In this ever-changing world, marketing ideas keep on changing over time and, gets updated along with the advancement of technology. It kept on improving since the birth of radio, then the television and now till to the advent of the internet.
Now in this digital marketing world, it has become a user-centric interaction where the customer’s needs and values considered at most priority than anything else. In fact, creating a marketplace like Airbnb is only not enough to succeed in this sharing economy. There are several things you have to look out for,
In this user-centric marketing world, what strategy you can adopt to grow your marketplace?
A marketing strategy should ease in connecting with the audience and expresses the company’s goals, mission and, how they help customers life to be better.
A marketing plan is necessary to execute the strategy covering product, pricing, distribution, and promotion.
Here are the key things to consider when you design any marketing strategy.
Researching and Collecting market information
Before to design any marketing plan, you need to analyse the condition of the internal – inside the company, external – audience and the market and the customer preference.
Gather data for these following questions.
- What are the marketing mission and goals of the company?
- Whether the company mission and goals aligned to the marketing plans?
- Whether the financial resource allocated for the marketing team?
- How the current marketing strategy performed with respect to the expected outcome?
- Do you prefer short-term or long-term marketing planning? And how does it affect any marketing strategy?
The external factors mean the competitors, technology advancement, laws and legal systems, economic growth and political scenario. Things you need to is:
- Who are our competitors and what is their market size, profit, growth, targeted audience, marketing strategy?
- What are the competitor’s strength and weakness?
- How the competition will change after improving our marketing strategy?
- How economic growth is happening in your country? And how much it affects your industry?
- What are the laws and legal system supporting and opposing your marketplace?
- What is the political scenario happening in your country and how it impacts the marketplace?
At the end of the day, it is about impressing the customer, things you need to find out is:
- Geographic and demographics of your customer
- The medium they found out about your brand and service.
- When the customer uses the rental platform
- Why they prefer your service compared to your competitors.
- What made them stick to your service.
Deducing insights from the collected data pave the way to the success of any marketing strategy.
A simple but most powerful tool to find clarity in vast data is through SWOT analysis.
SWOT abbreviated as Strength-Weakness-Opportunities-Threat.
Strength – Weakness
The strength mostly points to the internal strength of the company which is the product, capabilities of the company and the resource abundance.
The weakness can be anything which causes difficulty or delays the success of a marketing strategy.
For instance, the success and weakness of a rental marketplace would be of:
Strength can be:
- Financial resource allocated for advertising
- Committed employees
- Well-known brand name
- Better marketing strategy
Weakness can be:
- Low budget marketing strategies
- Poor brand image
- Undertrained employees
- Lack of direction
A weakness can be converted to strength or it can be mitigated to negligible effects.
Opportunities – Threats
Opportunities can be:
- Opening up to foreign market
- Economic boom
- New technology
- Changing customer needs
Threat can be:
- Entry of new competitors
- Evolving business models in the industry
- Competitors adopting a new strategy
- Change in laws and regulation
A threat can be considered as an opportunity if the resource or a sound strategy available to expand your market.
Customer segmentation and targeting
After having an awareness of your strength and weakness, the subsequent thing to consider is how to target your audience.
You need to conquer and divide to engage your audience.
As you already have the data, group the customers into the categories of similar needs. This kind of marketing is differentiated marketing.
The category can be of:
- Same demography
- Age group
- Price preference
- Communication medium they use
By doing this, you can personalise the marketing message to that specific group.
Even you can further split the group into various small groups to make it more personalised. This is niche marketing. Social media is helpful in targeting a small group.
For instance, if you need to advertise a new offer of a car rental service like Uber, the targeted audience can be office-goers who have a high rate of utilising it. So, advertising in the San Francisco area makes the demand go higher.
Setting the price is crucial for any marketplace. If you set the price too low, you stumble upon in gaining profit. Setting up too high will attract few customers to rent their property.
Research the market and see the prices around your neighbourhood.
Airbnb has two different fee structure. One is the shared host and guest fee where Airbnb charges 3% service fee and charges 13% from the guest. Two is the Host-only fee where they charge between 14% to 20%.
Homestay offers a 5% service fee, 3% credit card/eCheck processing fee and 2% international surcharge.
VRBO pricing is similar to Homestay.
The price speaks the quality of the business. Customers have the psychology of segregating low prices into less quality and huge price as great quality. It is more of how valuable they consider your brand. The value is evaluated by the customer based upon the benefits offered with respect to price.
Branding and positioning
Branding is important for any rental marketplace. The advantage of branding is:
- Recognition of the rental service
- Convenient for customers to compare and evaluate
- Increased loyal customers
- Allows customer to accept any new service in any rental marketplace
- Customers would see less risk once get adopted to a rental service
To leverage brand name, strategies such as co-branding or branding licensing helps it.
Co-branding is the combining of two brands to represent a product or service. The pro to this strategy is it leverages the brand name for the individual brands.
Brand licensing is another type of brand alliance where a company allows an organisation to use the brand name to a non-competitive product or service for a particular duration.
Positioning means how people perceive about the advertised product or company. Positioning decides where a product or a company stand in the market.
The key to changing the positioning is to constantly be aware of the customer needs and wants, as it changes over a period of time. By increasing the quality and expectations of the rental experience, it engages the customers to stay to your brand.
Here is the list of marketing strategies you can embrace
From the early 20s, internet marketing considered as a new opportunity to reach the audience. Also, there were no rules on how content should be written compared to the print medium. At present, it is done through by SEO and SEM practice.
Word of mouth marketing
An old way of organic marketing is gossiping and sharing the experience with the brands to friends and family. In this way, a loyal community built from scratch.
Having a partnership with any NGO or religious group increases brand equity. It benefits both parties in elevating the social image and reaches to a wide range of audiences.
Advertising is crucial for marketing. It is the first step to inform the audience about the company or new product launched. Advertising gives a wider reach depending upon the medium. It can be a print, Newspaper, Radio, Television, or online.
Co-branding – affinity marketing
Co-branding or affinity marketing is the promotion of a brand in exchange for a commission. In this way, the engagement and promotion of both brands get lifted.
It is purely targeting a fragment of an audience for personalised marketing based upon their purchase and browser history. In this way, it is easy to observe a few quality leads and convert to our customers.
This blog gives a broad outline of developing a marketing strategy. Any strategy is a process of data collection, insights gathering, customer targeting, considering price offers and how to brand and position your company. All amounts to implement a successful marketing strategy.