Boost Your Business by Creating Killer Marketing Strategies That Work

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What Is an Example of a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy is a targeted effort to communicate a brand’s message, product or service to a specific audience. Famous marketing guru Philip Kotler identified marketing strategy as “the way in which the marketing function organises its activities to achieve profitable growth in sales at a marketing mix level.”

  • Put simply, developing a marketing strategy or an action plan is, as Russell Glass described, “focus[ing] on the right message for the right people at the right time.”
  • Remember, marketing strategies existed well before their meaning was refined by marketing gurus and shaped by new technology

Here’s How to Reel in Big Business

As an example, a fisherman who fries his daily catch on the harbour at dusk when he knows people will be passing by is an example of having an effective marketing strategy.

Unbeknownst to him, the fisherman has developed his own action plan. He is providing freshly caught fried fish (the right message), to hungry civilians (the right people), by the harbour at dusk (the right time).

When it comes to marketing strategies, this is among the most basic. But the formula is thoughtful enough that it works time and time again. Imagine if this fisherman decided to offer his product at sunrise — there would be far fewer takers. You can scale this logic and apply the same rational ideas to your business to form the foundation of a killer marketing strategy. To do this, ask yourself the following:

What Does My Audience Want? Always try to develop products or services that will appeal to your customer base. While some people will opt for canned sardines, this is a niche audience compared to the mass market who would rather tuck into fried cod for their supper. It’s a no-brainer for our fisherman.

Graphic of a Ninja fishing in front of a van

Who Should I Target? Get into the mindset of your ideal audience. After a stroll that works up an appetite, the customer is greeted by a quintessential harbour view. This is the perfect opportunity for the passersby to be tempted by the offer. Setting up shop here means that the fisherman can provide not just a meal but an experience.

Graphic of a cartoon ninja selling fresh fish

When Will My Audience Need Me? Much like waiting for a catch, you should fish for your customers when you know they are most likely to take the bait.

Cartoon graphic showing a ninja selling fish and chips

A Bounty of Bad Marketing Strategies

As promised, we’ll show you how to boost your business by creating a killer marketing strategy that works. We have some advanced marketing strategies up our sleeve that trump your average fish and chips. Let’s take a look at some marketing strategies that appear to have flunked, but in hindsight might prove to be a mastermind way to boost your business.

Celebrations’ 2018 Advent Calendar

A popular festive chocolate choice, Celebrations boxes are a British Christmas present staple, offering a variety of wrapped chocolates, including the ever-popular Maltesers. But this year, their advent calendar caused an outrage.


Mars decided to kick things off with a disappointing hit — a bounty — which saw people flock to Twitter in disgust. The Mirror claimed that the comments went so far as to say that “Christmas is cancelled” because of the poor entrance.

Bounty, which has never been the nation’s favourite, was featured in the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special back in 2008. The scene showed Nessa tell Gwen she had “drawn the short straw” when she received the sweet. As if kicking off December with the coconut treat wasn’t disappointing enough, the following doors further tormented chocolate fans, with the best-rated chocolates not revealed until late in the month.  

Was this one of the worst festive blunders that Mars has ever made, or a genius attempt to cleverly disguise its marketing strategies aimed at increasing exposure?

Considering that the term “celebrations advent calendar” became a breakout topic on Google in December, we think the latter. One of the greatest marketing strategies of the year made the Mars manufacturer a hot topic, coincidentally — or not — just in time for its new launch.

Screenshot of Google Trends showing mars interest over time

Screenshot from Google Trends showing interest in the “Celebrations Advert Calendar” over time

Source: Google Trends

Following its announcement of the addition of Milky Way Crispy Rolls to its Celebration boxes in the same month, as reported by the viral content creator, UNILAD, the underwhelming advent calendar was quickly forgotten, with the post earning 81.2K social shares and a bundle of excited comments. In this case, the advent “blunder” was exactly what Mars needed to get people talking about the brand.

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What Are the Four Basic Marketing Strategies?

If the last example seemed like magic, that’s because it’s the marketing strategy equivalent of an intricate card trick. It’s an illusion, employed to distract angry Bounty-hating consumers while they stuff the rabbit in the hat (or, as proved to be the case, the Crispy Rolls in the Celebrations boxes).

Even so, every marketing strategy boils down to four basic concepts, first developed by E. Jerome McCarthy. The history of marketing is quite complex, but these four principles formed what we now call the marketing mix.

The four basic marketing strategies are otherwise known as the four Ps:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because these have been developed over time — as we transitioned to a more customer-centric marketplace, the four Ps were converted into the four Cs:

  • Customer Solutions
  • Customer Cost
  • Convenience
  • Communication

For the current customer who values greater transparency and communication from brands, these make much more sense. Let’s test this theory by going back to our fisherman example.

The product, which was once fried fish, now becomes a solution — a way to solve the customer’s hunger.

The cost should also factor in a customer’s travelling time and shipping (if applicable). Bringing the fresh fish to the harbour and relying on passing trade means there is no additional cost added to the sale price for the customer.

The place is not only convenient, as it is en-route, but it is also part of the experience, which can be used to justify a higher price point. The fact that the fish are locally sourced is also a win, as customers are increasingly being more environmentally aware.

The promotion is less about flashy sales and more about communicating to the customer. Communication can be anything from the smell of fresh fish and the seaside branding to educating your customer about your ethos. Customers are less persuaded by brand deals and want to receive real value, and if they don’t feel that you’re offering your product at a fair price, they have plenty of competitors to choose from.

What Are the Different Types of Marketing Strategies?

In the same vein, the types of marketing strategies that you can choose to achieve that “killer effect” have been expanded. With the rise of online shopping and social media, the funnels that we use to capture the right audience at the right time are shifting to digital.

