A marketing strategy is a detailed explanation of how you intend to reach a specific business objective. It often includes the marketing strategy behind the marketing, who you’ll reach, how to measure success, and what adjustments you’ll have to make in order to continue going forward. Below is an example of a marketing plan for a hardware store.
Hardware stores typically fall under one of four categories: electronic, apparel, kitchenware, or supplies. Their marketing goals typically include meeting customer demand, increasing sales per location, decreasing inventory costs, attracting new customers, and increasing employee productivity and motivation. Each of these business goals can be quantified in a number of ways, depending on the store size and specific market focus. Here is an example of a marketing plan for each of the above categories:
Electronic store. The electronic store’s marketing strategy might include marketing directly to electronics buyers, promoting discounted electronics, offering coupons, or launching a national promotional ad campaign. One way to increase sales per location is by offering coupons to bring in more customers. Another is to offer free shipping whenever a purchase occurs, which will bring in more traffic into the store. Digital marketing strategy options might include using social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, text messaging, or an example of a marketing strategy called social media monitoring.
Apparel store. In this case, we are looking at an expanding chain of stores targeting younger consumers. These customers are the fastest growing segment of the population, so it’s critical that the marketing strategy should include reaching them. One strategy might be to offer deals to college students who will be attending an apparel store, launching marketing channels like student email marketing and text messaging.
Growth Channel. Growth marketing strategies are those that are developed to support growth. An example of this might be launching a nationwide recall campaign to increase product sales. Growth marketing channels can include cold calling, direct mail, or coupons. Another option might be hiring a marketing manager or team to guide you through the entire process. Examples of growth marketing strategies might include nationwide network marketing opportunities, joint venture marketing with other companies, or kpi’s (key performance indicators).
KPIs. If your marketing strategy is to increase sales, then a key performance indicator is a good way to track progress. Examples of good kpis are customer satisfaction surveys, which give you an idea of what your customers want. A customer survey can tell you the demographics of your customer base, what they want, and where they are shopping. Other great kpi’s would be sales volume, average order time, profit margin, and marketing spend.
Research Based Marketing Plan. A research based marketing plan is one that incorporates both research and market knowledge. One way to incorporate research into your marketing plan is to collaborate with your competitors. Compiling a resource database for information on your competitors, current marketing efforts, trends, and more will give you insight into how to better serve your customers.
Marketing Processes. Every marketing channel has goals. An example of a marketing process might be establishing a customer journey from start to finish. With a customer journey, you set up the steps a customer needs to take from the point they have to purchase a product to actually receiving that product. This is accomplished by providing a smooth customer experience, including an easy-to-use order form, easy tracking of orders, easy returns, free shipping, customer service, quality customer care, and a commitment to continually improve customer satisfaction.
Surveys. Another great tool in your marketing plan is surveys. Studies have shown that marketing plans with focus on customers are much more effective than marketing campaigns that simply attempt to reach all possible customers. A number of surveys available online can help you find out what your competitors are doing to market their products and gain insight into what you could do to improve upon those marketing efforts.
Digital Marketing. Digital marketing is another great tool to add to your marketing plan. Digital marketing means using other websites, email, and social media to advertise your business. You could use the likes of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter as another great tool to market your business.
There are many other things you can add into your marketing plan and many of them are pretty simple to pull off. If you think you don’t have the time or the inclination to come up with your own marketing strategy, consider using one of the above examples as a base for your marketing plan. You’ll be surprised at just how effective some of these ideas can be and it may even spark an idea for a new marketing template that you have been wanting to create. After all, even if it doesn’t work out, at least you have the information right there to start with!