Marketing strategy is the overarching plan of a company to sell its products or services and enhance the perception of its brand. Developing a marketing strategy requires understanding your customers through market research, conducting market analysis to segment the market and position your value proposition, and then developing a communications and marketing plan to reach your target customers effectively. Appropriate marketing strategies may vary widely depending on the product or service you’re selling, but it’s a vitally important part of any successful business.
Traditionally, developing a market strategy relied on in-person focus groups and surveys for market research and channels like print and television advertising to reach customers. However, the internet and today’s world of e-commerce has created a new digital marketing landscape that many companies are exploring. Your target customers’ online shopping habits, social media activities, and internet searches create a vast amount of data that can be harnessed with marketing analytics to yield important insights for market research. And emerging online channels like content marketing and social media marketing give you new ways to reach your customers in ways that are often more engaging and effective than traditional media.
At the end of the day, however, marketing strategy still relies on the tried-and-true maxim of “know your customer.” Regardless of who your customers are and how you decide to reach them, a good marketing strategy will focus on presenting them with products and services that meet their needs in a way they can understand and connect with.
A strong understanding of all aspects of marketing strategy is essential for a career as a marketing and advertising manager. These experts are responsible for overseeing market research, identifying target customer segments, developing marketing plans to reach them effectively, and managing teams of graphic designers, content writers, and other marketing professionals to create and run the campaign. It’s a job that requires both creativity, strategic thinking, and management skills, and it has only become more complex with the advent of digital marketing and e-commerce.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), marketing managers received a median annual wage of $135,900 in 2019, and these jobs are expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. Unsurprisingly, BLS also notes that “managers who can navigate the digital world should have the best prospects,” underscoring the importance of a digital marketing background for today’s top professionals in the field.
Yes! Coursera offers a wealth of opportunities to learn online about marketing, including marketing strategy and related topics in content marketing, marketing analytics, and other important areas of digital marketing. You can take courses and Specializations spanning multiple courses from top-ranked schools like University of California, Davis, University of Pennsylvania, IE Business School, and University of Virginia. And, since you can view course materials and complete assignments on a flexible schedule, learning on Coursera is a great way to build marketing strategy skills for the digital era while maintaining your existing work or family life.
A background in sales or any other experiences interacting with consumers can be helpful before you start studying marketing strategy. A basic understanding of profit, revenue, and quantitative or qualitative data analysis can help you move through your lessons faster. Because lots of businesses are increasingly reliant on online marketing, knowledge of social media platforms and advertising tools such as Google Ads is also helpful.
People who are best suited for roles in marketing strategy are persuasive and creative. They're able to think of the world from the consumer's perspective and come up with messaging that inspires others to take action. An analytic mindset is also useful, as the field requires you to adopt an organized, tactical approach to challenges and measure progress by looking at specific metrics.
Consumer behavior and psychology are topics that relate to marketing strategy, and studying them can help you better understand what motivates a target audience. You can also study topics such as business management, brand development, and nonprofits to gain a better understanding of how successful businesses and organizations thrive with the right marketing strategy.
People with a background in marketing strategy can find jobs with advertising agencies or in the marketing department of a large business. Startups and political campaigns may also hire marketing strategists to ensure that target audiences are receptive to messaging. Some strategists work remotely, while others work in-house in an office setting.
Learning about marketing strategy is right for you if you're passionate about bringing attention to a brand. This might include a business that you currently work for or a business that you plan to start. If you enjoy carefully laying out strategies and experimenting with persuasive messages, this could be the right topic for you to study.
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