Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing the strategy section, part of Writing a Marketing Plan.
- The heart of any marketing plan is your strategy. This is where you describe how you plan to win in the marketplace. The Strategy Section has three parts. First is Segmentation, where you break your customers into homogeneous groups. This helps you be efficient with your marketing resources, by focusing only on the most relevant customers. There are four ways to segment customers. Demographic is where you group customers by their characteristics, such as income level, age, gender, or their height & weight.
It's useful for certain products or services that deliver a benefit specifically tied to that characteristic. If you're marketing a shampoo for redheads, for example, then you'd wanna group customers by hair color. Geographic Segmentation groups customers by where they are physically. Knowing where your customers are, helps you know where to place stores, for example, and where to communicate or sell to them. Behavioral Segmentation is grouping customers by the things that they do.
It can be things such as who they purchase from now, how frequently they purchase, or their price sensitivity. Finally, is Psychographic Segmentation, which is how customers think. Their attitudes about the benefits they seek in a product. An example of Psychographic benefit would be the need for prestige, or need for convenience. Segmenting this way tends to be very powerful. In targeting, you make decisions on which specific segments to go after.
It's a process of narrowing down your audience to a selected group. Let's go back to our shampoo example. Using all four types of segmentation, you might have a target audience like this. Women over 40, with red hair, who live in certain metropolitan areas, who buy shampoo once a month, and who seek the benefit of natural-looking hair color. Now you have a specific, identifiable group of customers for the next step, called Positioning.
Positioning is determining how you want your customers to think about your products versus the competition. So they're more likely to buy yours. It may seem a little abstract, but positioning happens up here, in the mind of the consumer. Think of the consumer's mind as a three dimensional space. And in that space, they form beliefs about products and services in a particular category. And you can change those beliefs so they have a favorable opinion of your product.
You do that by making a claim. And by supporting that claim with credible reasons to believe, or RTBs as we call them. The claim becomes your positioning statement. What you'll say to customers when you communicate to them about buying your product. Let's use our shampoo example. A positioning statement might look like this. For women over forty with red hair that wanna look their best, our shampoo gives you a more natural-looking color to your hair than our competitor's shampoo.
Now, to support this positioning claim you might include photographs of customers who have used the product, and perhaps some testimonials of how much they like it. Notice how I included my target audience in the positioning statement, as well as the primary benefit that they want, and that our shampoo can deliver. Check the exercise file for a useful template to create positioning statements. So, what benefit should you emphasize? Go back to your situation analysis.
This is where you compared your product to the competition, to find out what benefit you deliver better than they do. When you position your offering around your strengths, you'll get an important edge over the competition. (laughs) And that's what great marketing is all about.
- Planning for a marketing campaign
- Writing the situation analysis
- Writing the strategic, tactical, and budget sections of the plan
- Leveraging your plan