Entrepreneur has recently named its top marketing strategies, which include blogging, influencer marketing and search engine optimisation. If you don’t consider these as part of your plan to totally dominate 2019, you’ll end up lagging behind the competition.

If you need some expert advice in these fields, check out our content marketing, SEO and influencer marketing tips in our digital marketing podcast, where we share some seriously effective strategy development ideas.

Having said this, traditional marketing strategies can still pay dividends when used in the right circumstances. Here are three lesser-known marketing strategies  — and how they can work for different business types:

Scarcity Marketing

What Is Scarcity Marketing?

Scarcity marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on creating hype around your brand by emphasising having a finite amount of something, such as a product. Creating a sense of urgency will lead your customer to fear they might miss out. This uncertainty allows the organisation to appear exclusive, so this type of strategy is often used by luxury brands whose products have a higher price point, since the rush to buy makes the customer less concerned about the markup.

What Business Should Use This Strategy?

You should implement this strategy if you are attempting to create a sense of prestige for your brand. Examples include luxury car brands, esteemed housing developments and limited-edition fashion collections.

In many cases, the brands that use this strategy target customers who feel connected to a sub-culture. This type of target audience is likely to be motivated to buy to increase their social standing. Perhaps you have heard of the streetwear brand, Supreme, which built its loyal customer base by using this scarcity method. Its cult following even went bananas for a branded brick that the fashion label released — it sold out within minutes.

Viral Marketing

What Is Viral Marketing?

As suggested by the name, viral marketing is a product that becomes widespread (often accidentally — or, at least, it appears to be). A viral product increases in popularity and becomes a temporary trend as buyers continually refer their friends to get a piece of the action.

Although this method can produce stellar sales results, the success is only temporary. This would show as a growth spike in your financial reports, but it can be difficult to sustain — unless you’re a whizz at continually developing viral products.

What Business Should Use This Strategy?

Unlike scarcity marketing, the viral product is not associated with a common price point. A low-priced item can see a huge boost in sales, just as much as a designer item can. Let’s take a look at a few examples to demonstrate this.  

Low-priced items often gain traction in online marketplaces like Amazon. If your product reaches top rankings in its relevant category and sees strong engagement on social media, you could be in a position to cash in. A well-known example of this is the surge of interest in fidget spinners last year. At the trend’s peak, fidget spinners were searched for 110,000 times per month on Google. But is this strategy easy to implement? As an online entrepreneur, you can use different tools and software like Shopify and Amazon Forecast. Keep in mind though, as always with viral marketing, the success of a product is somewhat unpredictable.

Success in viral marketing can also be encouraged through celebrity endorsement. This is where scarcity marketing and viral marketing sometimes overlap. The regular release of Yeezy shoes, for example, creates hysteria and a viral social response each time.

Why? The owner of the shoe brand, Kanye West, is well known and has what some may call a cult following. His recent campaign intentionally “broke the internet”, as Kanye marketed his products to capitalise on internet culture.

The shoe brand is notorious for selling out in seconds. How can you emulate this strategy? If you think you have an appropriate product, it might be worth investing a portion of your marketing budget to work with influencers on a targeted campaign.

Event Marketing

What Is Event Marketing?

What better way to market your product than to catch your customer’s attention by giving them an unforgettable experience? Event marketing is the practice of either sponsoring, crashing or hosting an event to promote your brand.

Event marketing is a smart way to build associative messages about your brand. By creating an experience (in other words, an intangible offering) you can show your audience what it feels like to interact with your brand. Events — when done right — are stimulating experiences that your customers will recall every time they interact with your brand in the future. It’s a great way to cultivate brand loyalty.

What Business Should Use This Strategy?

You should use this strategy if you want to strengthen and communicate your brand culture. Being part of an event is a great way to tell your brand story in real-time. Red Bull does this regularly by hosting events. These public occasions show the brand’s involvement with all types of activity, from extreme sports to flying planes. Fittingly, Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz said that marketing requires “only a clear mind and bright eyes. Perkiness is the only prerequisite.”

Red Bull’s annual events, like its Soap Box Race, are a fusion of sporting competition and art. This effort to combine creativity with physical activity speaks to its customers, and, of course, encourages them to purchase the ever-popular energy drink, which they will always associate with fun off-the-wall events.

What Are the Strategies for Target Marketing?

Today, internet marketing is topping the tables as the most popular type of marketing strategy, but other marketing strategies exist within this, including stealth marketing — remember the Celebrations advent calendar prank?

With a digital marketing strategy, you can take the logic of the fisherman and apply it to any harbour. He knew how to target a specific audience that would be particularly receptive to his product. There are many different ways to target your market, including market research, networking or, like the fisherman, physically standing or advertising in an area your customer is likely to pass by. If you want to save yourself time, though, digital marketing strategies are capable of doing this and more.

Opting for Digital Marketing Strategies with Exposure Ninja

The difference with digital marketing is that you can effectively target a niche audience 10x over. Intelligent search engines and social platforms like Google and Facebook use insights into user behaviour to determine a person’s suitability for your product. Paying for ads and targeting popular search terms in your area is a much more effective way to attract customers who are relevant and likely to continue doing business with you. Check out some of our successful PPC Case Studies to see how.

As a digital marketing agency, it goes without saying that we think you should be engaging in internet marketing activity on some level. Word of mouth marketing (where business is supported by positive reviews and recommendations) is difficult, if near impossible, to control, but it can pay dividends when combined with targeted paid ads and local SEO.

If you’re lacking digital integration in your current action plan, request a free marketing review from us today. We’ll give you tips on how to improve your efforts and develop a marketing strategy that increases your online exposure, leads and sales.

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