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Strategic Marketing: Customer and Competition

Strategic Marketing: Customer and Competition To begin an effective strategic marketing strategy, it is imperative to know your customer, as well as your competition. Knowing what your target audience is, and knowing who your target customer is, will be the first step towards developing a marketing strategy. Once you have identified your audience, you can then begin to tailor your marketing strategy, including your collaborative marketing efforts.

Who is your customer?

You can start by making a series of imaginary profiles of your potential clients and customers, asking specific questions such as:

- What is the age range of my potential clients?

- What is their income range/

- What are their lifestyles and hobbies?

Depending on the product you are marketing, your phantom client profile will vary. The motivation here is to think of the customer as an individual, rather than as an amorphous group of unknown clients. Once you identify a potential client profile, it will be a more natural process to tailor a marketing scheme.

An effective marketing plan begins with thinking specifically in terms of whom your market is, and who you are trying to entice to use your products and services. An advertisement, email or website display will vary greatly depending on whether you are targeting college age, financially conservative students, middle income families with small children, or single, young professional adults. The same series of advertisements is likely to appeal to a diverse variety of clients than a variety of ads tailored specifically to reach an audience. The same product may very well be suitable for a variety of clients, but the same product is less likely to sell to a varied consumer base with the same marketing strategy.

Don't reinvent the wheel

Knowledge of your competitors' marketing scheme and how they market their products is almost as important as being able to identify your prospective clients. There is a lot to be learned from studying a competitor, especially if they are a well established business with a solid marketing strategy.

Marketing is the way to get your products noticed—this is why it is an essential aspect to a successful business. If nobody knows about you, how can they purchase your wonderful goods and services?

Build upon what has proven successful

If you know of a business in your industry that has catchy marketing ads, it is a good idea to try to understand what they have done to be successful. This is important for two reasons: you don't want to exactly replicate another marketing strategy, and you want your advertisements to stand apart from what is already being produced. This will help you to develop and tailor your marketing scheme to your target audience, in a way that is different from your competition—and get you noticed!

Awareness of how similar businesses in your industry approach marketing will help you develop the edge you need to target your own clients. Intimate knowledge of who these prospective clients are will set you in the right direction for developing a successful marketing strategy that is unique and specific to your business. Knowing your target market, and how the market is targeted by others in your industry, will put your business on a successful path for growth and recognition. Based upon this knowledge, you can even choose a synergistic competitor and create a collaboration marketing campaign.

About the Author:

Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A strategic Collaboration Marketing consulting firm. He empowers business owners to discover and implement Integration, Alliance, and Joint Venture marketing tactics to solve specific business challenges. He demonstrates how to create your own Collaboration Marketing Strategy to increase your sales, conversation rates, and repeat business. Contact: christian@christianfea.com www.christianfea.com

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