Your county is a unique entity. No other region provides such a diverse array of products and services. From high-tech equipment and pharmaceuticals to flowers and confectionaries, St. Louis County has something to offer everyone.
Due to its size and location, St. Louis County is a hub for business, trade, and commerce. The region is internationally renowned for its shopping centers, suburban malls, and outlet stores.
Being the third-largest county in the U.S., St. Louis County houses a large population, with over 600,000 residents. As a marketing strategy, you will want to tap into this massive audience to spread the word about your products and services.
The first step in developing your marketing strategy is to do extensive research on your products. What are consumers buying now that may be suitable for your brand? What do you consider to be the competitive landscape? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself as you consider different product categories.
You also need to take the time to evaluate the competition. Who are your direct competitors? Where do they market their products? What are their pricing structures like? How are they promoting their products? You must consider the competition in depth before you can effectively respond to their moves.
Branding And Mapping
Once you have a clear picture of your products, you can move on to the more advanced stage of your strategic marketing plan: branding and mapping. Developing a brand for your business is a complex process, but one that is essential to creating customer awareness and loyalty. To stand out among your competition, you need a brand identity that is unique to you, and one that is easy for your customers to remember.
Branding is the process of defining a company’s product and service characteristics. When someone thinks of your company, what image and impression do they have? What is your company’s mission statement? What values do you hold dearest? What makes you different from competitors? These are the questions you need to answer to develop a clear brand identity. You can also use the answers to the above questions to inform the creation of a tagline, slogan, or advertising campaign. The more you know about your brand, the easier it will be to move forward.
Once you have a clear image in mind of your brand, you can map out the marketing and communications material you will need to promote it. Will you develop a website? A blog? Social media accounts? How about printed materials such as business cards, letterheads, and envelope printing? Once you know what will be required, it’s easier to work backwards and plan the content and frequency of your updates.
Pricing is one of the most important aspects of any marketing plan. You will want to set the right price for your products, ensuring you make enough profit to continue operating, yet not so high that you break even. Typically, the higher the price, the more you will earn, but you need to consider the competition, as some companies may offer similar products for less money. With product research and proper pricing, you can increase sales and reduce the amount of competition you are facing.
After you have developed the necessary brand identity and mapped out the appropriate marketing and communications material, you can move on to the more complex stage of your strategic marketing plan: sales. The more you know about your customers, the easier it will be to sell to them. How many people are buying your product? What are your conversion rates? What do your customers buy after they make a purchase? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself as you consider different customer profiles, purchase motivations, and purchase cycles.
Answering these questions will give you a clearer picture of how to approach selling your products. Do you focus on high-income households or low-income households? Are you targeting homeowners or small businesses? Consider the segments of your customer base, and identify the psychographics, attributes, and needs of each group.
If you’re fortunate enough to have manufacturing and/or distribution networks, you can reduce your selling costs by setting up your own warehouses and getting orders directly from manufacturers. If, however, you are just selling online, then you will need to figure out other ways to get your products to market, such as shipping them yourself or using a virtual freight company. The key takeaway from this stage of your strategy is to find ways to lower your costs, increase your sales, and reduce your reliance on outside parties.
This stage of your strategy is all about making your business more efficient so that you can continue to grow. As a small business owner, you will notice that every area of your business, from administration to sales to operations to shipping, requires some level of attention. To increase your productivity, you can develop a more organized workflow, using tools like digital sign-offs, task management apps, and CRM systems.
Answering these questions will help you identify areas where you can increase efficiency so that you can continue to grow. You can also use the answers to help you find areas where you can improve. For example, if you find yourself spending a lot of time administering refunds, you can develop a policy to automatically generate the refunds, or you can hire a customer services rep to take care of those tasks for you.
After you have developed the necessary tools to execute your strategy, you can finalize the overall strategy, considering all the different aspects of your plan, and make any adjustments as necessary. The last step of a strategic marketing plan is to test the theory and see how it goes. It is a slow and steady process, but one that pays off in the end.