Growing your business requires acquiring new clients – simple. Get the word out there, attract new clients and make more money.
Add some blood, sweat and tears, and your marketing journey has started.
As with all things in life, some of us have our old favourites or tried and trusted things. This includes marketing activities. No matter how comfortable it is for you, doing the same old thing might be boring your audience and wasting money.
While systems and processes can make things cost-effective and time-efficient, it is important to step back at appropriate intervals to analyse those actions. Or you find yourself in a mucky, old marketing rut.
If you think you are in such a squelchy rut, have a look at this overview of four types of marketing strategies. They might inspire you as an alternative that you can use to rejuvenate your marketing plans for upcoming years, to communicate with your audience in a new way or to add some life to torpid campaigns.
What are the 4 types of marketing strategies?
Here is an overview of four types of marketing strategies to consider:
Cause Marketing – This is also known as cause-related marketing. It links a company and its products and services to a social cause or issue. This can have multiple wins by focussing on something close to your heart that you might not have had time to deal with, be a good marketing hook and deliver benefits to the cause that is being focussed on.
Relationship Marketing – This type of marketing focuses on customer retention and customer satisfaction. This strives to enhance the existing relationships with customers to increase loyalty and reduce attrition. There are huge cost benefits to this, but these ‘pampered’ customers could become your brand ambassadors and do marketing for you.
Scarcity Marketing – When using this marketing strategy, you create the perception that there is a shortage. Customers make decisions faster and buy faster if the item they are considering might be in short supply. Need we mention the infamous toilet paper buyers? This should be used carefully as the smell of insincerity will drive customers away in droves.
Interactive Marketing Strategy – This strategy encourages interaction between the brand and the customer. This is becoming a trend because of the market demand for better online experiences (UX) and improved internet technology (UI). An example of successful interactive marketing is, believe it or not, quizzes! Ninety-six per cent of all quizzes established on BuzzFeed are completed, and the results shared across social media.
Users enjoy completing them and sharing the results with their online friends. The successful quizzes are entertaining and engaging whilst inspiring a specific action. A travel company enjoyed massive marketing success with its quirky Vacation Matchmaker Quiz – a take on online dating, matching consumers with their ideal destinations (based on their answers).
The first two strategies focus on the benefits to others. The third relies on panic buying, and the fourth offers the consumer entertainment and social interaction in return for soft marketing of a product within the quiz.
What are the seven P’s of marketing?
A good marketing campaign requires a lot of organising and strategising, amongst other things, to get a value-adding plan together. One of the foundations is the marketing mix.
The marketing mix was originally known as ‘The 4Ps of Marketing: Product, Place, Price, & Promotion. So what are the 7Ps of Marketing spoken about today? The 7Ps include the 4 original Ps and add on Physical Evidence, People, & Processes. To understand these, here is an overview of each factor individually:
Product – This covers anything being sold: a service, a physical product, a treatment, or an experience.
Let’s look at an example: A client purchases a great looking item online. It arrives and does not match up to its online image/description. Does the client:
send it back and get a refund,
order a different size to hopefully solve the issue
or throw it in the spare room and ignore it.
This has inconvenienced them and lessened their view of the brand. No matter what you sell, it must meet the demands of and exceed the expectations of the customer.
Place – This is the point of distribution or access to your product/service, a warehouse or a high-street store to an e-commerce shop or cloud-based platform.
The place has to be appropriate for your brand and accessible. Where would your customers go for your type of product? Magazines, price-comparison sites, supermarkets, online stores, regular brick-and-mortar stores? Where are your competitors selling?
Of course, other things influence the choice, such as the product type and your budget. The critical information with a heavy weighting should be: a) know your audience, b) know their wants, c) know their needs and d) know their requirements.
Price – The price point you arrive at is not pure mathematics. It is maths plus market as the price should indicate the value the market sees in your product—priced too high, possibly losing market share if you target bargain hunters. On the other hand, priced too low means a painful loss of vital profits.
Hitting on the magical correct price point for your product needs preparation. Part of the preparation is conducting a market segmentation exercise by grouping your target market based on:
psychographics (values, desires, goals, interests, and lifestyle choices)
This will tease out price levels and assist with confirming what price level needs to be established. It will also reveal to you if you are targeting the most appropriate audience who bring the highest potential for optimal value in return.
The next step involves analysing the current market competition relative to your product, even if it’s not a direct match but an alternative option to your product. Look at the pricing strategy of your competitors.
Once arriving at the price of your product, you need to weigh up its impact on your customers’ perception of your brand.
Promotion – This includes P.R., roadshows, advertising, marketing, and sales techniques. Traditional advertising includes TV, radio, magazines, billboards, etc. Contemporary placements would be within web content, ads on podcasts, social media, email marketing, or push notifications.
The chosen methodology and channel will have a direct, tangible effect on your promotion’s success and, hence, your brand. Selecting the wrong place, time, person, or poorly researched collaboration partner can put your brand in a world of trouble. If all factors are carefully planned and based on facts, then your business will become the success it is meant to be.
Promotion is a tough game. Consumers are bombarded with a cacophony of pop up ads, SMS ads, social media ads, radio ads – the list goes on. It is estimated that the consumer is faced with 5000 impressions (of adverts) per day. Your brand needs to be visible within that crowd. To do this, it is vital to understand your target audience and know what they require of you (not what YOU think they should get from you). This will put you a few steps ahead of any sloppy competitor.
So how do you achieve this understanding and knowledge of your audience? Through the market segmentation exercise we mentioned above. The process, if done thoroughly, will help you learn the wants, needs, values, and motivations of your potential customers. Analyse the information that is revealed in the exercise and take appropriate action. You can be sure, then, that your product is being promoted in the right way, to the right people, in the right place and at the right time.
Physical Evidence – How can the customer be reassured that the brand they’re giving their hard-earned money to:
a) is legitimate and
b) that they have the rights to recourse if something is wrong with the product.
They need physical evidence. Firstly they will need evidence that a transaction took place and, before that, they will need proof your brand does exist. The news is full of stories of scammers and fly-by-night setups, so it is prudent for consumers to require physical evidence.
Physical evidence can be quality of the transaction, ease of contacting the company, quality of communication with the company, the receipts, the packaging, the tracking ability, quality of invoice, brochures, online presence etc.
The customer’s belief and trust in your brand is strengthened via aspects such as your website quality and freshness, social media presence and activity, Google reviews on your company, your logo, business cards, building signage, and equipment. They will see these aspects before they have even clicked on a product.
There are huge benefits from physical evidence as it makes your brand tangible and can distinguish you apart from any competitors. It will enhance the image of professionalism, authenticity and longevity of your business/brand.
People – The cogs of your machine, the most important and the most variable – your employees. They do the selling or the designing, or perhaps they are managing teams and packing items.
If your people are the weak link, don’t bother creating a smart brand, great service or product, or investing in a social media presence. You cannot survive without your employees being of the same quality as you want your brand to be. Whether they are in the distribution centre or taking customer calls, they must have appropriate training and a superior comprehension of their role in the whole ‘brand machine’. They must understand their worth.
Managers strong in EQ and people-skills, a customer service department that listens and puts the customer first. You must choose and lead your employees with a shared vision of the brand. If every employee is trained to comprehend customer expectations and requirements, you have a dream team, and the sky’s the limit!
Processes – The final factor in the marketing mix. For the creatives and visionaries, processes are mind-numbing to set up. This series of actions that are needed in order to correctly and efficiently deliver the product or service to the customer cannot be based on “I have an intelligent team, they’re adults, and they’ll do the right thing”.