Wikipedia describes a marketing strategy as a process that allows an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Every company in existence needs a marketing strategy in order to fulfil its marketing objectives and plan it in such a way that brings out the unique selling point of that company in a way that reaches their target market effectively and keeps their costs down while increasing their sales and revenues.
Since the recession some years back, a lot of companies are looking for ways to save on valuable resources, the most important being money and thus spending is reduced. Marketing departments usually get criticized for being ‘money pits’, that is, they require large budgets to operate but the returns are not entirely palpable. Therefore, when it comes to cutting costs, marketing departments’ budgets are likely to be high up there. Thus, marketing departments need to look for more cost effective and efficient ways in which to sell products and services and connect with the desired target market.
Creating an online marketing strategy as part of your integrated marketing campaign is not optional but a necessity in today’s business environment. This can be done through a number of ways such as search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, email marketing, blog marketing and pay per click advertising.
Search engine optimization involves using specific keywords that will bring up your website among the top listings on a search engine.
Affiliate marketing involves working with experienced online marketers whom you will pay a commission when they build up sales for your company.
Email marketing has become a dreaded means of reaching out to target markets as most people consider them as spam messages and often delete them as soon as they read the first two sentences. Therefore, if you are going to adopt this method, you need to grab their attention within the first 5 seconds and tempt them to want to find out more about your product.
Regularly publish articles and blog in order to connect and interact with your audience. You can also run competitions on your website to draw in more traffic and guarantee your website more exposure.
Pay per click advertising involves paying certain companies to run ads for your company and paying them a certain agreed amount whenever one of their ads gets clicked on.
Find out which works best for your company and capitalize on that to generate more traffic to your website thereby increasing the degree of exposure for the products and/or services you are trying to push.
An online marketing strategy will enable you to connect with your target market in a more efficient way and provides a platform through which you can effectively position your offering in a way that will appeal to this market. It also gives the company flexibility to make quick changes if the need arises, as opposed to traditional means like TV campaigns which would involve pulling the ad campaign and probably losing on the money invested. With an online campaign, changes can be effected in real time and get it back out there within no time.
A company can build trust and confidence in its brand through an effective online marketing strategy. Through constant interaction with the target market, the company is able to pass along its mission, vision and objectives and appeal to its audiences through this. If the audience believes in what your company stands for, it is more likely that they will be more open to trying out your products and recommending them to others if they are satisfied with them. Also, in today’s increasingly technologically dependent world, most people will overlook companies that have neglected to create an online presence. Most will take it to mean that the particular company is not forward thinking and thus, may not be willing to invest their money buying its products which may result in a lesser competitor’s products becoming more popular simply because they have invested in an online marketing strategy.
However, it must not be forgotten that an online marketing strategy should be a part of your company’s overall marketing strategy. Ignoring other traditional approaches will leave you at a disadvantage; your marketing strategy should encompass processes that complement each other to ensure your marketing objectives are attained efficiently and effectively.