Building a business is hard. From idea development to building a viable go-ahead market strategy. And it doesn’t stop there. It goes on to profiting from the business. But businesses do face difficulties a lot of times. After passing some stages in business the next stage becomes hard. And sometimes some businesses even find it hard to pass the existence stage. So, what is the cause of this? Is it that the barber is inexperienced or that the clipper is bad? Well, most times the problem is an unsuitable type of marketing strategy. That is, employing a type of marketing strategy that isn’t appropriate for your business.
So, what are we gonna do then? Do we keep jumbling or trying out new different marketing strategies to know which is gonna work? Or do you search for that one method suit all business, type of marketing strategy? Well, it is your business. So, it’s is your decision. However, this post has different types of marketing strategies that can work for any business.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MARKETING STRATEGY
This is the most common type of marketing strategy. Because every marketer knows about it. It involves all types of marketing channel used before the inception of digital marketing. For example, Television ads, radio ads, and billboards. So, before the advent of the internet, these were mostly used. Because they are the available methods that one can use to reach out to a large number of people.
While traditional marketing uses older Tv ads, radio ads, etc. to achieve its marketing aim. Digital marketing uses the more modern electronic devices or the internet for its. So, social media, email, and search engine marketing can be considered as examples of this.
Outbound because it involves active pushing of the message to the consumers. So, they didn’t ask for it but you somehow got it across to them. For example, email blasts. Businesses can easily turn off consumers using this approach. So, the tip is to segment your customers and get them the right message.
This type of marketing strategy is the opposite of outbound marketing strategy. So, consumers willingly bring themselves to you. That is, you passively attract consumers. An example of this is a lead magnet, like a sign-up for an E-book form, on a helpful and engaging content on your website.
Search Engine Marketing
You might not be tapping the full potential of the internet if your business doesn’t have a website. However, there might not be much difference if your company’s site isn’t search engine optimized. Daily Google searches are estimated to be 3.5 billion per day. Searches on your industry’s content could be up to 1M and if your content makes the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) in 10% of the searches. It’s a sure way to promote your business. So, you don’t want to miss out on this. Also, you should check out the SEO segment of this post
Social media marketing
In this type of marketing strategy; the focus is on the audience on social media. And with the number of daily active users (DAU) on social media, Facebook alone reported about 1.66 billion DAUs, you sure want your business to establish a good social media presence. Tip: Don’t forget to tailor your message to suit the social media platform you want to put it to.
When you hear this, what do you think? A company’s logo, a company’s name, or more than those? Well, brand marketing goes beyond just a company’s name or logo. It involves their identity, values, and personality. So, this type of marketing strategy aims to seamlessly communicate these properties to the audience.
You would have noticed that sometimes you see contents related to your recent search engine searches on your different social media platforms. This is an example of content marketing. So, it tends to personalize content brought to you based on your interest. Clearly, this is powerful because you will most likely go for the product since you are currently interested in it.
This is when businesses pay publishers to join in creating sponsored content that looks like one of the publisher’s non-sponsored content. So, the publisher tweaks the content in a way that is relevant to their viewers. Moreover, this publisher should be influential in the businesses’ niche to increase the reach of the content.
In this type of marketing strategy, two businesses collaborate to get their products/ services to different audiences. For example, YouTubers do partner with channels that do the same as theirs to increase their audience reach.
The aim of this is to build a loyal customer base through value delivery and good customer care services. So, the effect of this is the long-term sustenance of your customers and not just a one-off purchase by them. Check out more on relationship marketing.
Word of Mouth marketing
It’s a passive form of marketing usually done by your customers after a satisfactory engagement with your business. Clearly, this is kinda dependent on relationship marketing. Because it’s a loyal customer base that will be passionate enough to recommend your business.
This involves sending your content to the audience that willingly opted for it. It is one way of creating a deep long-lasting relationship with your customers by sending them personalized content. However, to avoid being tagged as spam by most email client apps, you should comply with email governing regulations especially the CAN-SPAM act. Also, you can check out this free course on email marketing to enhance your knowledge of this subject.
