Marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Now that your research has focussed your marketing efforts, you are now moving into the decision-making process for defining the actual tactics you will utilise to meet your marketing goals of targeting and selling to your chosen target audience.

Your market research will have identified which new prospects you should be targeting. You now need to establish how you can effectively reach those people to let them know what you can do for them. You will also know how to position your company in terms of its brand and pricing.

Furthermore, you can fine-tune your business offering by strengthening any weaknesses that have been highlighted or take steps to minimise the negative impact a threat may have on your reputation or bottom line.

From your SWOT analysis you'll now be aware which key strengths you need to play to when promoting your company and any opportunities presenting themselves that you need to act on. If a new local business park is being built, it's likely the new occupants will need new corporate literature or a press release to announce their arrival in the area for instance. If your overall marketing objective is to continue building your niche by servicing just one key industry, then approach just those new occupants fitting that criteria in addition.

When it comes to creating a marketing strategy for your business, here are some things you need to consider:

Your company

Your research should have identified what the key strengths of your freelance company are.

What is your USP or an ultimate selling point?

What makes you different/better from others? That fact alone may not ultimately convert interest into business, you need to establish how that USP translates into tangible benefits for your customers.

Will your target audience be using a similar service from someone else?

Then why should they use you? What do you offer that exceeds or satisfies that demand in another way? What incentive will you give to alleviate the burden of switching suppliers? What incentive will you give to make your services worth a try?

Marketing Plan

The next stage will be to finalise your strategy into a marketing plan, which will utilise a combination of several elements: the 'marketing mix'. The most famous mix is the '4 Ps' - product, price, place, and promotion; blending a variety of marketing elements or tactics (price, packaging, distribution, promotion, public relations, etc.) into a marketing program.

More on sales and marketing for freelancers.