In The Context Of Survival Of The Fittest Your Marketing Strategy Is Vulnerable

Congratulations your marketing strategy is on the right track. However, there is room for improvement in how you prioritise your target customers to better meet their needs than your competitors in order to go from VULNERABLE to FLOURISHING.

Flourishing marketing strategy targets real need based customer segments
Endangered & Vulnerable marketing strategies target customer groups defined ONLY by descriptor groups such as age, sex and geography

Failure to define real customer segments is very common. Most companies define their target customers by either the products and services they offer OR broad groups defined by sex, location and age. Within these groups are many subgroups, some of whom are likely to buy what you have to offer. This often results in Pareto’s 80/20 principle, in this case 80% of the sales are coming from 20% of the customers. The 20% need to be isolated and defined by what they have in common; what needs and motivations they have and what lifestyle factors they share. The 80% also need to be considered as to whether they are viable segments to target with a tailored offering. To be valuable they need to be homogeneous, distinct, accessible and viable

Flourishing marketing strategy makes customer offerings that are specific to customers needs
Endangered & Vulnerable marketing strategies tend to tweak standardised offerings for each customer group

Effectively defining customer groups is one side of the coin, the other is making them a tailored offer, often called the proposition. Good propositions are defined by three characteristics
They are consistent with the needs, wants and motivations of the target segment
They are complete in the sense that the actual product offering, the price charged, the places that you sell through & promotions you use are thought of as one inter related whole
They are coherent without any contradictions between product, price, place & promotion. There is no point spending lots of money creating a premium product only for the sales team to continually discount it. Contradictions confuse the customer and inhibit maximum profitable income.

Flourishing marketing strategy PRIORITISES opportunities for growth & leverages your strengths, while negating your weaknesses
Endangered & Vulnerable marketing strategies fail to prioritise or understand strengths & weaknesses

Great marketing strategy is more than understanding and addressing the customers needs. It is also about matching the organisations Strengths & Weaknesses to the external market so as to leverage the Opportunities and Minimise the Threats. A SWOT is all too often a long list of good and bad points about the market with a few broad internally perceived strengths and weaknesses about the company. This happens because even when the interrelationship between the elements of a SWOT are understood, management who are in the thick of running the business and have passion for what they do, find it very hard to be truly objective when defining strengths & weaknesses relative to the customers needs and relative to their competition.

Flourishing marketing strategies anticipate future changes in the market
Endangered & Vulnerable marketing strategies focus only on the here & now

Strong marketing strategies anticipate future changes in the market resulting in sound choices of target markets and supporting propositions. Weak marketing strategies either ignore market changes or if strong in their market segment, try to change the market. You must have an informed opinion on likely changes in the market, amongst your customers, about your competitors plans and within the channels you choose to sell and market through. E.g. It would appear that Blockbuster Video could have done a better job at anticipating new online competitors such as Love Film and adapted their strategy accordingly. If they had done so, perhaps they would be with us today?

Flourishing marketing strategies target different customers and make tailored offerings compared to the competition
Endangered & Vulnerable marketing strategies offer the same thing to the same people

Marketing strategies are always more effective when the choice or definition of target segments and propositions is distinctly different from the competition. Many marketing strategies are based on copying an often larger competitor in the belief that that there is enough of a market for everyone. Marketing strategy uniqueness stems from product and service. In the absence of these, disproportionate amounts of money are spent trying to advertise more effectively than the competition or employing more sales representatives than them. If their strategy was genuinely unique the channels would be more cost efficient at generating income. It becomes a race with many losers. The need for marketing & selling expenditure is inversely proportional to how unique, desirable and essential your product or service is.

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