This type of marketing strategy aims at engaging customers by creating memorable, attractive public displays. The public show must not be necessarily about your company. It can address a community’s problem. For example, Coca-Cola small world machines. Aimed at fostering harmony between two countries that have been in dispute. However, let the result of such a campaign should bring your brand to the limelight. So, get creative in your experiential marketing.
From the military guerrilla tactics. One can easily say placing the word guerrilla beside marketing is very intense. However, guerrilla marketing isn’t combative or disruptive. It’s an unconventional type of marketing strategy that employs the use of opportunities to catch people during their normal daily routine. For more on guerrilla marketing, check this out
This type of marketing strategy provokes consumers to take action towards a business due to incentives offered by the business. For example, coupons, and price for winning a contest.
Through this type of marketing strategy companies aim to align themselves to a certain tradition or beliefs. So, consumers who also have similar beliefs tend to follow the company’s brand in that industry.
Through this strategy companies in the same industry pulls resources to market the same product or service. So, most times companies do this because the alliance makes them stronger in the market. For example, the Android Open Handset Alliance.
In a world where every market is becoming overcrowded. Niche marketing helps you find out consumers that need products in that same market. For instance, the shoe market is already overcrowded but a shoe company can carve out a new niche of consumers and make products targeted at them.
Businesses can increase their consumer reach by this type of marketing strategy. By maximizing seasonal events or activities to foster their marketing campaign. For example, Heineken maximizing the champions league matches to promote their bear.
Just like an undercover agent in the military. This type of marketing strategy involves the use of a stealth maneuver to market the product to consumers. So, undercover marketing agent uses opportunities to promote their company in a congregation. And also, the people might not even be aware that they are being marketed to.
Best PRODUCT MIX STRATEGIES to Scale Any Business (+ Detailed Guide)
Start-up entrepreneurs always brainstorm during the product development phase on the product mix strategies to work with.
This determines if the business will be relevant in the market over time or not.
Therefore, putting these strategies in place from the onset will enhance business growth.
As a result, this article has explained the product mix strategies for your business, as well as, its difference with product line. Stay with us!
What is Product Mix?
Product Mix is also known as product assortment or product portfolio. It refers to the complete set of products or services offered by a company
It basically consists of product lines which are the items customers use together. For example, milk and milo.
Some companies have product line within the same product line like liquid soap and washing bar, while others have within different product lines like diapers and hair extentions.
There are four dimensions of a company’s product mix. They are; Width, which shows the number of product lines; Length, which shows the total products in your mix; Depth, which shows product variations; and Consistency, how the product mix are related to each other.
Product Mix Elements
As mentioned earlier, there are four elements of product mix. We will discuss about them in this segment.
#1 Width: Number of Product Lines
Start-ups usually have a narrow or small product mix. As the business expands, they also expand their product lines. And invariably product mix. This is often advised so that the startup can obtain a good market share in its streamlined product lines.
#2 Length: Total Products
The length refers to the number of total products in your product mix. Using the example above, the product line is business plans and past questions. Business plans consist of over 500 business plans like snail farming, baking, fashion, laundry, etc. The same goes for business consulting services like advisory roles, Idea generation, problem-solving, staff training etc
Do you need a Businesss Plan? Check our Business Plan Archives
So, the total number of these products make up the length. Also, companies that have many product lines may keep track of the average length per product line.
#3 Depth: Product Variations
This is the total number of variations for each product.
Variations can include size, flavor, and any other distinguishing characteristic. For example, if your company sells three sizes and two flavors of bread, that bread has a depth of six.
Sometimes, companies can report the average depth of a product line.
#4 Product Mix Consistency: Relationship
Product mix consistency is an advantage to firms trying to position themselves as a niche producer or distributor. In addition, consistency helps improve brand image.
Difference between Product Mix and a Product line
Product mix is defined as the set of all products a particular seller has for sale. Product mix is also called as product assortment. A product Mix consists of various product lines.
