Strategic Marketing Tools
Strategic marketing tools include a mixture of tangible and intangible mechanisms used to formulate a marketing strategy and execute tactics. Conceptual tools such as the marketing mix are used to depict how marketing factors work together, while technology-driven tools such as customer relationship management software and social media help with implementation.
Analytics software is a category of technology used by marketers to gather data about customers and transactions for use in evaluation. Data pulled from such software is used to identify what percentages of customers fit into certain demographic profiles or traits. Other data is used to determine optimum price points or time frames that contribute to the highest levels of demand. These tools can help in new or reformulated target marketing and timing of promotional messaging.
Customer relationship management is the use of database software to gather and use customer data to optimize relationships. Essentially, CRM programs give customer-driven organizations access to a 360-degree view of their customers, which wouldn't be possible otherwise. CRM is used by salespeople to monitor prospects through the opportunity pipeline and customers as they go through the selling process. This software allows for customer profile development and tracking of all purchasing activity and meeting notes, which are used to enhance the strength of the relationship with your business.
Social media has emerged as an important marketing tool in the early 21st century. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are just a handful of the tools used by companies in the development and implementation of marketing. These tools enable companies to gather customers and other interested people into single channels of communication. Then, with tools such as Twitter and Facebook, companies can deliver promotional messaging and often provide customers support and service as well.
Public relations is an important component of the promotional aspect of marketing. It includes a variety of tools used to convey information about a company's brand or products through unpaid channels. Press releases, news conferences and newsletters are commonly used. Press releases are used to share product launches, company announcements and other news with the media, who usually pass it on to the public. These tools are important in developing a full promotional strategy.
Tools used in developing a promotional strategy are often outlined within the broad conceptual tool called the marketing mix. This is a common strategic planning tool laid out within a marketing plan. It includes analysis and strategizing in product, distribution, pricing and promotion categories. Identifying the mixture of benefits your brand offers through its product, distribution channels and pricing strategies, and setting a course for promoting them is essential in marketing.