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Strategy is focus. You have too much to do with too few resources. You therefore focus on specific target markets, on your most important products or services, and on your most productive sales and marketing activities.
Introduction to Marketing
StrategyMuch like the artist squinting to improve his vision, you need to see the high points and main priorities only, or the important points get lost in the details. Strategies that aren’t focused won’t work. When people have more than three or four priorities to deal with, the priorities get lost. When you have 20 strategic objectives in a plan, you won’t accomplish any.
Developing Your Strategy
• Focus on selected target markets.
• Focus on selected target market needs and selected product or service offerings.
• Focus on your company’s strengths. Play toward your strengths and away from your weaknesses and take advantage of the opportunities ahead.
When to say no "I don't know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby "Management is knowing when to say no." --Hector Saldana Notice how strategy fits into this general description. For example, our next diagram, taken from Market Segmentation, selects target segments and rules out others:

Simple Market Segmentation

Initial Product Positioning

Your Value Proposition

State your business in terms of its underlying value proposition. A value proposition defines the benefit offered, the target market group, and the relative pricing.

• What are the main benefits you offer?
• To what target customers?
• At what relative price?

Some Sample Value Propositions
These examples are personal interpretations, used without permission, of the underlying value propositions.
• Michelin Tires: Offers safetyconscious parents greater security in tires, at a price premium.
• McDonald's Restaurants: Offers convenience-oriented eaters fast meals at competitive prices.
• QuickBooks: Offers user friendly, dynamic accounting software at an affordable price point for small businesses.
Value Propositions and Marketing Plans
When you are comfortable with the underlying value proposition, you can use it to develop and implement a marketing plan:
1. First, understand the value proposition in all three parts: the benefit, the target customer, and the pricing.
2. Second, communicate the value proposition. Using all the means you have, from advertising, positioning, public relations, packaging, or whatever other tools you have available, communicate that value proposition to your target market. For example, the importance of communicating a value proposition is obvious in the advertising message. However, it goes much deeper. With a retail location, the layout and design of the store are communicating a value proposition. Consider the difference between an expensive clothing boutique and a discount merchandiser. A computer retailer wanting to communicate service and reliability might have a large service counter prominently displayed. Long ago, auto dealerships learned the value of putting service representatives into white coats.
3. Third, fulfill the promise. If you're offering greater reliability at a price premium, for example, make sure you deliver. If you're stressing customer service, then deliver on that promise. Review all elements of the business in terms of how they affect your value proposition.

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