Defining your marketing strategy

Defining Your Marketing Strategy


Now that you have gathered a full view of your company, customers, and competition, you can develop the marketing strategy. Start by summarizing the results of the three C’s. In each section, you created a few pages of key findings and implications.

Put all of these together and evaluate them as a whole. What do can you take away from them? Did you learn from the company analysis that your organization has the largest market share and one segment of your customer’s values buying from a stable supplier? If so, perhaps one of your main marketing messages should be that your company is the largest supplier of your product or service and, as a result, you provide stability and economies of scale.

If you identified through your analysis that no company has established a leadership position in a particular market, there may be an opportunity for your company to become a leader. One tool that is helpful in clarifying your marketing strategy is a SWOT framework. Here are a few questions to consider in assessing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Now you’re ready to define the marketing strategy. As I mentioned previously, I don’t think the four Ps are relevant to most companies at this stage. What’s more relevant are these three areas:

Target Market(s):

Who are the target markets (usual segments within the overall market) that you’re going to pursue? Which segment(s) best fit your company’s capabilities, strengths, and goals? Which segment will you pursue first, and then next? You can’t pursue them all; this activity is all about prioritizing

Value Proposition:

Why should people buy from you instead of your competitors? What are your specific, objective, and quantified competitive advantages for each of your target markets (they usually differ between segments). Be very clear here—don’t fall back on business jargon or vague statements.


What words will you use to spark interest in your target market? Your messaging will be based on your value proposition. The focus should be on pain 52 Lisa Shepherd points—your messaging needs to address your target market’s pains.


These exercises are the practical approach to developing an effective marketing strategy. You should be able to present your strategy in ten to fifteen PowerPoint slides—or six to nine pages of text. If it’s longer, you need to continue refining it.

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