A marketing strategy is a plan to get people to buy from you while achieving your financial objectives.
Marketing strategy typically addresses "the 4 Ps" - product, price, promotion, place:
Product: designing a product that people will buy
Price: deciding what price to ask
Promotion: how to make people aware of your product and want to buy it; how much you are prepared to spend on advertising
Place: where you will sell your product (distribution) e.g. distribute via supermarkets or specialty retailers or direct sales
The Marketing Process: AIDCA
Some people describe the marketing process as a series of five steps:
Another View of the Marketing Process: Stimulus, Design, Control
Stimulus: the stimulus that makes the customer want to solve her problem
Design: how the customer designs a solution to her problem
Control: how the customer gets what she wants.
Example: Stimulus: a customer hears a dripping noise from a faucet. That provides a stimulus. Design: she designs a solution: either she calls a plumber or she gets out the toolbox. Control: she pays the plumber to fix the problem or she controls the dripping by fixing the problem herself.
A marketer can influence the customer in three ways. He can provide a stimulus, influence the customer's design or influence how she controls the situation. Needs example.
Marketing Requires Search
Customers search for solutions to their needs. Businesses search for customers who will buy their product. Search is a big part of marketing. That's why search engines have become so important.
Marketing Requires Signalling
Companies need to signal the quality of their product to prospective buyers.