By Sweta Patel

Does it feel like competition is everywhere? Have you ever felt like the market is too saturated to do what you love? The new buzzword in town is “disruption,” but without a strategy what does that really mean? Marketing isn’t rocket science but is all about getting the right message to the right people through the right media. Most markets are saturated and it will be a challenge to reach out to that specific target audience. The media that you decide to use will determine the impact you make in the battlefield. Here are some ideas that could help your business thrive in the battlefield.

The Heuristic Approach

Most people prefer the shortcut to any problem and usually go by the “rule of thumb” or listening to facts and statistics claimed by their friends. This means there has to be a viable way for your business to generate customer demand or even show evidence that there is customer demand in the market. Where does your business sit in terms of your competitors? Is there a way you can out-innovate the market competition? If you have customer demand then you can start using the heuristic approach to acquire new customers. Most people listen to their friends or family when it comes to making a decision on a certain product or service they want to use. They don’t really look into the facts or do the research themselves because it could get pretty tedious. If their favorite sources are on board, then so are they.

Best Practice: Create special event on different holidays to measure customer demand. For example on Valentine’s Day have a contest for all the lovebirds out there and use a storytelling technique. The contest should ask them to prove why their special date deserves the queen/king treatment and the best story wins. The winner should receive complimentary dinner or a night out for two in a special place.

San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur Sweta Patel.

Get The Calculator Out

In order to really conquer the competitors in the battlefield you have to be good with the numbers. You need to know the time, talent, and cost required to achieve the goals and objectives of a marketing campaign. Most of the Fortune 500 companies I’ve worked with have been able to reduce their marketing spend by nearly 20 percent. How? Most of them did not calculate their goals before starting a campaign. In order to achieve your goals the big picture challenges must all be mapped out. There will always be challenges and tactics that need to be tested and these have to be mapped out as well.

Best Practice: Work backwards in terms of your marketing strategy. Calculate the time, money and resources needed to create a successful campaign. How many customers will you need to break even? How will the loyal customers be rewarded and what is the cost of that? How will you acquire new customers and how much will it cost to keep them? All these questions need to be addressed. For example, a national makeup brand needed to create a personal engagement campaign to connect with their customers in a positive way. We used a tool called Keebitz to send out personal gift cards to increase that engagement. This resulted in a almost 4,000 makeup sales in just one day, and that is nearly over 1 million makeup items sold in a given year!

Increasing Business Revenue

How do you increase revenue as you build your market? What happens when you “buy out” the market? How will you keep your business going through the difficult times? These are all questions to consider as you chose your marketing strategy. Here are three marketing strategies that will bring in revenue while you build your market:

Strategy #1: Create a software-as-service product that you can sell for at least $1,000 or more a year. This will allow you to create revenue on the side while the business is being built. This revenue can be allocated for marketing purposes.

Strategy #2: Create a membership site where you focus on the lifetime of the customer and sell educational information. This membership site should cost between $39-$49 per year.

Strategy #3: Creating a content strategy that allows you to bring in traffic and make money through ad revenue. This could be written content on the website, a podcast, or a series of webinars.

Is marketing still a battlefield or are you relieved after reading this? Please comment below!

Sweta Patel is a San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur whose company is Global Marketing Tactics.