Marketing Strategy

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Many companies make a big mistake with their marketing. They try to market themselves by saying things like: “We’ve got the best quality, the best product, the best service, the best people.” Yes, all those things are important, but they won’t help you be successful with your marketing.


Everything in Strategy starts by getting clear on who, or what, your ideal target customer is (ideal customer profile). Think of a shooting target or an archery target. You’ve got to aim for the bulls-eye at the center if you want to get a high score. Likewise, you are far more likely to be successful if you design your business model to serve a specific type of customer at the center of the bullseye. “Delight the few, to attract the many.”


Value Discipline is the way that you deliver value to your target customer. It’s also the skeleton of your strategy. You choose a Value Discipline based on who your ideal target customer is and what your ideal target customer values most. There are 3 generic strategies (Value Disciplines). Do you know what game you are playing? Are you playing to win?


“What your brand is”. The differentiated space you own in the mind of your target customer. Strategic Positioning is what you do or say
to get into your target customer’s mind to program how they describe what your brand is. To succeed with Strategic Positioning it’s important to be clear, blunt, and obvious about what your brand is. The narrower the focus – the more powerful your brand is. Brands that position themselves as standing for “1 concept” tend to be more successful.


Many brands make the mistake of listing every benefit they have, but research conducted over multiple decades by companies like Procter and Gamble found that if you list more than 3 benefits the effectiveness of your marketing drops off dramatically. There are 3 types of benefits
you need to incorporate in your marketing strategy: Functional, Economic, and Emotional.

Functional benefits describe what your product or service does for your customers. These are your offering’s attributes, or “the job to be done.”

Economic benefits describe what your product or service means to your customers in terms of time or money. Economic benefits are how your customers rationalize the purchase. They appeal to the head.

Emotional benefits describe the way your product or service makes the customer feel. That’s what customers are really buying, and that’s where your true marketing power lies. Customers buy with the heart, then they rationalize the purchase with the head. Customers use emotional benefits to make a purchase and then justify their purchase with economic benefits


“What your target customers can expect to receive from your brand”. The superior value you provide. Your Brand Promise is derived from and supported by your 3 key benefits. A brand is ultimately the promise you make to your customers, and successful brands consistently deliver on their promise, which is how they create brand value.

In summary, Strategic Position is “what we are”, and Brand Promise is “what they get” These marketing strategy decisions are the skeleton around which you flesh out your marketing communications.

This course contains excerpts from the book by Stephen Lynch: “Business Execution for RESULTS: A practical guide for leaders of small to mid-sized firms” (winner in the ‘Management’ category of the 2014 Small Business Book Awards in the USA).

I look forward to supporting your learning journey

Kind regards,
Stephen Lynch