Lecture 2. Marketing Strategy
A ‘marketing strategy’ is a unique formula for each enterprise, based on an understanding of its mission, its position in the wider marketplace in relation to competitors, and its carefully selected customers.

Marketing includes not only marketing communications and market research; it also includes strategic marketing. In fact strategic marketing must come first. We must make the key decisions about the direction and orientation of the business in the marketplace before we get down to the details of marketing messages, promotions and selling.

Strategic marketing must be fully aligned with the strategic planning of the enterprise. It begins by clarifying the mission, the vision and the values of the enterprise. These fundamentals then provide a solid basis for decisions about marketing strategy.

Next, we need to acknowledge that the marketplace is highly competitive. Some rivals are better than us at producing certain goods, or particular services, or dealing with some market niches. We could decide to compete with them directly. Or, more strategically, we can outmanouevre them and focus only on the things we can do better than them. We need to ask not ‘what can we do best?’ but ‘what can we do best in relation to competitors?. This is a matter of identifying and using our competitive advantage. Then we should focus on that thing at which we excel in relation to rivals.

Next, we need to find the particular market segments or niches that want the things we are especially good at. Our success lies in finding and serving customers that need and want what we have. It’s not a matter of trying to sell to everyone – that mistake can be fatal. Instead, we need to focus on only the right customers, deliberately ignoring markets and segments where we cannot succeed.

In this way, a successful marketing strategy brings together three key elements into a winning formula. Firstly our mission; secondly our competitive advantage; and thirdly, the selected market segments that will buy the products at which we excel.

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