When building a strong marketing strategy, research plays a critical role in understanding who your customers are and how to compel them to buy your product or service.
I get a lot of questions from my readers asking where they should do start their market research. If you don’t know where to start, it’s a good indicator that you haven’t fully identified your target customer. It could also be an indicator that you’re struggling to get a clear picture of the product or service you’re trying to sell.
In order to create a strong marketing strategy, you need to consider the five P’s in your marketing mix: People, product, price, place and promotion.
People are the most important element in your marketing mix. If you want to create a strong marketing strategy, take the time to identify who your target buyer is. This information will give you critical insight into how to market to your customers and compel them to take action.
5 Questions to Answer about “People”
- Who are the primary and secondary target buyers?
- Primary – These are your ideal buyers and the most important target audience in your marketing mix
- Secondary – These are buyers who would like and buy your product, but fall outside of your primary focus
- What are the buying behaviors of your target buyer(s)?
- Who are your competitors marketing to?
- What are the trends that your target buyers are following?
- What behaviors and preferences do your target buyers have, if any?
Action: Create a Customer Profile in Two Steps:
- Include as many of these as necessary: gender, age or age range, ethnicity, employment status, marriage status, number of kids and household income.
- Create a profile description or your target buyer.
- For example: The primary buyer of piano lessons is a 35-54 year old female who is married, has 2.4 kids in the 6-16 age range, lives within 20 miles of our retail location and has a household income of over $75,000.
Defining and understanding your product or service will help you understand how to position and sell it to your customers.
5 Questions to Answer about the Product or Service
- What exactly is the product or service?
- What need does it satisfy?
- What features does it have to meet these needs?
- What is it called and how should it be positioned in the marketplace?
- Who are the competitors and how does it compare?
Next, we need to understand what the customer is willing to pay for your product or service. If the product or service you are marketing has historical pricing data, find and mine that. If you don’t, the next best thing is to look at how your competitors are pricing similar products or services.
5 Questions to Answer about Price:
- What is the value of this product or service to the buyer?
- Are there pre-established price points for this product/service in the marketplace?
- Is the customer price sensitive?
- What is your competition charging?
- Are there expected discounts for the product or service you’re marketing?
Place is all about identifying where your product or service needs to be in order for customers to see and buy it. It’s about being available when and where the customer wants or needs it.
5 Questions to Answer about Place:
- Where do your customers look to buy your product or service?
- What distributions channels do you need to pursue?
- Where do you need to be in order to gain interest from buyers?
- Do you need a sales force to represent and sell your product or service directly to your customers?
- Where are your competitor’s selling?
Promotion is all about placing your product or service in front of your target market where they already are.
5 Questions to Answer about Promotion:
- Where can you find your target buyer(s)? Consider geography, marketplace, online, trade shows, etc.
- What places do they go to buy and when?
- What marketing channels do they use on a regular basis?
- What marketing channels historically work best with your target customers?
- When and where are your customers most ready to buy your product or service?
Building a strong marketing strategy for your proposal or plan is important to winning new business regardless of what your product or service is. Taking the time to answer these questions will likely lead you to success.
But Don’t do This…
One of the biggest mistakes people make is guessing the answers to the marketing mix questions. As I mentioned before, marketers pursue and use data to build rock-solid marketing strategies.
Question: What other questions should be asked to create a strong marketing strategy, proposal or plan?
This post is part of a new series called, Full Cycle Marketing.
To get caught up on all of the posts, click here.