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What is a Marketing Strategy?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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A marketing strategy is the result of decisions being made about how a particular product or service will be promoted to its target customers. Marketing strategies are used to increase sales, launch new products and generally provide profit for a company. Strategies involve the construction and implementation of the marketing mix. The marketing mix, which is also known as the five Ps, refers to the product, price, packaging, promotion and place or distribution.

A place or distribution marketing strategy may include selling items in a brick and mortar store as well as through a website. Or, it may involve choosing one distribution channel over the other. Selecting the right distribution strategy for a business is important as this is how the product gets to the customer.

Promotion strategies could involve having a sweepstakes or prize drawing to bring more attention to the business and attract new customers. A grand opening of a new restaurant may include a radio promotion with discount coupons and free meal giveaways to create a "buzz" to invite customers in the doors. A shoe company opening in a mall may not only have signs in the front of their store announcing when their doors will open, but may place ads in local newspapers as a marketing strategy to attract more customers.

Packaging is one of the marketing strategies that is easy to overlook because it can seem like a mere detail. However, studies show that the content and appearance of product packaging can greatly affect whether a consumer decides to purchase the product. A consumer may easily select the competitor's similar product if it seems more appealing and beneficial to the buyer's needs.

Price decisions are an important marketing strategy since consumers may be affected by lower pricing on similar products presented by competitors. The price point must represent value to the consumer. The advertising strategy should back up the product's pricing. For example, words such as premium and top of the line in advertising can communicate to consumers that the product is high quality and therefore warrants the price.

The product as a whole must be presented to consumers effectively. Advertising, pricing and other parts of the marketing mix strategy must work together to create branding that attracts and compels the target market to purchase the product. Branding is important within a marketing strategy because it differentiates a product from its competitors. For example, unlike most cough syrups, Buckley's® advertising message that “It Tastes Awful. And It Works” distinguishes it from other brands. The marketing message works; many consumers seem willing to put up with an unpleasant taste if the product will help get rid of an irritating cough.

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Discussion Comments
By resunga — On Jun 24, 2016

@sunny: I agree with your point. Yes there are many options for marketing online.

By anon956916 — On Jun 17, 2014

I have to develop a politic of communication sociale (web 2.0) and I got to put in place a a politic marketing for an online school. Does anyone have any ideas?

By therope101 — On Mar 15, 2014

What do you think is the best marketing strategy for small businesses this 2014?

By BrickBack — On Jan 31, 2011

Crispety - I do see where colors make a difference with respect to product packaging and image.

I know that when a company wants to convey a clean image it tends to use colors like lime and would stay away from brown tones.

But I think that the company’s logo design has to be part of its brand marketing strategy as well because that is how consumers will recognize the brand.

There are many marketing strategy companies that actually help clients form a visible brand.

One company that comes to mind is Brand Identity Guru out of Boston. They reorganize a company’s marketing identity until it is a tight cohesive brand offering a basic message that the company wants to convey.

By Crispety — On Jan 28, 2011

Oasis - I agree that sales and marketing strategy is important but so is graphic design and packaging.

The packaging of the product really makes a difference. For example, when you see products that market to children they will always be packaged in primary colors because it draws children in.

Foot Loops cereal has the bright red packaging while the Frosted Flakes has the blue packaging. They may also add a free toy inside the packaging in order to entice children even more.

By oasis11 — On Jan 27, 2011

Sunny27 - I know what you mean. During the holidays I saw some demos for the Nespresso coffee maker. It strictly made espresso and was almost $300. I think that the demos helped bring attention to the brand, but the lack of promotion regarding the price did not enhance the product’s standing in the market.

I think that promotions and events are critical when you have a new product.

I know that when I go to Publix on the weekend there is always a demonstration going on about a new product that Publix is carrying.

They always offer a coupon to entice you to try the product. This really makes it easier to buy the product and is a good product marketing strategy because it not only builds brand awareness, but it brings in additional sales as well.

I know that cosmetic companies feature events as part of their business marketing strategy.

They will offer the promotional gift with purchase a few times a year and also offer make up clinics with visiting makeup artists.

The cosmetic business is all about promotions and heavy sampling.

By Sunny27 — On Jan 24, 2011

I think that a brand marketing strategy involves many things.

For example, deciding how you will penetrate the market as well as what promotions you will do will have a big impact on how your product is received.

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