What's SO in marketing
This is how you create an optimal marketing concept
Marketing or "the art of attracting customers"
Marketing has become a critical factor in a company's success. If it was previously understood as pure advertising, today's marketing is a consistent alignment of the company to the needs of the respective target customers.
The aim is therefore to create and implement a marketing concept that is optimally tailored to the target customers in order to achieve the most efficient possible customer acquisition and customer loyalty and to avoid wastage. Marketing has a direct impact on sales (possibly also on costs) and thus on business success.
So that you, as a successful founder or entrepreneur, use marketing correctly and create an efficient marketing concept, you should proceed step by step and ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are your customers and what do you want?
- Who are your competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What goals do you want to achieve with marketing?
- How do you position your company in such a way that you achieve the goals?
- Which measures are necessary for this?
- Which marketing activities were successful and which weren't?
- How can you create long-term customer loyalty?
In the following we explain how you get from the target group to the marketing strategy to the heart of marketing - the marketing concept - and what you should pay attention to when implementing the measures. The aim is to achieve success - i.e. sales - faster through efficient marketing.
Everything revolves around the target group
The marketing concept begins with the target group: B2B or B2C?
The crucial question that every entrepreneur has to ask is which customers you want to address with your product or service (target group) and which problem or need you solve or meet for this target group.
For young companies in particular, it makes sense to describe the target group on the one hand using various sociodemographic factors such as age, gender, etc. On the other hand, additional information such as interests, habits, outlooks on life and ways of life (the easiest using the Sinus Milieus) should be included in the target group definition.
In order to be able to better empathize with the target group, it is usually useful to create and thus also to use different fictitious target group images. These are called personas in marketing.
In the case of already established companies, the question of whether the existing customers also correspond to the actual target group is particularly interesting. This can be found out relatively easily using existing data and / or a small customer survey.
In the context of the target group analysis or definition, the subdivision between
- B2C: private target customers
- B2B: companies as a target group
This difference is so important because, on the one hand, the number (e.g. 82 million Germans vs. 3.6 million registered companies) can differ greatly, but also because the buying motivation and buying behavior are usually very different.
A private target customer (B2C; business to consumer), for example, usually decides himself, whereas in companies (B2B; business to business) a team or a superior of the actual target customer often makes the final decision whether an investment is made. The decision-making process, the volume, the motivation to buy, the intensity of advice, etc. usually differ greatly between a B2C and a B2B business model. Therefore, you have to differentiate between B2C marketing and B2B marketing in your marketing concept.
Once you have carried out the target group analysis and defined your target group, the focus is on the competition and the competition. The question is what added value you offer the customer compared to the competition.
Consider trends & competition in the marketing concept
Another important task for marketing is to do market research. It is important to question customers and to keep an eye on and analyze the competition. Thanks to continuous market research, new market conditions and trends can be discovered at an early stage, which you can then use for yourself if necessary.
As part of the market analysis, competitors are continuously analyzed and strengths and weaknesses are shown - these are particularly relevant for the marketing concept. Ideally, you should record the positioning of the individual direct competitors at regular intervals - this way you can quickly and easily see how you stand compared to the competition.
As for trends, it is usually advisable to ask customers about their needs on a regular basis. Thinking outside the box (what is happening in other countries or possibly in other industries) also helps to identify new trends at an early stage so that we can react to them.
If you know who you are addressing with your offer and what the market situation looks like, it should be relatively easy for you to set realistic goals - the next step towards an efficient marketing concept is therefore "set marketing goals".
We have developed a number of tools - such as the positioning tool or the competitor analysis tool - that you can use free of charge for your marketing concept.To the free tools
Where do you want to go? Set marketing goals!
Once you have defined the target group and are familiar with the market and competition, you need to set the goals for marketing. These can be derived from the respective company goals and on the one hand should be quantitatively tangible:
- x new customers should be won within x months
- a marketing budget of x is intended to generate additional income for x
In addition, the marketing goals also contain qualitative elements:
- customer satisfaction is x%
- brand awareness has increased by x%
In particular, the qualitative factors should be based on the influencing factors relevant to the target group and their motivation to buy: e.g. x customers benefit from the customer card.
Once you have set the marketing goals, the question naturally arises as to how the goals can be achieved - the marketing strategy follows.
How to get there: Define your marketing strategy
The corporate strategy and the marketing strategy are closely linked or can even be equated to a certain extent. As part of the strategy, the question of how you want to position your company is particularly relevant. You should do both
- Your target group: for example, as a premium provider, you tend to address wealthy customers
- Your business goals: how many customers do you need to reach in order to sell a number of x, as well as
- the competition: is the market possibly already saturated; how many direct competitors do you have, has the potential already been exhausted, etc.
in the strategy development. It is important for an efficient marketing concept that you pursue a clear strategy. In order to be successful in the long term, there are basically three possible strategies. Once you have decided on a positioning and marketing strategy, it is important to pursue it consistently.
