Formulating a Marketing Strategy

Here are a few of the questions Susan Hewitt, the founder of Blythe Hewitt Associates in San Francisco, tells her startups they must be prepared to answer when they are formulating a marketing strategy:

  • How far are you along in product development?
  • What’s your category? Is it a new category, or a crowded category?
  • What are your current marketing goals? Introducing the product? Adding the product to an existing category? Branding? Enhancing an already established brand awareness?
  • What is the target market? Business? Consumer? And who, precisely, is the target within those categories?
  • What are the trends within the market?
  • What are the business challenges that this product solves?
  • What are the IT headaches the product alleviates?
  • Who’s your competition? Direct? Indirect?
  • What are the key differentiators between this product and the competitor’s?
  • Within your target market, who are the decision makers who buy the product? Who are the influencers who affect them?
  • Are there any gurus known for their market savvy in this product space you are in?

Where to Begin?
by Jane Hodges
Business 2.0, June 2000

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