How to Build a Marketing Strategy

The key to a market strategy is to balance how you will acquire users against how many resources you have at your disposal (money and time). In the case of a community site, you have two communities to attract – the users and the customers. Your market strategy towards each is distinct.

The strategy answers how you will accumulate enough users in order that your customers will pay you money (assuming you want to make money at this). Without lots of users you can’t gather customers – put the majority of your effort on users.

To develop your strategy you have to put yourself in the shoe’s of the user. How do they like to find the information you offer? How do they get it today? Do they Google for it? Read magazines? Go to local wedding planners and related stores? Look in the newspaper? The answer to these questions will tell you where to find the users.

Once you know which of these routes will put you in front of the most users, then you can lay out a plan for attacking it. Be laser focused. Spend your limited resources on the target with the best return. Try it, learn, adjust. Don’t expect to nail it on the first try.

This applies to your product marketing strategy too. What features do the users most desire and use? Expect to be adjusting as your learn.

How much you should spend on branding, PR, SEO/SEM will fall from your plan for user accumulation. Go for the biggest bang for your buck. You do not need to address elements that don’t bring you users. Attempt to guesstimate the cost of gathering each user with these different elements – the cost per user is likely very wide. Some methods are also measurable and some are pay-n-pray. Measurable is always more desirable.

Branding becomes more important when you get larger and and want to build a value into your name. At an early stage, having a simple company name that’s easy to remember and a matching URL are probably the top items you need. A logo and set of colors are needed for your website, collateral and such.

Another dimension to think about is partnering. What other companies have access to these people? Could you work together? Good partners can accelerate your market growth and create barriers to competitors.

Viral can be great if there is a natural communication network within your users. Is there something that bonds these people together – do they communicate already? Does it transcend the one wedding event? Any natural communication among your users is a good place to look to leverage a viral model. If they are all islands today, or only use the site for one wedding, this can be hard to pull off.

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings


Comments have been disabled for this post