A differentiated marketing strategy requires you develop a separate marketing plan for each segment you are targeting. We recommend using a strategic marketing planning process to defend against undifferentiated competitors, while simplifying and maximising the overall value of your Business.
So how do you create a strong marketing strategy for your business? Here are some key steps to help start your process.
1. Understand your business situation.
If you do not start with a clear understanding of the business goals behind a marketing strategy, you are unlikely to succeed. Start by asking yourself;
What is the business reason behind your selection of a differentiated marketing strategy?
What will success look like?
How will you decide which segments to target?
Use different types of research to help you decide which markets to target, and which clients to target. For example, opportunity research compares the viability of different markets or target audiences.
2. Research & Understand your target client segments
Professionals who think they understand their clients' needs and priorities are usually missing some key aspects of their clients' thinking and decision-making. When doing research, focus on the best clients within your target segment to determine how to find more clients like them. Making sure you understand their buying behaviour, motivations and priorities.
3. Positioning your Business in the Marketplace Successful positioning rejects conformity. At its best, positioning elevates a brand above the fray and attracts attention. Positioning starts with identifying the factors that set you apart, and your differentiators must pass three tests:
True—You can’t just make it up. You must be able to deliver upon your promise every day.
Provable—Even if it is true, you must be able to prove it to a skeptical prospect.
Relevant—If it is not important to a prospect during the firm selection process it will not help you win the new client.
Differentiate your Business in some meaningful way and write a focused, easy-to-understand positioning statements for each target market segment. This statement will become the DNA of your business brand.
4. Define and refine your service offerings.
Services can evolve over time. New services can be created to meet the needs of changing clients, and process changes can be automated to deliver more value at a lower cost with higher margins.
5. Identify the marketing techniques you will be using
In Step 2, you gather information on your target audiences so you can reach them in their preferred channels.Balance your marketing techniques by creating content for all levels of the sales funnel, including blog posts, guest articles, and conference presentations.
6. Identify the new tools, skills and infrastructure you will need
New techniques demand new tools and infrastructure. It’s time to add any new ones you may need or replace those that aren’t up to date or outdated.
7. Document your operational schedule and budget
Marketing planning includes a strategy, a written plan, and specific deadlines. You will need two key documents, a marketing calendar and a marketing budget, to implement your plan.
Recognise that you may need to adjust your schedule as needed, leaving room for last-minute changes, and build a budget based on your plan.
Differentiated marketing is not right for every firm. It is more complex than a niche strategy, but it is worth the effort in maximising the overall value of your Business.