Strategic planning typically begins with a scan of the business environment, both internal and external, this includes understanding strategic constraints.[54] An understanding of the external operating environment, including political, economic, social and technological which includes demographic and cultural aspects, is necessary for the identification of business opportunities and threats.[55] This analysis is called PEST; an acronym for Political, Economic, Social and Technological. A number of variants of the PEST analysis can be identified in literature, including: PESTLE analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental); STEEPLE (adds ethics); STEEPLED (adds demographics) and STEER (adds regulatory).[56]
Know your products. Spend time articulating the benefits of your products in addition to the features. How will they make a difference in someone's life? Why does that matter to your customers? The most effective marketing speaks to the emotions of consumers, and that connection is created when you can articulate the benefit your business provides.
This includes all aspects of marketing communications; advertising, sales promotion, including promotional education, public relations, personal selling, product placement, branded entertainment, event marketing, trade shows and exhibitions. This fourth P is focused on providing a message to get a response from consumers. The message is designed to persuade or tell a story to create awareness.[44]

Blogs are good. Blogs help your business on multiple levels. First off, valuable content on a consistent basis will make you look like an expert. People are looking for experts, not apprentices. The software that powers blogs has multiple advantages. It’s very easy to publish. It’s a database driven environment where style is separate from content so you will not need to go back to your web design agency for every little change. And use of tags and sitemaps make basic search engine optimization easy. But the real reason blogs are great is that they enable conversation. Two-way dialog is much more valuable than a company that just dumps messaging and collateral on their customers.
^ Hooley, G., Fahy, J., Beracs, J., Fonfara, K. and Snoj, B., "Market Orientation in the Transition Economies of Central Europe: Tests of the Narver and Slater Market Orientation Scales," Journal of Business Research, Vol. 50, 2000, pp. 273–85. Note that the most widely applied scale is that developed by Narver and Slater in Narver, J.C., and Slater, S.F., The Effect of Marketing Orientation on Business Profitability," Journal of Marketing, Vo. 54, 1990, pp. 20–35

Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. Whenever someone wants to learn something visually, they head there. You've likely done it yourself countless times. So just ask yourself what you could teach in your business that would help consumers solve some pain point? What got you into business in the first place?

Price refers to how much the company will sell the product for. When establishing a price, companies must consider the unit cost price, marketing costs, and distribution expenses. Companies must also consider the price of competing products in the marketplace and whether their proposed price point is sufficient to represent a reasonable alternative for consumers. Digital Marketing 101: A Beginner's Guide
Defining your brand is also valuable from an SEO perspective.  It’s something of an open secret that Google likes to prioritize branded listings in its organic search results, since visitors are more likely to click on them.  More clicks tends to equal happier customers, which means that focusing on brand building could lead to unexpected website traffic and awareness benefits.
The process of marketing is that of bringing a product to market, which includes these steps: broad market research; market targeting and market segmentation; determining distribution, pricing and promotion strategies; developing a communications strategy; budgeting; and visioning long-term market development goals.[18] Many parts of the marketing process (e.g. product design, art director, brand management, advertising, inbound marketing, copywriting etc.) involve use of the creative arts.[citation needed][19]
Blogs are good, but they’re just one tool. A blog should not be your sole marketing strategy. You should have a comprehensive multi-touch marketing plan to get your value proposition in front of your target audience. This can take many forms. You can launch a direct mail campaign, email campaign, host a webinar, sponsor a local event, attend a trade show, attend networking events, cold call prospects, win awards, etc… There are a thousand different ways for you to be noticed. You have to find the best combination of methods for your strategic goals. Data shows that people need to be exposed to a brand at least seven times before they buy. If you simply do one touch and stop, you’re wasting valuable budget dollars and probably wondering why your efforts are not successful.
I know it’s an older post Nick, but it’s extremely relevant still today. We realized that the most important driving force out there is .. people.. as you outlined in your last tip. I was working with a company, and we went so far as to change our motto to “People First.” just because of that aspect. Great post. I’d say you should update it, but there isn’t much to add besides social media aspects.
Do what you say you’re going to do. I know it may sound like common sense, but one of the primary drivers of brand loyalty is a consistent experience. If you say you’re going to have the photographs ready on a set day, be sure they are ready. Nothing leaves a bad taste in someone’s mouth like missed expectations. Positive experiences lead to good feelings which lead to telling their friends. But don’t forget that bad experiences spread much faster and are harder to overcome – if you get a chance at all.
Keep things simple, warm and inviting with this beautiful brand kit. Incredibly flexible and adaptable, this kit gives you the chance to pair a vibrant signature colour with some beautifully filtered imagery and some clean, crisp type. This design is not only highly legible and navigable but it’s also inviting and ready to be tailored to your exact needs. A super simple template to use, tailor and adapt to for just about any needs.