See Also : Target Marketing
These variations come about as a need to widen customer base and attract customers of all spheres of life. Also, they use it to eliminate new market entrants and possible competitors.
For example, Samsung has a product line of mobile phones. But, the phones have different models which range from cheap and affordable phones to expensive ones.
This different models of phone for different classes of customers is known as product line.
Some attributes of product lines are:
Line Stretching: This occurs when companies increase their products beyond the current range. This can be Downmarket stretch, Upmarket Stretch, and Two-way stretch.
Line filling: Adding more products within the present range. It is more like filling out the missing items so that customers will buy all items from you thereby increasing profit.
For example, a phone shop like Samsung adding earphones, memory cards to their collection. They already did.
Line modernization deals with upgrading to new technologies so that customers will upgrade to higher priced and valued items.
Line featuring deals with featuring a few products in the line just to attract customers into a showroom where all models will be exposed. This can be likened to a promotion.
We have to understand that the product line is a subset of product mix. For example, Samsung offers mobiles, T.V’s, A.C’s, washing machines, etc. Mobiles phones are one product line, T.V is another one. These product lines put together is called a product mix.
Product Mix Examples
One of the examples of product mix is Coca-Cola.
In this post, we will assume that Coca-cola has two product lines which are soft drinks and juice. In the classification of soft drinks are Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Diet Coke, Zero coke. And for Juice, we have Guava, Mango, and Mixed fruit.
Now, using the elements of the product mix.
The Width is two: soft drinks and juice.
The length is the total number of products eight.
Depth: Using the example above, there is just one flavor/variation in the products. So, the depth is eight.
Consistency: This will be very high because all the products are beverages. In addition, production and distribution channels remain similar for each product.
Product Mix Strategies
When companies are starting out, it is important, to begin with a product mix limited in width, depth, and length; and have a high level of consistency. However, over time, the company may want to differentiate products or acquire new ones to enter new markets. They may also add to their lines similar products that are of higher or lower quality to offer different choices and price points.
This is called stretching the product line. When you add higher quality, more expensive products, it’s called upward stretching. If you add lesser quality, lower priced items, it’s called downward stretching.
Do you want to scale your business? Do well to follow these product mix strategies for your business to boom. Contact us in the comment box if there are any questions or ideas you’d like to share.
Competitor Analysis: All you need (+ How to Start Guide)
How do you see competitors in your industry? Do you see them as a threat, a motivation, or an information bank to learn from? Hopefully, important competitor analysis tools provided in this post will help you in using your competitors to serve your customers better.
WHAT IS COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
Competitor analysis is a way companies in an industry get to see the full picture, which is the strength and weakness, of their current and potential competitors. So, it helps companies realize opportunities and strike decisively against their competitors. Clearly it is handy to every business no matter the size or the stage. That is small business owners, big business co-operations, and start-ups.
TYPES OF COMPETITOR ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK
There are different types of competitor analysis framework which you can use for effective competitor analysis in your marketing strategy. And these frameworks have their differences and individual peculiarities that make them more effective in different marketing conditions. Let’s look at them and know when best to apply them.
SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s a popular and easy framework used by firms to analyze internal and external factors that can affect their business. The internal factors being strengths and weaknesses and the external factors being threats and opportunities. The constituents of each component of SWOT analysis are organized based on hierarchy by companies. So, SWOT analysis of a company will look like the image below.
Porter’s five forces:
This type of competitor analysis framework has five components as summarized below.
Level of competition within the industry:
There can be an inverse relationship between the number and strength of your competitors to your market relevance. Your power to influence the market can diminish when you have more competitors with a better product than yours.
If you have suppliers above you in your industry. How easy can they increase the prices of their supply? Clearly, the more the number of suppliers with quality products the more your alternatives. So, this could force them to cut down prices to attract customers.
How much will it cost buyers to influence your price in the market? Obviously, if you have a large customer base whom you provide with an affordable quality product better than that of other rivals. It will be quite difficult for customers to dictate terms for you.
