Topic 1 Marketing strategies for starting your own business and/or entering the labour market

A marketing specialist can either provide consultancy or marketing services to other companies or promote their own products and services. Knowing how, when and which tools to use can help to save resources and reach the largest audience. Every entrepreneur or marketer should know how to connect with customers, be memorable and do it effectively. In order to market the business or products, it is necessary to pinpoint the right strategies.

Overall, a marketing strategy is a long-term strategic plan to understand customer needs and wants in order to achieve competitive advantage. It is part of an overall strategic business plan. A marketing strategy includes the following approaches:

  • Target audience and segmentation
  • SMART method, PEST and SWOT analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Marketing Mix
  • Marketing channels
  • Marketing strategy analysis
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Target audience and segmentation

Before creating a marketing plan, entrepreneurs have to precisely define their target audience. Understanding the target audience contributes to a more effective marketing strategy and marketing campaigns. Knowing how to connect with your audience and how to construct the message using their language, jargon, emotions and interests is key to developing a successful strategy.

The segmentation helps to identify and group various types of customers to those having similar wants and needs. There are four factors that can be used to group the target audience – demographic, geographic, behavioural, and psychographic.

  • Demographic grouping is based on age, gender, level of education, religion, etc.
  • Geographic – country, region, culture, climate, language, etc.
  • Behavioural – based on how customers behave on store (online or physical).
  • Psychographic – personality traits, values, interests, lifestyle choices, etc.

SMART method

SMART technique is commonly used in marketing and businesses to set the goals and objectives. SMART stands for:

  • SSpecific (goals should be as clear and specific as possible)
  • MMeasurable (measurable results)
  • AAchievable (realistic and achievable goals)
  • RRelevant (relevant to business strategy, helps to achieve something that will boost the business)
  • TTime bound (needed time to achieve the goals)

PEST analysis

PEST analysis refers to external factors that influences businesses. It is useful to understand common market trends and conditions, threats and opportunities. PEST stands for such factors P – Political, E – Economic, S – Social, T- Technological. PEST analysis shows how each of these factors affects business world – government regulations, economic climate, social environment, how customers behaves or latest technological innovations.

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SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis can be used by person or organization to measure strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In the business context this approach explores: 

  • Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others (unique products or services, loyal customers, experience and skills related to business).
  • Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others (something that is missing money, employees and can be changed or improved).
  • Opportunities: external elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage (growing need in the market for offered products or services).
  • Threats: external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project (strong competitors in market).

SWOT analysis as mentioned above, can be successfully adapted in creating marketing campaign or project.

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Competitor analysis

Competitor analysis provides insight into the factors that lead to success and failure. It helps to understand pricing or to predict market trends. There are different ways to carry out this analysis. One of the suggested ways is:

  • Pick 1 – 3 competitors
  • Determine if they are direct (with same products and target customers) or indirect (products and services differs but target customers and their needs are the same) competitors
  • Add to the list products and services they offer including pricing, production, distribution

A simple way to experience what it’s like to be a competitor’s customer is to buy a product or try their services and leave a user experience rating, subscribe to their blog or follow them on social media.

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Marketing Mix

Marketing mix refers to “set of marketing tools that the firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target market”. It traditionally includes 4 Ps – price, product, promotion and place.

  • Product. Under product section goes physical and non- physical products and services. It is important to determine market (mass or niche) and ensure that it meets the market and customers’ needs.
  • Price. How to set the price? The price should match the client expectations and quality of the product and services.
  • Place. Where the products and services will be offered and sold.
  • Promotion. How to get products/services in front of an ideal customer? The marketing tactics using different marketing channels.

Marketing channels

Digital marketing becomes irreplaceable instrument in promoting business and attracting customers. There can be distinguished main roles of marketing channels:

  • Connects producers with buyers.
  • Influences a company’s pricing strategy.
  • Influences product strategy through branding, policy, willingness to stock.
  • Customizes profits, install, maintain, offer credit, etc.

In order to promote products or services, digital marketing employs digital devices, platforms, media and technologies. The list of commonly used marketing channels can be divided into free and low-cost or paid advertising.

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Free and low-cost marketing channels

one of the most popular and powerful tools to advertise services and products. There are many social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Businesses can connect with their customers, use social media analytics to track tendencies, users’ behaviour, to focus on target customers, to increase traffic to website by using pay-per-click method.

is considered cheap way to connect with the customers and, similar to social media marketing, enables to segment the target audience. Email marketing is a way to promote by sending discounts, offers, follow-up emails, newsletters, news and events, etc. to loyal or new clients.

refers to meaningful and relevant to audience marketing. It aims to deliver valuable or helpful content for customers at the same time promoting products or services. The content can be educational, practical, inspiring and can come in different forms such as articles, blogs, podcasts, video content, animation, design and illustration, etc.

stands for search engine optimization. This type of marketing focuses on the visibility of business websites or content with the help of search engines. SEO analysis how search engines work, how people behave when searching for relevant information, which search engines they use, what keywords they type. There are different kind of searches from video to academic or specific to industry. Businesses seek to have high rank on the search engine results page, so their websites would attract more customers. If you want to learn more about SEO, do not miss module 6.

recent years smartphones and tablets have become technologies of everyday use. It is quick, easy and convenient way to check emails, read news, search for products and services. Mobile marketing focuses on targeted advertisements that appear on consumers’ mobile devices. 

Some of the Paid advertising channels

focuses on increasing website visibility in search engine results through paid advertising. SEM as well can include SEO to achieve higher ranking and increase Pay-Per-Click.

by using texts, gifs, video and other “rich” media, encourages to purchase a product or services by clicking on ad. Display ads focuses on attracting users’ attention to lead them act – make a purchase, subscribe, etc. 

simply put, the marketer by using cookies can run a retargeting ad campaign and send personalized marketing messages to those users who visited the website and checked products or services but have not made a purchase, signed up for trial or made other expected action.

Paid advertising channels usually applies PPC (Pay-Per-Click) approach.

Marketing strategy analysis

The last step is to measure, analyse and review the results of marketing strategy. There are many helpful and free of charge tools like Google Analytics or Google Ads. With Google Ads entrepreneur/marketing specialist may get insights of number of people who seen, clicked on ads, visited website or called. This overview helps to rethink the strategy, search for new methods or channels.

Google Marketing Platform is great solution for small businesses or enterprises, that seek to create successful marketing strategy.

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