Defining your marketing strategy

Now that you have gathered a full view of your company, customers, and competition, you can develop the marketing strategy

Start by summarizing the results of the three C’s. In each section, you created a few pages of key findings and implications. Put all of these together and evaluate them as a whole. What do can you take away from them? Did you learn from the company analysis that your organization has the largest market share, and one segment of your customers values buying from a stable supplier? If so, perhaps one of your main marketing messages should be that your company is the largest supplier of your product or service and, as a result, you provide stability and economies of scale. If you identified through your analysis that no company has established a leadership position in a particular market, there may be an opportunity for your company to become leader.

Target Market(s)

Who are the target markets (usually segments within the overall market) that you’re going to pursue? Which segment(s) best fit your company’s capabilities, strengths, and goals? Which segment will you pursue first, and then next? You can’t pursue them all; this activity is all about prioritizing.

Value Proposition

Why should people buy from you instead of your competitors? What are your specific, objective, and quantified competitive advantages for each of your target markets (they usually differ between segments). Be very clear here—don’t fall back on business jargon or vague statements.


What words will you use to spark interest among your target market? Your messaging will be based on your value proposition. The focus should be on pain 52 Lisa Shepherd points—your messaging needs to address your target market’s pains

Your strategy is the foundation for all your marketing activities. However, it’s only the foundation. The next section will teach you how to turn this foundation into effective marketing actions

Capitalize on Strengths

  • Where are you successful? Why? How can this area grow?
  • Are there elements of your offering that clients particularly value that you could better promote?
  • Have you created a new process or product that perfectly meets customer needs?

Diminish Weaknesses

  • Where are you losing share or money? Why?
  • Are your competitors taking share which segment are they focusing on and with what value proposition?
  • Can this area be improved or should it be eliminated?
  • Are there knowledge and/or capability gaps?

Pursue Opportunities

  • Are customers demanding solutions that fit your company’s existing capabilities or capabilities you could develop?
  • Where are your competitors losing? Why? Can you pick up their dissatisfied customers by promoting a particular service or benefit?
  • Are there emerging markets that are lucrative for you to pursue?

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