A marketing strategy is the result of decisions being made about how a particular product or service will be promoted to its target customers. Marketing strategies are used to increase sales, launch new products and generally provide profit for a company. Strategies involve the construction and implementation of the marketing mix. The marketing mix, which is also known as the five Ps, refers to the product, price, packaging, promotion and place or distribution.
A place or distribution marketing strategy may include selling items in a brick and mortar store as well as through a website. Or, it may involve choosing one distribution channel over the other. Selecting the right distribution strategy for a business is important as this is how the product gets to the customer.
Promotion strategies could involve having a sweepstakes or prize drawing to bring more attention to the business and attract new customers. A grand opening of a new restaurant may include a radio promotion with discount coupons and free meal giveaways to create a "buzz" to invite customers in the doors. A shoe company opening in a mall may not only have signs in the front of their store announcing when their doors will open, but may place ads in local newspapers as a marketing strategy to attract more customers.
Packaging is one of the marketing strategies that is easy to overlook because it can seem like a mere detail. However, studies show that the content and appearance of product packaging can greatly affect whether a consumer decides to purchase the product. A consumer may easily select the competitor's similar product if it seems more appealing and beneficial to the buyer's needs.
Price decisions are an important marketing strategy since consumers may be affected by lower pricing on similar products presented by competitors. The price point must represent value to the consumer. The advertising strategy should back up the product's pricing. For example, words such as premium and top of the line in advertising can communicate to consumers that the product is high quality and therefore warrants the price.
The product as a whole must be presented to consumers effectively. Advertising, pricing and other parts of the marketing mix strategy must work together to create branding that attracts and compels the target market to purchase the product. Branding is important within a marketing strategy because it differentiates a product from its competitors. For example, unlike most cough syrups, Buckley's® advertising message that “It Tastes Awful. And It Works” distinguishes it from other brands. The marketing message works; many consumers seem willing to put up with an unpleasant taste if the product will help get rid of an irritating cough.