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A major determinant in a product's long-term success is a solid marketing strategy. Unfortunately, in a rush to get a new product to market, many companies don't invest the time and planning necessary to get a solid strategy in place that can help ensure the product's success. This article will help address how companies can craft a winning marketing strategy for any product.
There are six independent variables (keys) that help determine the most cost-effective strategies for any business. Before you jump to a "solution," it's a good idea to spend a few minutes to ensure that you have thoroughly analyzed your situation and understand each of the variables as they relate to your company and its objectives situation. Think of it as a mini situation analysis.
If you do a careful job in this review, you'll minimize the chances that you will spend hours—and a chunk of your marketing budget—implementing a flawed strategy.
The most important planning step is to be clear about what it is you want to accomplish. Is your goal to generate qualified leads? If so, how many and in what timeframe, and what is the value of the leads? Do you want to position your company so that it will be top of mind when new prospects are ready to buy? If so, what is it that you want them to remember about you? What is the "trigger" that will evoke your company name? What is the timeframe? And how will you know if you've accomplished the objective?
Your objective is the starting point and foundation of your marketing strategy. Take the time to make sure that you are starting out on the right foot. Don't sell yourself short at the start: Invest the time necessary to clearly spell out exactly what you want to accomplish.
Key action point: As with any business objective, it is important to be clear. An objective should be specific and measurable, with a timeframe and unambiguous success determinants that won't change or become arbitrary in a few months.
Michael A. Goodman is a marketing/management consultant and author of the book The Potato Chip Difference: How to apply leading edge marketing strategies to landing the job you want. For more information, visit PotatoChipDifference.com.