Gap analysis is a type of higher order analysis that seeks to identify the difference between the organisation's current strategy and its desired strategy. This difference is sometimes known as the strategic gap. Mintzberg identifies two types of strategy namely deliberate strategy and inadvertent strategy. The deliberate strategy represents the firm's strategic intent or its desired path while the inadvertent strategy represents the path that the firm may have followed as it adjusted to environmental, competitive and market changes.[51] Other scholars use the terms realized strategy versus intended strategy to refer to the same concepts.[52] This type of analysis indicates whether an organisation has strayed from its desired path during the planning period. The presence of a large gap may indicate the organisation has become stuck in the middle; a recipe for strategic mediocrity and potential failure.


At HubSpot, we talk a lot about inbound marketing as a really effective way to attract, engage, and delight customers online. But we still get a lot of questions from people all around the world about digital marketing. So, we decided to answer them. Click the links below to jump to each question, or keep reading to see how digital marketing is carries out today.
Market challenger: The market challenger holds the second highest market share in the category, following closely behind the dominant player. Their market posture is generally offensive because they have less to lose and more to gain by taking risks. They will compete head to head with the market leader in an effort to grow market share. Their overall strategy is to gain market share through product, packaging and service innovations; new market development and redefinition of the to broaden its scope and their position within it.
Clearly, this list isn’t comprehensive.  If there’s some other branding characteristic you feel is necessary to define your business, go ahead and add it to your brand guidelines documentation.  The worst thing you could do is to avoid creating these important documents altogether.  Without them, your branding efforts will lack the consistency and direction needed for success.
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[76]
Sunil…congratulations on being a small business owner. Your site is beautiful. If you can successfully carry that look and feel throughout your organization, you’re going to be way ahead of your competition. I am worried, however, about one comment: you wrote “its tough to do everything AND sell your product at the same time.” Doing everything is what sells your product. (Don’t confuse that with being all things to all people:)) That’s what often keeps businesses from being successful…they seperate sales and brand, as if they aren’t related.
Advertising: The information you gather in your research will help you define your marketing strategy and create an advertising campaign. Campaigns can include different forms of media, events, direct advertising, paid partnerships, public relations, and more. Before beginning an advertising campaign, set concrete benchmarks that you can use to measure how effective that advertising campaign is. 7 Smart Reasons for Choosing Digital Marketing as a Career
Needs: Something necessary for people to live a healthy, stable and safe life. When needs remain unfulfilled, there is a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food, water, and shelter; or subjective and psychological, such as the need to belong to a family or social group and the need for self-esteem.
The third and final stage requires the firm to set a budget and management systems; these must be measurable touchpoints, such as audience reached across all digital platforms. Furthermore, marketers must ensure the budget and management systems are integrating the paid, owned and earned media of the company.[84] The Action and final stage of planning also requires the company to set in place measurable content creation e.g. oral, visual or written online media.[85]
4. Falling into the vague branding trap. But then again, don’t go the opposite direction and develop brand guidelines and elements that reveal nothing about your company and its value proposition.  Chances are you’ve seen this before in generic logos or in marketing language that’s downright repetitive. For example “best-selling” books, “championship” golf courses and “award-winning” ad agencies really don't mean anything.
In the parlance of digital marketing, advertisers are commonly referred to as sources, while members of the targeted ads are commonly called receivers. Sources frequently target highly specific, well-defined receivers. For example, after extending the late-night hours of many of its locations, McDonald's needed to get the word out. It targeted shift workers and travelers with digital ads because the company knew that these people made up a large segment of its late-night business. McDonald's encouraged them to download a new Restaurant Finder app, targeting them with ads placed at ATMs and gas stations, as well as on websites that it knew its customers frequented at night.
Typically the firm will attempt to leverage those opportunities that can be matched with internal strengths; that is to say the firm has a capability in any area where strengths are matched with external opportunities. It may need to build capability if it wishes to leverage opportunities in areas of weakness. An area of weakness that is matched with an external threat represents a vulnerability, and the firm may need to develop contingency plans.[60]
Let the colour do the talking with this stylish and elegant template kit, perfect for any contemporary-minded businesses. Using a warm yellow as the signature colour attracts immediate attention, and is also through to project notions of intelligence, happiness and friendliness. This cheery colour is contrasted with some beautiful serif typefaces, making the design as a whole equal parts fun and friendly, and classic and elegant. A win/win situation all round. FREE Digital Marketing Course
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