The threat of substitution:
If there are lots of options for your customers to choose from then they will likely choose the cost-efficient ones. For example, if they could DIY your products. Then they are likely to cut you out. So, you have to constantly strive to make your product among the few options available to them.
The threat of new entrant:
The cheaper, in cost and time, it is for new competitors to enter a market the easier they can become a formidable competitor and weaken your hold of the market share.
Strategic Group analysis:
By applying this type of framework. You will be able to group companies within your industry based on their strategy in the market. Know the ones that possess more threat to you in the industry and how to deal with them. Then know the ones that are less threatening and keep an eye on them.
Growth share matrix:
The growth-share matrix categorizes products based on their growth potential and market share. They are the cash cows, the dogs, the question mark, and the cows. Hence you can use this tool to know the stand of a competitor’s product in the market and how to rival it.
COMPETITOR ANALYSIS TOOLS
Let’s check out some examples of important competitor analysis tools that will help you gather and analyze data of competitors in your industry. We’ve categorized them based on these 4 areas of specialization.
Competitor analysis tools for social media:
These tools enable companies to monitor their competitor’s social media presence. Examples are Sprout social, Phlanx, Social blade.
Competitor analysis tools for SEO:
Helps sites to discover keywords that drove the most traffic to the competitor’s site. And more than providing trending keywords they also provide data on SEO attributes like backlinks, organic, and paid searches. Examples are SEMrush, Ahrefs.
Competitor analysis tools for content:
They help businesses in the analysis of a rival’s content. So, this could help them learn and make adjustments to their subsequent contents. Examples of the tools are Buzzsumo, Similarweb.
Competitor analysis tools for ads, emails:
Tools like isPionage help businesses monitor a rival’s paid ads. It helps in the analysis of multiple aspects of pay per click campaigns. Also, email analysis tools like Milecharts and Owletter are handy when businesses want to dig into their rival’s Email marketing.
HOW TO DO COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
So, you now have an idea of competitor analysis is all about. Now let’s guide you on an easy to use steps for your competitor analysis.
Discover and categorize your competitors:
This is the very first thing to do in competitor analysis. It involves you finding out your competitors and classifying them based on the type of competitor they are to you. A simple google search of keywords in your industry could help you with these. Other tools like SEMrush and Similar web will also automatically list your competitor’s websites when you enter your own website in the search field. Then, when you are done identifying; categorize them based on the type of competitor they are.
Provides similar products to solve the same problem for the same consumer base.
Different solution competitors
Provides similar products to the same customer base but using a different technique.
Different customer competitors
Solves the same problem with a similar product but to a different customer base.
For a detailed and thorough analysis, it is advisable to get at least one competitor for each of the categories.
When you have discovered your competitors. Then, it’s time to do some digging on some information about them. This information includes
the company’s overview like the number of employees
their funding and estimated revenue and
customer base features.
You can get information on the company’s overview on their website or social media platforms. And for their funding and estimated revenue, you can dig something up from their media interviews and conference presentations.
You need to know everything about the product your company provides. For example, product features, pricing, and customer benefits. If they have an e-commerce platform check it out to get product information.
Customers’ details and reviews:
Customers’ detail like their geography helps you know your competitor’s target location. Their reviews let you know their sentiment. Tools like Awario and Mention will be handy to gather information about your competitor’s customers.
The information you should gather here is as follows.
SEO, social media presence, influencers and partners, content marketing, Advertisement. The competitor analysis tools will help you out with these.
Use the appropriate competitor analysis framework:
Feed your garnered intel to the most suitable type of competitor analysis framework. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your rivals. Then act based on the result of your analysis.
IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
If you call it espionage. Fine. If you calling it an intrusion of privacy. No comment. But it’s apparent that competitor analysis is important to businesses. And some of these importance are as follows
Identification of threats and opportunities:
This is the major importance of every competitor analysis. So, you recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors after analyzing them. Hence, these strengths serve as a threat to you, so you need to adjust well, and the weaknesses an opportunity for you to strike at.
