Who Needs a Marketing Strategy in the UAE: Just a Trendy Name or a Necessary Thing

11:37 am  |  20.02.2024

Marketers often tell entrepreneurs that they need a strategy, and without it, the business will not develop. But to what extent is this true? Let’s look at what a marketing strategy is, whether every business needs it, and what benefits it brings.

What is a Marketing Strategy?

First, let’s define what a marketing strategy is—it’s not just a document that outlines the steps to business success. This is just one of the tools that help you achieve a certain goal. This goal may vary depending on the client and their business.

Theoretically, the strategy has answers to five questions:

  • What is happening with the company—about the goals of the business and how it will achieve them.
  • What it sells—is the position of each company’s product in the market.
  • Who does it sell to—market and consumer analysis.
  • How it works—about the principles of the company’s behavior in the market.
  • Where and how it sells—a set of activities, methods, and actions that help it get ahead of its competitors.

Practically, in what cases can you immediately find accurate answers to these questions? If the strategy is developed by a marketer independently, then most likely not. He will never be able to know the business as well as the owner and top management know it. And if the strategy is formulated by the company leaders themselves with the participation of marketers, it will work.

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The strategy should be formulated by a team that works with it every day, not just external experts. The client knows his product better than anyone, you just need to ask him the right questions. The client himself understands what marketing strategy he needs, you just need to help him formulate it.

Who Needs a Marketing Strategy and Why?

First of all, the business owner needs it, since the strategy solves the owner’s problems and does not reflect the marketer’s fantasies. What tasks might a business owner have:

  • Earn more.
  • Capture the market.
  • Grow the company and make it successful.
  • Build a company for subsequent sale and profit.
  • Develop personally.
  • Get satisfaction from your business.

The strategy is not used as a textbook for business management—it is constantly tested, adjusted, and revised. This is the only way it can save time and money, and not just lie like a dead weight in the manager’s drawer.

7 Signs You Need a Marketing Strategy Right Now:

  1. You have just launched your business – it is not yet clear who your competitors actually are.
  2. Customers rarely buy.
  3. Customers complain about high prices.
  4. Everything you offer is already available from your competitors.
  5. You spend more on advertising than on all other expenses combined.
  6. You have a complex product: customers take a long time to decide on a purchase, few people know about your product, or find it difficult to use it.
  7. Sales have peaked and started to fall, attracting new customers becomes more expensive, and existing customers rarely make purchases.

If any of these signs apply to you, the strategy will be useful to you.

Types of Marketing Strategies

The choice of a specific strategy depends on the nature of the business owner. He may be ready for quick action or prefer careful calculations to decide on the choice of market and product range for clients. It also depends on personal requirements, for example, the desired level of income of the entrepreneur.

There are the following types of marketing strategies:

  • Growth strategies – determine how the business will develop and expand its presence in the market.
  • Interaction with competitors is a strategy to differentiate a company from its competitors.
  • The style of doing business depends on the character of the entrepreneur.
  • Pricing – choosing a pricing policy.

However, this is all just a theory. In practice, a strategy is a continuously changing plan of action, rather than a static document.

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Development of a Marketing Strategy

There is no universal strategy since it depends on the individual characteristics of the entrepreneur, the state of the market and its situation, current conditions, product range, and personal and corporate goals. Building a strategy for 5-10 years ahead for small and medium-sized businesses does not make sense: the company will develop, and change, therefore, the initial data will change, and some of the goals will be achieved. Therefore, a strategy is not just a document, but a tool.

Searching for Real Company Expertise

The initial phase involves identifying the company’s characteristics and its market presence, distinguishing strategies for both online and offline sectors. Subsequently, an analysis of the company’s current situation is conducted.

To formulate a strategy, the following information is essential:

  • Market status and company positioning.
  • Competitors’ actions and marketing strategies.
  • Customer demographics and their purchasing motivations.
  • Unique attributes of the company’s products.

Within the optimal zone, which needs to be delineated, lie the customers who are most in need of the company’s offerings.

The cornerstone of the strategy lies in the company’s genuine expertise, i.e., those distinctive facets for which clients are willing to pay. Without identifying and articulating this expertise, the strategy is destined to fail.

Various methodologies are employed to gather data about the market and customers: commissioning research, conducting surveys, and participating in industry events. An internal scrutiny of the company is also undertaken, encompassing business and financial models.

The company owner comprehends their business better than anyone else. For the strategy to be efficacious and the data credible, it is imperative to devise the strategy in collaboration with the company’s top management.

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Generating Hypotheses

During this phase, customer segments with their respective needs and traits are delineated. For each segment, a hypothesis is formulated on how to engage with them to achieve the desired objectives.

Each hypothesis should specify:

  • The requisite team for execution.
  • Budget allocation.
  • Anticipated obstacles and risks.
  • Criteria for assessing success and failure.
For instance, in the case of the YallaMarket project (a grocery delivery service in Dubai), it was discerned that one of the prioritized segments comprises athletes and individuals adhering to a healthy lifestyle. They frequently make purchases with a high average expenditure.

Implementing Hypotheses

Clients often receive a preconceived strategy but may refrain from actualizing it. Nonetheless, it is imperative to translate the strategy into action.

Successful implementation necessitates:

  • Budget availability.
  • Designation of responsibility for each hypothesis.
  • Allocation of a dedicated team for each hypothesis.
  • Establishment of clear success criteria.

The strategy is set into motion and tested, with results meticulously analyzed and documented. Unsuccessful hypotheses are discarded, while successful ones are expanded and replicated. This ongoing process is termed strategizing.

At times, companies experience stagnation not due to substandard products or low demand but simply due to the need for a bold yet judicious maneuver.

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