10 Categories of Marketing Strategy

10 Categories of Marketing Strategy

The following strategies work. For each strategy, I will outline four points:

  1. Basics – what it is, how it works.
  2. Skills – what skills you will need in order to accomplish the strategy.
  3. Time and Money – some of these strategies are long-term, some of them will work quickly. Some of them are more costly than others. (This one isn’t too specific, just provides a brief statement about time and/or money.)
  4. Research – does it sound like you are interested in this strategy? I’m providing other articles that you can read to further your knowledge on the strategy.

One important point should be made before you start implementing any strategies: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Choose at least three of the following strategies, implement them, and track their usefulness in terms of your time and money spent and what they were able to produce for your business.

Here they are:

  1. NETWORKING
    1. Basics:
      Go “out there” and start hobnobbing or schmoozing with other people in your field. Start “talking up” your product or service. Networking can involve a number of strategies: going to trade shows, speaking at seminars, participating in discussion boards or email discussion lists, going to the local chambers of commerce or other places where business people gather. Networking is socializing.
    2. Skills:
      You need to have the ability to talk about your product. You need to believe in your product. You need knowledge of your industry and the ability to talk about it. Being a “people person” helps. If you don’t consider yourself a people person, then stick to the discussion lists where you have the opportunity to write – be personable through your writing.
    3. Time and Money:
      Networking takes time. You need to stick to it. You’ll want to try to network in one form or another at least once a week. Networking shouldn’t cost you money (unless you’re attending seminars or joining the local chamber of commerce.) Networking is a long-term strategy that every business person should engage in.
    4. Research:
      – Vickie Morrow
      – Ron Kimball
  2. DIRECT MAIL MARKETING
    1. Basics:
      Direct marketing comes in the form of sales letters, brochures, and flyers. It is a piece of writing that you will mail out to your prospects.
    2. Skills:
      You will need writing skills. If you don’t have these skills, you might consider hiring a professional publicist. You will need a list of prospects and their addresses.
    3. Time and Money:
      Direct marketing will cost money for the initial campaign. You will need to pay for the printing and the mailing, you may need to pay for the layout and the writing. It is a short-term strategy that should bring you leads or sales immediately.
    4. Research:
      – Wild Bill – 
      Kevin Nunley –
  3. MEDIA ADVERTISING
    1. Basics:
      TV, Radio, Magazine, and Newspaper ads are all traditional forms of advertising that are used to raise brand awareness. The Yellow Pages are a good choice for long-term advertising of a service that people may need only once in a while.
    2. Skills:
      Generally, the place that you choose to advertise will have people available to help you create a good ad campaign. c. Time and Money:
      This can be an expensive strategy. It is generally a long-term strategy that is used to build brand awareness over a period of time.
    3. Research:
      – Kevin Nunley – 
      – Barry Forward – 
  4. CHEAP OFFLINE ADVERTISING
    1. Basics:
      Classified Advertising, business cards, flyers, promotional items with your business name on them (buttons, hats, pencils).
    2. Skills:
      You will need the ability to write short ads.
    3. Time and Money:
      This is generally a long-term strategy that creates brand awareness. It is less expensive than Traditional Advertising, however, it has less reach. If you are doing classified ads, it’s a short-term strategy that should bring immediate benefits.
    4. Research:
      – Elena Fawkner – Offline Promotion Matters Too (mentions several forms of offline advertising)
      – Lisa Lake – The Classified Challenge: Sell Within Seconds (This one is about online classifieds, however, the same principles apply to writing offline ads. You will also find that the major newspapers will place your classified online, as well as in the print version of their paper.)
  5. TRAINING PROGRAMS
    1. Basics:
      A training program might be set up in several ways:
      – online training – you set up the course online. (The Write Market uses this strategy, we have several online courses )
      – training at “their” place of business – you would travel to a company and teach your course.
      – training at “your” place of business – you would set up the meeting place and find people to attend. You might develop a training program to increase awareness of your products. MicroSoft.com makes good use of this strategy.
    2. Skills:
      You’ll need the ability to teach (or to hire a teacher). You will need to make arrangements for a place to teach.
    3. Time and Money:
