What Is a Marketing Strategy? (And How to Create Strategies)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Marketing strategies can be important to help organisations develop their products and earn greater profits when interacting with customers. Forming effective strategies may help a business evaluate their sales performance, monitor daily progress, achieve long-term goals, retain desirable customers and discern any areas for improvement. Learning about different marketing strategies and why they are essential for organisations can help you create and improve your own business arrangements. In this article, we define the meaning of a marketing strategy, explain why reliable strategies are important for a company and describe how you can form your own business strategies.

Related: Why Your Company Needs a Business Strategy (With Examples)

What is a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is a detailed action plan that can help an organisation promote, sell and improve products, with the aim of helping their customers benefit from them. These business methods may also encourage prospective consumers to purchase products from the company and become regular customers. Learning about the importance of a marketing strategy can help a business create effective strategies for the organisation's marketing team. It can be important for an organisation to communicate with their marketing department about the purpose of each strategy and how the business can benefit from focusing on valuable target consumers.

Clear marketing schemes often revolve around the company's objectives and what they hope to achieve in the next few months or years. This is to ensure the company retains advantages that other competitor companies may not have. Marketing teams can design printed advertisements, produce social media campaigns or promote mass customisation to customers. Organisations usually create strategies by including the main proposition, brand messaging, customer demographics, product prices, income goals and online marketing techniques.

Related: 8 Marketing Communications Careers (Plus Types of Marketing Communications)

Why are marketing strategies important?

Business marketing plans can be important to help an organisation grow its target audience and encourage greater income. Clear strategies can simplify the marketing process when focusing on the branding, messaging and business goals. For example, if an organisation forms a social media campaign that highlights the advantages of their products, it can better understand the consumer demographic and how well they respond to that strategy. Some business strategies may isolate high-profile customers and encourage them to invest time into the organisation.

Strategic marketing plans can also benefit people working in the marketing team by helping them to understand how to organise content according to the company's requirements. Employees in the marketing department can, for example, learn how to design printed advertisements on the computer and target this strategy towards regular customers. It might encourage marketing individuals to gather research from customer interaction and their satisfaction with the company's products.

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How to make effective marketing strategies

Creating marketing strategies can help an organisation grow and reach wider audiences. A manager or marketing department can evaluate the business and determine what strategy might prove most effective. Taking the right steps can ensure the strategy caters for a wide range of industry professionals. Here's a guide a business can follow when creating marketing strategies:

1. Start with goals

Determining the company's goals can help a team form a marketing plan based on what the organisation hopes to achieve. For example, if a company wants to gain a social media following, the marketing team can design campaigns that promote the products on different platforms. Managers can discuss future goals with the marketing team and how the company may accomplish them through certain strategies. It can also be useful to write a mission statement that details the marketing plan and shows marketing teams how they can develop a central message.

Some organisations have different goals depending on their products and customer engagement. An organisation can study rival companies and how they use strategies to grow a positive audience. During this planning stage, it may be a good idea to note the duration of each goal and an expected date of achievement. Here are some examples of common goals that organisations might use for marketing strategies:

  • maintain or increase profits

  • strengthen customer satisfaction

  • promote the company's values

  • teach more leadership skills

  • increase brand awareness

  • retain more employees over time

  • reach different types of audiences

  • reduce expenses with resources

  • grow online traffic using social media

  • create new and beneficial products

  • expand professional networking

  • form helpful training programs

2. Conduct market research

Organisations usually perform market research techniques to find out information about established trends and customer requirements. This can help a business take advantage of trends and use them to promote certain products or services. An organisation can study the current customer base and monitor their online and physical shopping habits with the company. Some popular examples of research are social media trends, customer demographics, geographical locations, type of market, favoured products and common areas for business growth.

3. Understand the customers

It is often beneficial to understand the target audience before you start planning marketing strategies. This can help a company tailor their advertisements to the customers' requirements. For example, if people want more product deals, a company can form a strategy that involves promoting bundles of products for a cheaper price. This can ensure a company consistently listens to its audience and is able to change strategies according to the latest marketing trends.

It is useful to gather feedback from customers about the company's products. This may help a company learn more about its audience and what they hope to see in the future. Some organisations create online questionnaires for customers that cover business topics and potential improvements. It can also be useful to create a system that helps customers voice their opinions.

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4. Plan the products

A company can benefit from understanding its position in the market as this can be useful in establishing goals for certain products and learning how best to promote them. There are four techniques that organisations usually follow when thinking about marketing. Here are four examples that represent the planning stage:

  • Product: The first stage is to think about the product and what the company hopes to achieve with it. It's useful to think about what elements require improvement or how customers can benefit from buying it.

  • Price: Some companies think about the price and why it may cost a certain amount. The price can affect the sales performance, promotional deals, position in the market and customer retention.

  • Promotion: The promotion stage usually highlights marketing strategies to help sell the product using advertisements. It's important to think about how these promotions link to the brand's overall message.

  • Place: It's essential to consider where to sell the product and if customers can buy it online or in physical shops. Companies can also choose a distribution centre, depending on the scale of production.

5. Create the strategy

Once a company has gathered enough research and customer feedback, it's time to start creating a strategy for the marketing department. It's necessary to write a detailed plan that covers the goals, advertisement design, main purpose of the strategy and target audience. This may be good time to communicate with the marketing department regarding the duration of the marketing scheme and when the company might launch it. Monitoring the development process can help to highlight areas for improvement in the next marketing strategy.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Strategic Management

6. Test the marketing scheme

Testing marketing strategies may be the most important step when determining success. A company can test a new product or service by conducting a small-scale launch before releasing it nationally. This can provide valuable customer reviews and important data regarding the success on various marketing platforms. It may be worth changing the advertising style following customer feedback and performance reviews in the business market.

Some testing methods can benefit the outcome of a company's strategies. For example, after gathering customer feedback through online questionnaires, a company can change aspects of the strategy to suit customer preferences. This can encourage customers to buy more products from the company. Here are some effective testing methods you may use:

  • choose a group of customers for individual feedback

  • create online forms that gather customer reviews

  • release the products in certain regions first

  • target a specific audience to interact with the products

  • test the strategy in different departments

  • advertise on common social media platforms

  • promote products on the main company website

7. Implement marketing strategies

After conducting small-scale research, a company can release the strategy nationally and gain honest reviews from regular consumers. These can help to track the performance of products, services and programs. Some companies make changes after the original promotion and listen to customers' feedback during the early stages of release. For example, if the price is too high and doesn't represent the perceived quality, you can change the price according to customer preferences and expectations.

It may be a good idea to conduct more research and find more techniques that can strengthen a strategy to attract wider audiences. This can help a company learn how to adapt to changing market trends. For example, over the weeks following a launch, sales of the product might drop, which can encourage the company to find new marketing techniques and product deals.

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