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Marketing is the customer-facing branch of your org. As we mentioned, the primary goal is to attract customers. This is done in three ways: - Identifying your ideal customers by creating an Idea Customer Profile (ICP). - Maintaining a consistent brand and using various channels (website, social media, ads, etc.) to stay at the top of your ideal customers’ minds. - Educating customers about your organization, products, and offers. In many cases — usually with smaller B2C offerings — this is enough to get a prospect ready to buy. At that point, they’ll either call your sales team or make a purchase on your site. For everyone else, especially B2B, marketing is only the first stage in the journey, and this is where business development comes in. While business development executives focus on building relationships, they also need to be able to promote their brand, gain deep intelligence of new markets, understand the competition, and identify and educate new target prospects. So these business development activities significantly overlap with those of marketing. Why is marketing strategy important? Setting a marketing strategy is essential to keeping your team in sync and performing well. It aligns the entire company around shared market, business, and product assumptions. This is key to launching campaigns and promotional activities that effectively engage potential customers, drive revenue, build brand awareness, and strengthen the relationship with existing customers. Your marketing strategy should establish: - Goals that determine how success will be measured. - High-level efforts are needed to achieve your goals. - Who will get the most value from your product or service? - What you know about the target market. - Benefits of using your product or service. - How to reach and communicate with your ideal customer. - How to establish a sustainable competitive advantage.