      This strategy could be time-intensive. You will have to set up the course and find the time to teach it. I recommend that you start out online and branch out from there. See if you have the knack for setting up a course syllabus and writing out all of the information you wish to convey. If you can do that, then you may want to take your course “on the road.”
    4. Research:
      Top 10 Ideas for a Successful Training Session
  6. BECOME KNOWN AS AN EXPERT
    1. Basics:
      In order to become an expert, you will need to give out advice. The advice can come in many forms: seminars, training, discussion boards, articles, books, e-books, a website, and/or an e-zine. Generally, you will start out by giving free advice, by getting out there and getting your name recognized. When you get a little notoriety you can start publishing and charging for your advice.
    2. Skills:
      In order to become an expert, you are going to need skills in at least one of the following areas: writing and/or public speaking.
    3. Time and Money:
      Initially, this strategy will take time and lots of it. Eventually, if you decide to publish, you might consider self-publishing. Web sites, ebooks, and ezines are relatively inexpensive if you do all the dirty work yourself, again it’s time-consuming. Publishing books will get a little more expensive, but still reasonable considering what some of the other marketing strategies might cost.
    4. Research:
      – Dan Grossman – Write Your Way to Free Traffic
      – Publishing: Upublish.com for publishing books at a very reasonable cost (starts at $400).
      – Dan Poynter – The Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book available at Amazon.
  7. DIRECT PERSONAL SELLING
    1. Basics:
      Telephone sales and door-to-door sales fall into this category. Also, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you will also engage in direct sales.
    2. Skills:
      Once again, being personable is a needed skill. If you are making cold calls, take the time to write down what you want to say before getting on the phone or going door-to-door. Knowing about your product and believing in your product will help you get the sale. Having sales materials, like a brochure, a flyer, and business cards will help you make the sale, especially if your prospects don’t have time for you. Offer to mail a brochure or leave a flyer with them.
    3. Time and Money:
      This should cost you very little. However, it will take up your time. It is a short-term strategy that will lead to immediate sales and possible sales in the long term.
    4. Research:
      – Robert B. Binnion – Salesman Beware! Don’t Let Your Prospects Deceive You!
  8. PUBLICITY AND PRESS RELEASES
    1. Basics:
      Getting the media to recognize you is one of the most influential ways to get people to buy. You immediately gain credibility if the media picks you up. You will need press releases and possibly a press kit or media kit.
    2. Skills:
      You will need to learn how to write and distribute your press releases or press kit. You may need to hire a professional publicist.
    3. Time and Money:
      This is a risky proposition if you do it yourself: you may end up doing a lot of work and never getting picked up by the press. It can be an expensive proposition if you hire someone else to do it for you. It is both a short-term strategy (you may get immediate sales following any publicity) and a long-term strategy that builds awareness of your business or your product.
    4. Research:
      – Brian Moore – Writing Press Releases That getting Noticed
      – Free distribution Service: PRWEB.com
      – Discussion – go to Public Relations/ Press Releases: GetHighForums.com
  9. WEB SITE
    1. Basics:
      A website can work in many ways for your business. If it is professional, it will lend credibility, it may give you direct sales or sales leads, it can build awareness of your business.
    2. Skills:
      You will either need to learn how to build a site yourself or you can hire a professional developer.
    3. Time and Money:
      To start out, a website does not have to be large and complicated. It will either take you time to develop or it will take you money to have someone else create it for you. A website is a long-term strategy that you must continually work on and maintain. If used properly, it will create awareness over the long term.
    4. Research:
      – Christopher J. Sewell – Website Development Tips: What your Website Must Do To Make You Money!
  10. INTERNET ADVERTISING
    1. Basics:
      Search Engines, Online Directories, Banner ads, ezine ads, email, and your website are all ways to advertise on the Internet.
    2. Skills:
      You will need many skills if you plan to do this on your own. You will need to learn how to get ranks in the search engines and online directories, you will need the ability to write ads and/or create banners. If you do not have the time to invest to learn about Internet advertising, you may wish to hire someone to enact this strategy.
    3. Time and Money:
      Generally, Internet advertising is one of the less expensive ways to advertise, however, it might take 1 to 6 months to develop a good Internet advertising campaign and to start seeing some results. It is a great way to brand and will also result in direct sales.
    4. Resources:
      – Dale Sexton – Banner Ads Suffer, Take Advantage
      – Our book on Search Engines and Online Directories