Knowing your market, and having a first class game plan to engage with them is crucial. You're gunna wanna know where to start with marketing in general, and with your marketing strategy. We'll answer the age-old question "What’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan?" and you'll likely want a steer on a template so we're working on that one too.
Never fear, we are here!
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WHERE DO WE START WITH MARKETING/STRATEGY?
These fundamentals of business, form the backbone of all effective marketing – they’re the methodologies and frameworks that shape how you do things. Let’s start with five of the best!
Five Essential Inputs
- Business Strategy – seems simple but often not done. This has to be crystal clear and locked in, before any of the marketing details can be developed.
- A Marketing Strategy that focuses on connecting the market to the business’ products or services
- Marketing Plan and budget that’s geared for results
- Marketers – good ones!
- Knowledge about, and channels to connect to, the market
MARKETING STRATEGY OR MARKETING PLAN?
It’s not uncommon for people to confuse the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan. The easiest way to explain the difference is like this:
"Marketing Strategy – Your marketing strategy is an explanation of the goals you need to achieve with your marketing efforts. Your marketing strategy is shaped by your business goals. Your business goals and your marketing strategy should go hand-in-hand.
Marketing Plan – Your marketing plan is how you are going to achieve those marketing goals. It’s the application of your strategy a roadmap that will guide you from one point to another.
The issue is that most people try to set out to achieve the “how” without first knowing the “what.” This can end up wasting resources for a company, both time and money.
When it comes to marketing, we must always identify the what and then dig into the how. If you remember one sentence from this article, it’s this one:
Strategy is the thinking, and planning is the doing."
~ Laura Lake
IS THERE A MARKET FOR WHAT WE DO?
You need to validate. This is the only time in life where external validation is encouraged!
WHAT IS MARKET VALIDATION?
Put simply it’s finding potential customers, ensuring there’s enough of them to sustain a business, and getting specific feedback on the product or service you want to offer.
There’s no ‘plug and play’ way to go about this. Each market, each solution and each startup is different. We have detailed below some suggested approaches and tips and tricks to validate quickly at low cost.
WHY IS MARKET VALIDATION NEEDED?
Sadly stats show that 90% of all start-up businesses fail and 70% of all new products fail. Ouch. Rob Adams of “If you build it, will they come” outlines why this is:
- Companies focus on operational issues
- Educated to manage, not create
- Tendency to gravitate to data so it can be analyzed
- Development is a process with an endpoint
- Engineers work in the world of the tangible
- None of the above issues are critical to product sales
- Companies don’t focus on markets
- Products fail because they don’t sell
- 85% of product failure can be traced to market related issues
- Marketing is not a process driven effort
- Marketing and engineering are opposite functions
- If you want to differentiate yourself have credibility in both worlds
As you can see, knowing your markeT, then validating your idea is crucial. There’s no ‘plug and play’ way to go about this. Each market, each solution and each startup, each business, is different. We’ve tried to pull this into some easy steps but sorry to say, you’ll have to do the hard yards – download the workbooks below, and start filling in the gaps. Measure twice, cut once, and all that - invest time now and you'll bank the rewards later. You can do eeeeeeeeet!