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How to Build a Marketing Strategy

Business owners spend the majority of their time developing ideas and products to best service their customers, but what does it take to reach the next level? Marketing is about how to best explain, teach, and promote your service or product above competitors. Creating a marketing strategy will not only improve your brand’s value, but it's also the secret to long term success.

Here are 5 ways to begin developing a marketing strategy for your business:

1. Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition

A Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is a compelling sentence that describes the essence of your business. It should describe what sets you apart from your competitors. For example M&M’s was “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand”.

Small businesses are forced to compete with both sides of the coin. Other small businesses and larger, retail chains. Your business may have a superior service but unless you can reach potential customers, they won't have the opportunity to purchase from you.

2. Define Your Target Market

What is the demographic of people who show the most interest in your service or product?Think about the specific needs your product or service fulfills. For example: if your business is designing websites, you would focus on business owners and not retirees.

3. Establish the Benefits

How will the features of your product transform your target audience in a positive way? Knowing the real value of your service makes it easier to deliver on the promises made in your marketing efforts. Using client testimonials are an excellent platform to demonstrate how valuable your product is.

4. Determine Your Positioning

What is the best method to reach your target audience? Positioning your product is the way in which a service is viewed. It is the multimedia outlet that is controlled by the person doing the marketing. Examples: advertising, newspapers, social media or word of mouth.

5. Define Your Marketing Method

Inbound marketing focuses on creating an online presence through informative work such as blogs, social media outlets, websites, and other publications. It is a more passive form of marketing that focuses on establishing the business’ brand. This includes paid search marketing, content marketing, and email marketing.

Outbound marketing attempts to initiate a conversation about a product or service by paying to insert an advertisement in places where it may reach the most people. It includes radio, tv advertisements, web advertisements, billboards, event sponsorships

Once these five components of the marketing strategy have been set, the next step is to begin circulating your marketing initiatives and measuring the results. Products like Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising have built in analytic tools that make it easy analyze what is working for you and what is not. The three words to live by are Repeat, Prioritize, and Optimize. For your campaigns to perform well over time, they need to be distributed at regular intervals, prioritized by what option is best for the business, and regularly adjusted to ensure your marketing efforts are doing the best job possible.

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