I’ll try not to put you to sleep too quickly with this one, but Marketing Strategy and Marketing Mix — and how they are related — are very important concepts that entrepreneurs need to understand when building startups.
Marketing Strategy is your long-term approach to how you plan to achieve and sustain your competitive advantage. It includes definitions of your ideal or target customer, your value proposition, and your key brand and marketing messages. Marketing Mix is also known as the 4 P’s (Price, Product, Place and Promotion) and is the foundation of marketing. They are related in that you will use the tactics in the marketing mix to implement and achieve your marketing strategy, adjusting as needed for different situations. Answering the three questions below will help ensure you’ve covered all necessary points in both your marketing strategy and marketing mix.
1. Do you have a set of long-term, high-level marketing strategy goals and a direction you’re committed to?
Don’t worry if you don’t have your complete marketing strategy in place yet, as it can change and evolve. But as long as you have the overall strategy in mind, you can more easily share it with teammates, partners and investors, for example. It helps to transfer our long-term entrepreneurial vision from our brain to others’.
If you need help formulating the strategy, you don’t need an MBA; a simple SWOT analysis will do. See our article on SWOT analysis if you need to know more.
2. Have you identified the 4 P’s for your business?
• Price: What price point are you targeting and why?
• Product: How is your product best described using common attributes?
• Place: Where can your product be found? How easy is it to get to?
• Promotion: How will your customers find out about your product or service?
Again, no one is holding your feet to the fire here if you don’t follow through, but the goal is to show intent and to focus your vision.
3. Can you connect your long-term marketing strategy from question one to the operating decisions in question two to come up with a seamless marketing plan?
Personally, I find this is a great question to answer if you’re unsure about your next marketing steps, or if you need to share with third parties such as partners or investors.
Understanding these basic terms and answering these questions can really help you focus and communicate your vision as an entrepreneur. Marketing and sales are crucial components of any startup, so it helps to use this structure to think about your marketing strategy early on. As a solopreneur, you don’t have to go solo. We can help fill out the roles you’d like to delegate.