How to build an effective marketing strategy

Marketing and branding are the heartbeat of any successful business. Effective marketing requires a good understanding of the customer and market segments that your business focuses on as well as your competitors. One of the greatest challenges that entrepreneurs face is to clearly define their customer and this is a key contributor to failure or success of the business. Read a past article we wrote on customer insight and its fundamentals here.

GrowthAfrica’s Advisory arm is currently facilitating the Business in a Box incubator Programme in partnership with CoELIB Incubar. The programme targets idea stage entrepreneurs in the following industries – tours and travel, finance accounting, horticulture, farm consultancy, fashion design and hospitality. The aim of the 7 months programme is to help these entrepreneurs conduct an efficient gap analysis of their business, evaluate the viability of their business, become investment ready and learn how to manage growth and finances.

We are running this programme by conducting a series of workshops and one of the most recent workshops focused on market and customer segmentation to build an effective marketing strategy. We know that a business that wants to cause impact must first start by solving a real problem faced by the customer and ensure that the customer is willing to buy the solution from them.

The below highlights key  pointers and questions any entrepreneur must ask themselves as complied by the Lead Project Catalyst for this Programme, Kanana Njuguna.

  • The four main stepping stones to reach your customer, satisfy their needs and make sales are in the marketing mix of Product, Place, Price and Promotion.
  • As an entrepreneur how hungry are you for information?
  • What do you feed your mind on? Information changes and builds your mindset.
  • Keep off cheap market and customer information and pay if you must. Don’t flow with people; flow with information
  • Constantly keep: Asking. Seeking. Knocking. Calling. and Doing.
  • If your brand was a person, would you be friends with them?
  • Strong brands can live forever and do not have a life cycle!
  • What is your business’ vision, mission and core values?
  • Believe in your products and know how to sell yourself but ensure you deliver what you propose.
  • The slogan has always been that ‘the customer is always right’; in the event that they are deemed not to be right how can the entrepreneur handle the situation and manage this relationship?
  • Marketing is a long game, creating brand awareness and generating demand and revenue takes time.
  • Marketers are persistent.