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Our penultimate topic in this short series is the strategy itself. We are discussing here the marketing strategies we will pursue based on the objectives we have selected and the information we have gathered, analyzed, and studied about our target market, competition, and your proposed company.
What is a marketing strategy
Marketing strategy is a long-term plan aimed at achieving a sustainable competitive advantage for a business by ensuring that its products and services satisfy its market’s needs in a profitable manner.
How do we formulate a strategy
Your marketing strategy should be broken down into action plans showing how you intend to develop a sustainable competitive advantage in terms of the elements of the marketing mix, namely: product, price, promotion, and distribution.
Before proceeding, let us go back to Part 3 of this series which mentions that after conducting a competitive analysis and overall assessment of the market, you are now ready to define your company’s unique value proposition and why customers should prefer you over competitors. You can now define your competitive advantage.
For your proposed furniture marketing business, you may have stated your competitive advantage as follows:
‘Superior value offering from a combination of well-known furniture brands and a customer-centric professional marketing organization.’
Part 1 of this series discusses marketing objectives. It mentions that when we talk about marketing strategy, or any strategy for that matter, we always start with the objectives.
For each of the marketing mix elements, you have to state the specific objectives you want to achieve which will contribute to sustaining your competitive advantage.
You may express your action plans for your furniture marketing business in reference to your stated competitive advantage as follows:
- To exclusively offer starting 2nd quarter of 2018 the well-known ABODE Brand of home furniture lines and WORKPLACE Brand of office furniture/systems;
- To launch in Q2 2018 the initial home furniture lines and office furniture systems;
- To start in Q2 2018 pre-sales and post-sales customer support.
- Obtain exclusive distributorship agreement with the ABODE and WORKPLACE brands manufacturer for an initial duration of at least 5 years subject to annual review of sales targets and to subsequent agreement renewals;
- Negotiate with key furniture dealers nationwide for them to carry both brands before formal product launch;
- Organize a team of interior designers and architects to specifically render pre-sales consultation and post-sales support particularly to big residential and major corporate customers.
- To offer a reasonable level of prices that reflect the quality and reputation of the ABODE and WORKPLACE brands;
- To maintain said prices within the competitive range of comparable products in the market.
- Check out and constantly update market research data on market prices particularly for comparable products;
- Strike a balance between price competitiveness and long-term product lines profitability.
- To promote in the 3rd quarter through the 4th quarter of 2018 the ABODE Brand of home furniture and WORKPLACE Brand of office furniture/systems;
- To create awareness for the brands and progressively build its reputation in the local market starting Q2 2018;
- To form a community of loyal brand advocates starting in Q1 2019.
- Collaborate with the manufacturer regarding brand management and how the brand message can best be communicated to the local market drawing best practices from their successful experiences in other markets;
- Check out market demographic and psychographic data and how these can be used to effectively customize brand message delivery in terms of content and communication channels;
- Engage reputable residential customers, big corporate clients, and popular interior design influencers in endorsing the brands
- To reach target households and target corporate clients in Metro Manila in the 2nd quarter, in the island of Luzon in the 3rd quarter, and in the islands of Visayas and Mindanao in the 4th quarter of 2018;
- To make the brands available to residential and corporate customers nationwide by Q1 2019;
- To have all key furniture dealers and retail chains carry the brands by Q1 2019.
- Set up a sales organization capable of:
- Tapping all big furniture dealers and retail chains nationwide for them to offer and carry stocks of the brands;
- Tapping the top 1,000 business organizations in the country to use the WORKPLACE office furniture/systems.
- Set up a logistics system that can:
- Cost-effectively deliver the products within committed delivery lead times to both dealers and end-users nationwide;
- Provide after-sales services to dealers and end-users nationwide in a timely manner.
- Set up a sales organization capable of:
The above action plans will be your springboard in subsequently crafting your marketing plan.
The marketing plan will outline in detail HOW you will implement your marketing strategies, again keeping in mind your competitive advantage as defined above. We will discuss marketing plan in a forthcoming series of blogs.
We will discuss Part 5 (the last portion of this series) in the next blog. It will be about the resources you will need to successfully implement your marketing strategy.
I am sure you can inject more creative and innovative ideas into this discussion. Please feel free to do so by sending me your comments. You can also check out what other services you may need for your business and marketing efforts.