Today, if you ask any business owner, who determines your prices, your profit share, and your market share? Most likely they will say “WE DOT IT”. Unfortunately, that’s not true! If you really try and understand the dynamics of a business, it is the competition that determines your price, your profit margins, and your market share. Not only this, your competition determines even the future growth potential and how much money you can make. So, in a nutshell, it is your competition that determines everything!
You cannot prepare a strategy ignoring your competition and without knowing their intentions and their plans. Something to learn from the military strategy is “No strategy can be made independent of the enemy”. Likewise, no strategy in business can be made without keeping the competition in mind.
Here are the 4 fundamental principles of Marketing Strategy –
These 4 guiding principles if implemented properly as part of your marketing strategy can lead to phenomenal business growth. Let us try to understand each one of them better.
Specialization: The first thing to determine is where you are going to specialize. What is your domain, product, service, customer, market where you want to focus? Let me clarify that with an example of Subway. A subway customer is someone who wants to eat quickly and healthy at the same time. He wants cleanliness, efficiency, and value. So subway constantly looks for products that appeal to these customers and continue to offer them. They would never do something that does not go with their specialization.
Differentiation: What is your competitive advantage? How is it that you are different and better than the competition? Customers want a reason to buy from you and not the competition. Customers always want to get the best deal, there is nothing personal here. They just want the highest quality at the best price. If you ask businesses what is their USP? 9 out of 10 times you will hear “Quality Service, Quality Service, and Quality Service!” What people don’t understand is that this is an answer only if your competitor offers Zero quality or Zero service. Anyone who says “Quality Service” actually has no idea about why someone should buy from him and probably is a danger to your company if he is an employee.
If you have no USP or offer something that everyone does, then what could be your USP? The answer is yourself! Your personality, your confidence, your charm, your contacts, your way of doing things!
Segmentation: All marketing today is segmentation. Segmentation means looking at who are those specific customers in the market who value my differentiation and will pay more for your area of specialization. We need to segment and identify those customers who are most likely to buy from you and the fastest. Few questions to ponder here – who are the customers who most appreciate your area of superiority? What are their demographics? Their Psychographics? How would you describe your perfect customer?
Concentration: Once you have determined your very best market segments for what you do really well, you focus all your energies, resources, budgets, and time on acquiring customers from these markets and retaining them.
Live by these if you want to succeed in your business…
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