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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 19 April 2021
  • Alex Penfield

What Does Your Marketing Strategy Say About Your Business?

Running a small business requires a lot of thinking on your feet. But while agility is essential in the world of entrepreneurship, it also pays to have some form of a marketing strategy in place. A marketing strategy is the section of your business plan that outlines how you will price, promote and sell your product or service. It determines where your business fits into the market landscape and can serve as an integral framework for how your small business operates on a day-to-day basis. Doing the necessary legwork to build a solid marketing plan can be a big revenue driver and help to sustain the overall success of your business over time.

woman taking photo of clothing in a box

Crafting an actionable marketing strategy may seem daunting, especially for a small business with little or no prior professional marketing experience. A simple way to get started on your strategy is by breaking down your business using the four P’s of marketing:

  • Product — Refers to the actual product or service you will be offering to the marketplace. This can include your brand name, packaging and functionality of what you are selling.
  • Promotion — Outlines how you plan to market the above product. This can include things such as advertising, salesforce and online efforts.
  • Price — Details how you plan to price your product or service and any variables that may come along with that. Consider things like seasonal pricing, discount flexibility and bundling when thinking about your overall business objectives.
  • Place — Also known as distribution, Place will help you determine how you will get your product or service to your customers. This includes logistics, inventory management, order processing and a plan for a brick-and-mortar distribution location if necessary.

Once you’ve determined your business’ four P’s, you are ready to write the marketing strategy portion of your business plan. Below are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your marketing strategy to ensure it’s working as hard as possible for your small business:

  • Make it unique — One of the strongest aspects of your small business is the unique offering you bring to the marketplace. Find what gives you a competitive edge, and make it shine in every aspect of your marketing strategy. This edge, or unique selling proposition (USP), will be the ultimate reason consumers choose your business over the competition.
  • Tailor it — In order to successfully market your business, it’s important to determine your target audience. Once you’ve dialed in on who you’ll be speaking to, you’ll have a better idea of the needs of this specific customer base, giving you a clear audience to point your marketing efforts toward.
  • Keep it flexible — Every small business situation is different, so no two marketing strategies will be the same. While the four P’s are a solid place to start, you may need to tweak them based on your exact business needs. For example, “place” may be a physical location for some, but for others this place may exist only online.
  • Stay on budget — Make sure to keep finances in mind when laying out your marketing strategy. While the bulk of your budgeting will occur in the financial analysis section of your business plan, it’s important to keep those guardrails front and center to ensure your marketing strategy is as realistic and attainable as possible.

Your marketing strategy is an integral part of how your business will operate. Customers will appreciate the time and effort you’ve put in behind the scenes to get your product or service into the marketplace in a strategic way, increasing sales and giving you a leg up on the competition. If you’ve been waiting to craft a marketing strategy, the above should help point you in the right direction, providing you with the tools you need to begin building a solid strategic framework for your business’ marketing needs.

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