You may have experienced it; some of us have — got a business idea, a product or service you want to offer, but you simply don't know how to market it. You may not even know who the target customers should be or how to reach them.

Building a perfect marketing strategy is not an easy job. The research and planning may be difficult at times. But if you start by asking yourself some important questions and finding answers to those questions, you will find the process a lot easier.

In this article, I'll discuss 11 important questions you must ask to build a strong marketing strategy.

1. What problem do you wish to solve?
You already know about this question; don’t you? Well, we believe you do because it’s such an important question without which you don’t have anything to market in the first place.

The question helps you understand the main value of your products or services, your business, and even yourself. It is the value you create for people that you can market.

No doubt, you’ve found a gap in the market which you want to fill. It is important you define the problem you wish to solve in clear terms and write it down.

2. Who will benefit from the solution you want to offer?
Just like the first question, you can’t do anything without addressing this question. The answer to the question is at the core of any marketing strategy you will ever develop.

It is about who your ideal customers are — the people who need your products or services. These are the people who have the problem that you wish to solve and are actively looking for the solution to their needs.

Take your time to think about this and don’t forget to write down your thoughts.

3. How do you reach out to your prospective customers?
After you have identified those that will benefit from your products or services, you’ll have to think about how to reach them and how they want to be engaged.

Unlike those days when businesses talk about distribution channels, these days you can do pretty much everything on the internet.

Your website and promotional campaigns have a lot to do in this aspect. With great content, which you can get from ContentFly, you won’t only engage your prospects but will also convert them to buyers.

4. What message do you want your customers to associate with your brand?
As we said before, you need to know how your prospective customers want to be engaged and the kind of message that resonates with them. You can learn about this by collecting and examining data from your website — find out who’s visiting your website and what they do on your site.

With that information, you should know what works for your audience. But, in spite of that, you should have a personality which your customers will associate with your brand.

5. Who are your major competitors?
Every business has competition. As a matter of fact, if your line of business has no competition, it could be a sign that the market for it isn’t large enough and the business niche isn’t hot.

Well, on the contrary, it could be that your product is so innovative that others haven’t come in yet — if that’s the case, great, enjoy the monopoly while it lasts.

But for most businesses, there’s always competition, and you need to find out who your major competitors are and what they’re doing.

6. What can you offer differently from your competitors?
As we said earlier, you need to know what your competitors are doing. When you know this, you can think of what you can do differently or how you can do what they’re doing in a different way.

This can be in the form of a better product or service or, preferably, better customer relationships. This way, you can gain a real competitive advantage.

7. What strategies worked in the past?
One important factor in developing marketing strategies which most people often overlook is checking what strategies worked very well in the past. It could be strategies you had used previously in this business or in a different business.

It could also be what others in a similar business as yours used to great success in the past. You should also note the strategies that didn’t work fine so that you avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

8. How much is your budget?
As you’re developing your marketing strategies, one common question that will come up is how much you’re willing to spend. Most people often find it difficult to know the right amount to budget for their marketing.

It is important to think through this and come up with the right amount that can help you derive the maximum benefits from your marketing programs without wasting extra resources.

9. What are the resources at your disposal?
You need to know the resources you already have at your disposal so that you know if there’ll be a need for more. By resources, we mean the human resources who can assist in implementing your plan.

Knowing the human resources available will guide you in your planning. If you realize that you’ll need more staff or outsource part of the job, you have to add that to your budget.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your marketing strategy?
You need to know the objectives you want to achieve with the marketing plan. Is it to penetrate a new market, to increase your market share, to increase revenue, or to increase profit?

Whatever it is that you want to achieve should be clearly stated. It’s very important you define your end game.

11. How do you measure your progress?
The last but not definitely the least is how to measure your outcome. As some experts would say, “What gets measured, gets managed”.

Be sure to clearly define the parameters you’ll use to measure how successful your marketing program has been.

Author's Bio: 

Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ekwomadu is a medical doctor and a writer who’s got a great passion for helping people enjoy healthy lives. He's a passionate forex trader and has got a knack for spotting value in the investment world. He writes to enrich people with his compelling and educating articles on various topics.

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