The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines Marketing as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying consumer requirements profitably. A marketing and product strategy therefore entails a road map of a product and outlines the end vision of the product and how it will be marketed to the final consumer. A well-formulated marketing and product strategy is very important part of a business for it affects every segment of a business. It is about everything that a business does to create value for its customers and benefits for its employees and shareholders. The main purpose of a good strategy is to achieve the set objectives of a business. There are many type of objectives that a marketing and product strategy needs to fulfill and some of them are:
- Increasing market share
- Increasing sales / turnover
- Enhancing the strength of the brand
- Creating loyal customers
- Managing costs effectively to increase profitability
(1) Products and Services
The business needs to identify the nature of the products and services it will offer. More so when the product has been decided upon, the marketing and product strategy needs to start focus on the packaging, branding and product development. The focus of the business should be on the features and benefits of the product and their unique selling points when compared the competitors
Pricing is a critical part of a marketing and product strategy. A business needs to be aware of the marketplace and the competition and needs to price the products and services properly to maximize profits and also to build a long-term relationship with the customers. If the price of a product or service is effectively done then serious financial consequences can be avoided. Too high a price can result in low sales while too low a price can result in low profits – so the business has to be careful while pricing its products and services
A ‘Place’ refers to the channels and locations that a business uses to distribute its products or related information. This could be in the form of retail store, online shop or social media. It is therefore very important for the business to choose the right location for setting up its store, where the product is easily accessible and can be purchased. Being in the right location canbe a deciding factor in whether a customer will buy from the business or not. This can include both physical stores (ex: supermarket) and virtual stores (ex: eBay)
A very important feature of the Marketing and Product Strategy is how the business is being promoted and marketed to its customers. Regardless of how good the business is doing, it is imperative for a business to promote itself and let people know about its existence. Promotion is about attracting the right people at the right time to a right location to sell the businesses products and services. A perfect promotion strategy would be to combine various numbers of techniques to create the most cost effective strategy to match the businesses needs and vision. To do so, the business can include online portals, public branding, public relations and advertising.
In any business, employees play a critical role in the development of marketing and product strategy. Employees of a business are capable to influence the marketing of the products and services to a large scale. Knowledgeable, involved and friendly staff can contribute to developing and creating satisfied customer and can provide the business with a unique selling experience that a business seeks uniformly. An outstanding business unit can provide the business with a competitive advantage and it becomes easier to achieve the desired marketing objectives. The marketing and product strategy, therefore, needs to focus on proper processes and training for the employees to get the most out of the team.
The process in a marketing and product strategy is defined by how the product and services is presented to the customer and what their experience is with the presentation. For example, the way a wine bottle is presented in a restaurant is a process that represents the service experience of a customer. A proper strategy entails that the key processes and procedures are documented properly for staff and the suppliers and what they need to aim for. This should include:
- Financial process
- Information Technology process
Along with the six key strategies, the business needs to consider the opportunities of offering existing and new products within existing and new markets. The marketing and product strategy, on a whole needs to focus on four important strategies which are:
- (1) Market Penetration: The business strategy needs to penetrate the market effectively and efficiently by increasing promotion activities or price reductions.
- (2) Product Development: The business strategy needs to focus on developing new products and services that have a comparative advantage and a unique selling point when compared to its competitors.
- (3) Market Development: The most important part of a marketing and product strategy should be to introduce the product and services to new markets. The business should expand the presence of its products in existing and new markets to increase sales.
- (4) Diversification: The most risky of all strategy, the business should develop new products and put them in new market at the same time. The business should expand into areas outside its experience and hence target a new audience.
The marketing and product strategy is composed of a variety of processes and actions to achieve the businesses vision and mission. The business should have a clear idea of what the product is and where they would like to take the product. In order to do so the business needs to keep the discussed points in mind and identify and plan for the necessary activities to reach their goal. This counts under the strategic vision of how a company wants to reach its goals. The business should be able to produce the desired response from its targeted market henceforth by influencing the demand for its product.