Increase market share:
If you are far low in ranking in your industry. Then, this is the long-run importance of competitor analysis. Realizing your customer’s taste from a competitor and fine-tuning it will have an impact on your market share.
Proper channeling of resources:
You don’t get to waste resources on low yield products or marketing strategy after conducting a comprehensive competitor analysis.
When you have a sizeable market share; your sales increase. Hence, this is another importance of competitor analysis.
Ansoff Matrix Explained: Practical Examples, Theory, & Strategy
You are probably trying to get your head around some questions like “what Ansoff matrix is,” “Ansoff matrix theory,” “Ansoff matrix examples,” “Ansoff matrix strategy.” Well, you’re at the right place cos this post has been designed to clarify all the questions you have in mind on this subject.
What is Ansoff Matrix
The Ansoff Matrix theory was developed by Russian-American mathematician and business manager Igor Ansoff. It’s a framework that’s designed to help firms decide their market growth as well as product growth strategies. Clearly this tool is not just handy to big business but also to small businesses and start-ups. Because a big business might want to diversify its products but a start-up might just want to penetrate the market. Having this knowledge, let’s take a look at the breakdown of these strategies.
Breakdown of the Ansoff Matrix Strategy
There are 4 quadrants in the matrix, and as a company you can choose from any of the quadrants, the strategy that maximizes your market potential. So, let’s breakdown this Ansoff Matrix Strategy by taking a look at all the components of the framework. The picture below gives a nice summary of the strategies.
Market penetration in Ansoff matrix:
This is the least risky in the Ansoff Matrix strategy. It focuses on getting more out of an existing product in an existing market. So, a company tries to sell more of its products in its present market through any of these. Increase in advertisement and distribution support, reduction in price, acquisition of a rival. One prerequisite for this is having a small market share. So, you try to get more hold of the market through this strategy. But if you already have a sizeable chunk of the market, then you may want to select any of the other three.
Product development in Ansoff matrix:
In this strategy the firm creates more products in it’s existing market to satisfy consumer needs. In this you already have a customer base for a certain product but the product has attained a level of market saturation. So, to solve this you offer consumers another product within the same market. The new product can be actualized by patent acquisition to produce someone else’s product, badging a bought product as your brand, investment in research and development of additional product.
By applying this Ansoff matrix strategy a firm aims at reaching out to a new market segment with their existing products which has gained market penetration in another market segment. For instance, some companies after gaining national market penetration in a given country, they move forward to reach out to consumers in other countries where they’ve not been established. You can actualize this in a local business by moving your product which has gained market penetration in a state/province to other states. However, it’s advisable not to take up this strategy until your products have penetrated at least one market.
When companies adopt this Ansoff matrix strategy they introduce new products to a new market. Because the company is investing in both a new market and a new product this causes a two quadrant move in the Ansoff matrix. So, this makes this strategy the riskiest. Diversification strategy could be related or unrelated. In related diversification there is relationship and hence potential synergy between the firms. In un-related there is no relationship between the firms. So, un-related diversification can also be called conglomerate growth.
Hence, you can select any of these strategies depending on your position in the market.
Some Ansoff Matrix examples in reality
We are going to list the different Ansoff Matrix examples in reality based on the component of the quadrant they best fit in.
Android is a good example of this. Apple and blackberry dominated the U.S smartphone industry about 12 years ago. But today Android shares almost equal amount of the market with Apple and we can’t find blackberry nowhere.
Smartphone companies like Apple and Samsung putting out new phone models every few years is an example of product development in the Ansoff Matrix.
A good example of market development strategy is PayPal. They initially started their service in the US and expanded to other countries. Another example is Apple, after releasing iPod which is an expensive device for music lovers. They released iPod shuffle which is cheaper and targets a market segment of consumers who love music but are less willing to pay a premium price for it.
Alphabet incorporation exemplifies this. They started on the internet with google search but gradually moved into different markets, including the oil sector.
Finally, the Ansoff matrix is good for startups, small business owners and big business owners. So, you need to know you position in the market and select the strategy that will work best for you.
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