Marketing: 4 Core Strategies - dummies

By Alexander Hiam

Are there multiple winning marketing strategies? Certainly. In fact, strategy, like everything in marketing, is limited only by your imagination and initiative. If you can think of a better approach to strategy, go for it. The following sections present a few examples of other proven marketing strategies. Perhaps one of them may work for you.

Simplicity marketing

With simplicity marketing, you position your business as simpler, easier to understand, and easier to use or work with than the competition. For example, people who are usually in a hurry would be excited about gas pumps that allow you to swipe your credit card. It’s so simple and quick — and a perfect example of a simplicity strategy.

Some customers are willing to pay a premium to avoid complexity and make purchase decisions simply and quickly. Can this approach be useful to customers in your market?

Look for technologies or processes that can make your customers’ lives simpler and easier. For example, try making it easy to reorder on your website by storing information about what customers last purchased so they don’t have to search through many options to find the right item.

Quality strategies

Most marketers grossly underrate quality. All else being anywhere near equal, a majority of customers choose the higher-quality option. But be careful to find out what your customers think the word quality means. They may have a different view from you. Also, be careful to integrate your quality-based marketing messages with a genuine commitment to quality in all aspects of your business.

You can’t just say you’re better than the competition; you really have to deliver. But if customers see you as superior on even one dimension of quality — then by all means emphasize that in your marketing. Quote customer testimonials praising your quality, describe your commitment to quality in your marketing materials, and make trial usage easy for prospective customers so they can experience your quality, too.

And make sure your pricing is consistent with a high-quality image. Don’t advertise cheap prices or deep discounts, which signal cheapness, not quality.

Reminder strategies

A reminder strategy is good when you expect that people will buy your product if they think of it — but they may not without a reminder. A lot of routine purchases benefit from this strategy (for example, “Got milk?”).

Point-of-purchase (POP) marketing is often an effective way to implement the reminder strategy. Point-of-purchase marketing simply means doing whatever advertising is necessary to sway the consumer your way at the time and place of his purchase.

For retail products, this often means a clever in-store display or sign to remind the consumer about your product. For the rest, it may mean a pop-up coupon-like special offer on Facebook (which is easy enough to do and can be targeted at your friends or a certain population).

Wenger NA promotes its Swiss Army knife product line in jewelry and knife stores by offering it in attractive, attention-getting countertop display cases. Although the pocketknife market has been mature for decades, POP displays remind consumers about the option of buying a Swiss Army knife as a gift — for someone else or even for themselves.

Innovative distribution strategies

Sometimes the most important feature of a purchase is when and where people can buy it. With innovative distribution strategies, you can capture sales from your competitors by being more convenient or available than other options.

For example, can you recall the brand of gas you purchased the last time you stopped at a highway rest stop? Probably not, because it didn’t matter. Whatever brand was offered, you bought it because you needed gas, and highway rest stops offer only one or two options. The gas station owner who manages to secure one of the slots at a rest stop is using a distribution strategy.

As the old saying goes, the three secrets of success in retail are location, location, and location. (Funny how this turns out to be true online, too! If you aren’t on the first page of the search engine list, you’re in trouble, so use Google ads, daily social media activity linked to your site, rich content, and lots of website babysitting to make sure you have a good location when someone searches online.)

The three rules of success actually hold true in all businesses, not just in retail. Always consider what you can do to be more present and convenient for your buyers. The Internet offers opportunities for innovative distribution, and many businesses are building online stores that make it easy to shop at midnight from the comfort of your own bed, or whenever and wherever you please.