Marketing Strategy is the phrase used for achieving your marketing goals and it should include two mandatory elements:
- THE TARGET CONSUMERS
- THE OFFER
These are two separate elements, but both are equally needed to reach your ultimate goal whether it’s; brand awareness, more followers or more profit. Let’s clarify. What are “target consumers”? These are consumers (a sizeable enough group with specific interest and behaviors) likely to desire what you are offering.
Why would they want it? That is the part that you are supposed to identify. There may be several reasons. For example, maybe they are not consumers of your kind of product yet, however, they might be if something happens, or if they are exposed to a certain message. It could be that they have special needs or preferences, which up until today were not catered to by any of your competitors’ offers (and don’t forget that psychological, social and aesthetic needs are real needs). Maybe they are bored with what they routinely buy. When you identify such a situation, you know that the potential is there.
Identifying potential is only the initial stage of your mission, of course. Your strategy would also have to include something that you are going to offer these consumers that might improve their situation in a certain way, solve a problem, give them more than what they already get for the same price, or open new opportunities for them. In short, something that will motivate them to buy from you and thus materialize the potential.
Marketing Scenario is a picture that explains your marketing strategy. It also enables you to make sure that the logic really works. To understand it more. Basically, the ‘Marketing Scenario’ explains or translates the ‘Marketing Strategy’ into simple everyday language. How will it happen in reality? How will the materialization of marketing goals occur? Regardless of how many products you offer, social media posts you make or blog articles you write, in order to achieve the goal a consumer has to except the offer.
So let’s answer the questions below:
What is the ‘Marketing Scenario’?
The ‘Marketing Scenario’ is an amazingly simple tool to use: Only four questions. Are you jotting this down?
1. Who are the people that we believe have the potential of buying what we intend to sell? Yes, these are the same people we so often refer to as the ‘Target Customers’. First, we must define our targets. What do these people have in common that makes them probable prospects (in the sense that they are likely to be interested in our offer)? We could use demographic, socioeconomic, as well as lifestyle descriptions. Note that at times, we target not a specific group but a wide almost indefinable group of people in a specific mood, a specific situation, or a specific need or state. An example of the latter is a grocery store, because you don’t have to share a similar lifestyle, point of view or interest to go grocery shopping. This is a general need.
To sum it up, you can target a group of consumers that are very different in culture, class and lifestyle but are likely to encounter the same state of need, desire or situation at one time or another.
2. What precisely should they be doing (that they are not doing already and will probably not do if we will not intervene), that would direct them to eventually choose our brand specifically? What do they have to do so that your marketing plan will materialize (even before the actual purchase)? Do they have to go somewhere? To call? To agree to meet your salesperson? To stop and pick out your product from the shelf? Which activity, that occurs today, would lead them on to buy?
3. What is the reason that should motivate them to take action? How will they benefit from that action? Why would you, in their place, buy what you are offering? You can think of it as your differentiating factor (what makes you the better choice?), or as your competitive advantage (what makes you comparatively better?), according to your value. How could your offer make their situation better compared to their current state or to other options they may have available to them?
4. How exactly will they extract the benefit (which answers question 3) according to your marketing plan? Notice that the third question dealt with the ‘why’ of the target consumer’s planned motivation, and now, we are trying to understand the ‘how’ of your marketing plan. How are you planning to provide the benefit defined in the answer to question 3? If, for instance, you said before that you are making something more accessible, easy or comfortable for them, now explain how it will become more accessible, easy or comfortable, due to your product or service.
Let’s look at an example: The introduction of ‘Smart Phones’ to the market. (Just the main points):
1. Mobile phone users, gadget fans, who are on-the-go, manage several things such as; phone calls, emails, pictures, etc., who are disappointed by having to access all of those services on separate devices such as; phones, computers, cameras.
2. … will step into the nearest cell phone store and ask about the smart phone.
3. … because at last there is an organizer which is not only sophisticated, small and wonderfully shaped, but is also allows all of those features to be stored and accessed in the same location at anytime with ease.
4. … because the smart phone can hold all of your technology, helping you save money on less devices, travel with less baggage and save time by only using one device.
That is what the ‘Marketing Scenario’ is all about. All you have to do is answer the questions. Be precise. Be thorough. Be honest. Do it in writing. Even if you’re absolutely sure that the answers are positively clear to you and there’s nothing to be gained. Only when your ‘Marketing Scenario’ is totally translated to a written text, should you go on and proceed with the brand development process. Otherwise, you will get trapped along the way.