Marketing is one of the greatest sales tools available for start-up and existing businesses today. It is, in its simplest form, all methods utilized by an organization in an effort to get their products or services into the homes of customers. Stemming from a marketing plan, marketing strategies include product development, pricing, distribution, promotion and relationship management. Marketing strategies are centered around the central concept of customer satisfaction and vary depending on the needs of the company.
Market Dominance Strategy
The market dominance strategy, as the name implies, strives to put an organization's product or service at the top. Within this strategy, organizations are categorized according to their market share. Market share refers to the percentage of sales achieved by an organization within a specific industry. For example, as of 2009, Windows holds just over 92 percent of the worldwide computer operating system market share. It trumps Mac and Linux by a long shot. With these figures in mind, it can be determined that the Windows operating system has achieved market dominance. Market dominance is categorized into four specific areas of interest including Leader, Follower, Challenger, and Nicher. Market Leader objectives include expanding the overall market, protecting the current market, and increasing market share. Market Follower strategies attempt to imitate products that have the greatest market share (e.g. Panasonic imitates Sony). Market Challenger strategies attack the market leader, same-size companies, and small companies alike. Lastly, Market Nicher strategies target market niches that are of no interest to big companies (e.g. Logitech computer mouse).
Innovative marketing strategies are utilized to keep organizations on the cutting edge of technology and new business practices. More specifically, they dictate an organization's rate of business model innovation and new product development. Innovative marketing strategies are placed into three categories: pioneers, early followers, and late followers. These terms are associated with what is called the first-mover advantage. For example, Amazon was the first established online bookseller. Shortly thereafter, companies like Barnes and Noble started selling books online as well. When Amazon later paired up with Borders to increase sales, Barnes and Noble counteracted by offering even more items online. In this example, Amazon is the pioneer and Barnes and Noble is the early follower. Other bookstores across the country that followed the lead of these book selling giants are considered late followers. Today, innovative marketing strategies include direct mail campaigns, editorial write-ups in newspapers, third-party newsletters, and out-of-home advertising.
Growth marketing strategies are centered around company growth. They focus on increasing sales in existing markets by targeting loyal customers. Information gathered from loyal customer buying history helps to determine ways in which growth can occur. Four categories of growth strategies aid in understanding the specifics. The first category, horizontal integration, strives to increase market power, reduce cost of trade, share product resources, and sell more of the same product. The second category, vertical integration, helps to reduce transportation costs, grasp upstream profit margins and downstream profit margins, and access downstream distribution channels. Following suit, the third category, diversification, consists of internal development of new products, firm acquisition, partnership with similar companies, and new product licensing. Lastly, the intensification growth strategy penetrates the market to increase share, increase customer loyalty, and create promising incentives that target the current customer base. An example of a growth strategy could be a frequent buyer rewards program.
Residing in Morgantown, W.Va., Heather Preston began writing professionally in 2010. Her work has been published on Web sites such as eHow and Travels.com. She holds a Bachelor of Science in design and advertising from West Virginia University and is currently attending Fairmont State University as a graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program.