently 3 main directions:
- corporate business strategies (general),
- business marketing strategies,
- functional marketing strategies.
The corporate strategy sets the direction of business development, defines the general business goals of the company, prioritises its activities and highlights the values of the company. This level involves analysing the strategy of the target market, when, as a result of comparing markets, studying competition, as well as internal analysis, the company decides for itself which main directions it will set itself.
A company can either focus its attention on one particular segment of the market, or cover the entire market, offering its own clearly developed program for each part of it.
Business strategies – determines how the company will interact with the market, allocate resources (budget, personnel, raw materials, etc.). The emphasis is on achieving maximum profit. For this, 3 main areas are analysed:
- Portfolio strategy, when the balance of the assortment, priorities in product groups are determined, the possibility of developing new sales markets is considered.
- A growth strategy, when the main directions for the growth of sales and, accordingly, the company’s income for the long term are set.
- The strategy of competition is, in turn, the development of programs to increase the competitiveness of products, methods of capturing new sales markets, etc.
The final stage of strategic planning is functional marketing strategies (they are also called instrumental). At this stage, the issues of assortment, pricing, distribution and promotion of products (and this can be both goods and services) are being worked out in detail. And this is done for each division of the company.
In addition, issues of releasing new products, expanding the functions of existing ones, improving and updating them, and improving quality indicators are considered. This may require additional attraction of investments or their redistribution from other directions.
When solving pricing issues, first of all, it is necessary to analyse the company’s goals (either it is market capture, or profit maximisation, or dumping), then assess the demand for the product and its own capabilities, as well as the capabilities of competitors, and, of course, inflationary processes cannot be ignored.
Last but not least is the sales strategy. This strategy implies determination of the basic principles and segments of the promotion of goods and services, good quality video production for your sales pages and websites, promotional photographs, outlined plan of promotional events, and a drawn up budget for all of that.
Thus, using the aforementioned business strategies, companies can form long-term development plans for themselves.
Before implementing the chosen strategy, check it against the main criteria:
Consistency with company goals.
Compliance with the objective state of affairs in the industry, economic prerequisites, as well as the potential and resources of the organisation.
Time constraints to clearly identify operational and long-term goals and select appropriate instruments.
Availability of an alternative action plan in case the original option is not implemented due to unforeseen reasons.