Once the marketing strategy has been defined, the strategy must be implemented. You do this by taking a series of actions called marketing tools.
The 4Ps: which marketing tools are relevant for you?
The term marketing instruments summarizes all measures that are relevant or necessary to achieve the goals.
Which marketing instruments you use depends very much on the target group (B2C vs. B2B), the strategy (cost leader, quality leader or niche provider) and on the respective product (consumer goods, durable goods or capital goods). For example, if you want to offer premium organic soy milk, other marketing instruments are relevant than if you want to sell luxury real estate as a real estate agent, for example.
In the case of consumer goods, for example, the marketing instruments known as "4P" (Product, Place, Price & Promotion) are often relevant. In the case of services, additional 3Ps are usually added. In a B2B business model, however, direct sales are often the most important marketing instrument.
When selecting marketing instruments, it is important to know which factors are relevant for the target group's purchasing decision. If, for example, it is only the price, then all marketing instruments (e.g. the 4Ps) and also the strategy (organization, employees, etc.) and the marketing concept must be geared towards this. On the other hand, if you want to sell a new industrial robot to a handful of customers, direct sales and services are probably the most important marketing instruments.
Use the marketing instrument "advertising" sensibly
Although different marketing instruments are important depending on the target customer, business model and offer, communication in particular - i.e. advertising - is a very important marketing instrument that you should consider in your marketing concept.
Advertising is primarily about informing potential customers in order to then create or arouse a need. Ultimately, advertising contributes a large part to customer acquisition and thus leads to more sales - provided it is target group-specific. The focus on the target group is the key to a successful and efficient advertising campaign - high wastage is expensive in marketing and should be avoided as far as possible in your marketing concept!
When it comes to advertising, a basic distinction can be made between classic advertising and online marketing. With classic advertising, marketing measures such as telephone marketing, direct marketing or advertising on radio and television are conceivable.
When marketing online, you should ask yourself whether you are, for example, reach your customers optimally through email marketing, search engine marketing and / or social media marketing.
Once you have identified the most optimal advertising channels and determined the other marketing instruments, you can start planning the individual marketing measures. The question is when which instruments should be used. You answer these questions as part of the "Marketing Master Plan" - the marketing concept.
Everything according to plan: create a marketing concept
The marketing concept is about creating the most efficient marketing mix possible. With the marketing mix, you determine which relevant marketing instrument receives which weight - without losing sight of the marketing budget.
With the marketing concept you answer very practical questions such as:
- How much would you like to spend on online marketing (promotion)
- How much would you like to spend on discount campaigns (Price)
- Which sales promotion measures are planned (place)
In addition to the selection and weighting of the individual marketing instruments, the timing of the marketing measures is also an important factor in the marketing concept. The question is, for example, when which banner should be displayed, when a customer card should be introduced and when the guerrilla marketing campaign should start. These are all questions that should be answered as part of the marketing concept.
The time element is particularly important because a good marketing concept can be used to measure how successful the individual marketing measures are. Measuring is of course only possible and meaningful if not too many marketing measures are carried out at the same time.
From theory to practice - our marketing concept example
Our marketing concept example shows that creating a concept in marketing is not rocket science.
The marketing concept shows, step by step, how you can become a successful cake seller at the local football tournament. We hope you enjoy reading the marketing concept example!
Is your marketing concept working? Marketing controlling
If individual marketing measures are implemented and measured, it is relatively easy to calculate the efficiency of the respective marketing measure (additional income divided by the costs for the marketing measure). After a certain period of time it is possible to determine an optimal marketing mix that leads to an efficient marketing concept. However, it is usually not advisable to limit yourself to the most efficient marketing measures. For example, branding measures in marketing can usually not be measured directly, but are extremely important for certain target groups.
It is also important that customers are optimally looked after after the purchase. Retaining an existing customer (whom you have already convinced) is much cheaper and more efficient than winning a new one. You can find out more about customer loyalty here.
Conclusion: 5 tips for a successful marketing concept
Marketing has become a crucial factor for business success. In order to be successful in the long term as a founder and / or entrepreneur, you should consider the following 5 practical tips for an efficient marketing concept:
- Know the wants and needs of your target group
- Keep an eye on your fellow applicants
- Set clear goals and consistently follow the strategy
- Only those who measure know which marketing measures are working
- Making an existing customer happy is much cheaper than winning a new one
As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.
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