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Day: March 23, 2018

Strategic Marketing: Developing Innovative and Creative Customer-Centric Strategic Marketing Plans

Introduction

Organizations that are successfully executing customer-centric strategies while seeking competitive edges and innovative strategies do one thing in common that will lead to their long term success:

They place the customer as the prime reason for every action they take within the organization. From the accounting department, through production and sales, into marketing and even the executive boardroom the customer is the most important focus for each and every activity that occurs.

In order to do this effectively the organization must develop a marketing plan that creatively incorporates customer values on many different levels.

The Marketing Plan

The successful entrepreneurs know that they have an advantage over the larger companies when it comes to the customer. They have the ability to get to know each and every client by collecting as much information about their spending habits, as well as their personal preferences and then utilizing that information to make the customer feel special. The larger companies often are focused on a greater mass-market target and cannot target individually, but the small companies run by the smart people, know how essential it is to take the time to get to know the customer and everything about them.

The Marketing Mix

Every successful marketing plan must encompass at least the following four essential points through answering these questions:

1) Product – What kind of product or service will meet the target market needs?

2) Place (Distribution) – How can we get the product/service to the customer in an efficient and timely manner?

3) Price – What kind of pricing system will best fit the needs of the market to induce maximum sales profitability and maximum customer satisfaction?

4) Promotion – What kind of marketing strategies will be most successful in getting the message to the target segment?

Do all marketing strategies need to be expensive? Not anymore. Even the company of one can develop excellent affordable marketing plans by utilizing guerrilla marketing strategies.

Guerilla Marketing Strategies

L. Conrad Levinson wrote a book about “guerrilla Marketing” a few years back where he explained how small companies can battle the bigger, more slow-moving entities through cheap marketing tactics. The prime points he specified are as follows:

1) Find a niche market and fill that market. – Trying to be everything to everyone will fail.

2) Don’t just sell, entertain the client. – Provide added-value experience through “atmospherics”.

3) Be unique in your product, service, and how you offer. – This will get you remembered and the customer will come to you to see what is different.

4) Create a business identitythat the customer can relate to. – People like relating to things.

5) Connect with customers on an emotional level. – It has been proven that 72{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} of all purchases are made on impulse regardless of how much prior research is done on a product in advance, therefore target the impulse triggers: emotions.

By focusing everything on the customer, the guerrilla marketer will create an unforgettable experience for the customer which will …

Build Your Startup Business Infrastructure on a Budget

There are quite a few steps to take when building a business from the ground up. This article assumes you have already gained a basic knowledge of these steps and are at a point where you have some funding and you are ready to put the building blocks of your business in place. If you are not familiar with the basic steps to build a business, I encourage you to go check out the multitude of publications you can find on the web and then come back and revisit this article.

In most cases, it is paramount to build your business in steps, being very careful how you spend the precious funds that are available to you, regardless of the source of your capital. By now you should have a list of components that need to be put in place, such as the IT infrastructure, including but not limited to email accounts, a website, internal software systems (both “canned” packages as well as custom software) and more. On the creative side, you will need to decide on your branding (logo and color theme). Then most likely you will need business cards, brochures, letterhead, fliers, signage and the like.

Building a business in steps (or increments) can be done, but you need to look for the right talent. At the beginning, you will be much better off finding individuals that are competent in several different areas. The less resources you have to employ, in most cases, the lower your spending outlay will be. If one individual can perform the duties of six or eight people, your budgetary savings should be significant. Later on, when things are taking off, you can replace these multi-talented individuals with dedicated resources, as each duty will likely become a full-time job. Over-staffing too soon can put you out of business in a hurry or put undue pressure on your business to perform sooner than it is capable of.

Let’s turn the clock forward and assume your business is gaining traction. Let’s say your multi-talented individuals just helped you get your business off the ground and now you are going to replace them with employees dedicated to specific business segments, or departments. It will be painless to replace them because they will be expecting it. Why? Because you brought them in as contractors. You have a lot of flexibility with contractors. If it’s in your interest, and the contractor’s interest, you can propose a contract to hire arrangement. Then if things work out well, you could bring them in as part of your senior staff since they will have such a good understanding of your business. Or, they could simply move on. There are many advantages to using contractors in a case like this. If things are not moving as fast as you hoped, you can reduce the contractor’s hours to stay within your budget. You can cut them loose if they are not performing as expected. You will also save money because you will not be …