How To Create a Focus Strategy
A focus strategy aligns a company’s products and marketing with its targeted audience. Creating a successful focus strategy will help an organization understand its customer’s wants and needs so they can craft products they will purchase and find useful.
In this article, we will identify what a focus strategy is, and describe the steps necessary to generate a focus strategy that will make a brand stand out to its niche audience.
What is a focus strategy?
A focus strategy is a method of developing, marketing and selling products to a niche market, which could be a type of consumer, product line or geographical area. A focus strategy would center on the expansion of marketing tactics for your company while aiming to establish a new relationship with your target audience. If a marketing company wanted to earn third-party credibility, they would want to have public relations tied into their focus strategy to get articles published and build their brand.
How to construct a focus strategy
If a company is trying to scale their business, consider these steps in building out a focus strategy:
Compile a SWOT analysis.
Produce a five forces analysis to understand market competition.
Compare SWOT analysis with the five forces analysis.
Determine the goals and target market of the strategy.
Verify alignment of strategic and organizational goals.
1. Compile a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis discovers an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It helps to know who to target initially, but conducting a SWOT analysis highlights the details of each prospective market.
Here are a few sample questions to ask when working on a SWOT analysis.
Which customers have purchased our product in the past?
Is that target audience still buying from us?
If so, what successes can we apply to other target markets?
How can cultivating a relationship with this niche audience build our brand?
Does the target audience know about the product?
If so, will they think the product is practical for them to use?
Does this target audience have a positive experience with the product?
Is more capital or technology needed to entice this audience?
Do current market trends prove favorable in attracting this audience?
Are there events within the area that the company can capitalize on?
If so, what will be their reaction when you approach them about the product?
Can influencers attract customers to the product?
Which competitors can influence this audience and how?
Will technological advancements affect the marketing strategy moving forward?
Will buyer’s responses to market trends impact the organization?
What anticipated developments in the market can harm the relationship between the company and the target market?
2. Produce a five forces analysis to understand market competition
In 1979, Michael Porter, a professor from Harvard University, created Porter’s Five Forces as a tool to review and examine an industry’s competition and profitability. Today, it is one of the most popular tools for business strategy. If you generate a list of the five forces, it will give an organization the tools it desires to study the competition, narrow down their niche markets of interest and think about how logistics need to be carried out once a new market is chosen.
Porter’s five forces include:
How many rivals does a company have?
Who are rivals in the industry?
Is their product quality comparable to the rest of the industry?
How many potential suppliers are there?
How unique is the product or service provided?
Is it expensive to switch suppliers?
How many buyers are there?
Do buyers purchase large orders?
What is the cost of switching products over to the organization’s rival?
Threat of Substitution:
Can customers find a different way to do what a company does?
Can this service be outsourced or done manually?
How cheap would this substitution be for the competitor?
Threat of New Entry:
How easily can people enter the industry?
Will they be able to establish a foothold once they enter?
Will regulations stifle growth of new competition?
3. Compare SWOT analysis with the five forces analysis
Once all data is gathered from the research, compare the information from the SWOT analysis and the five forces analysis and choose which strategic options are conducive to success. Also, run through strategic options or hypothetical scenarios with a group to discover the results if you expanded marketing resources to a particular niche audience. An organization can ask themselves how their strategy:
Builds and sustains a relationship with target audiences
Separates a company from its competition
Leverages buyer, supplier and customer power
Hinders threats of substitution or new entry to the market
4. Determine the goals of the focus strategy
Goal setting will help set clear objectives for where a company goes. Without them, there is no direct course in determining the potential of a product or brand. With the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based) framework, you can determine the time and resources needed to reach company goals and influence the right people.
Below is an example of how you can implement this formula.
The company will have a 90 percent customer satisfaction rate in one year once the product is rolled out in January.
Specific: The goal of increasing customer satisfaction is clearly marked.
Measurable: Success can be measured by the number of surveys with positive feedback, social media insights monitoring customer behavior, etc.
Achievable: The company knows the time to roll out the product.
Relevant: The company is planning on hitting its mark after the product goes on the market.
Time-Based: The company has a one-year time period to meet its goal.
5. Verify alignment of strategic and organizational goals
After selecting goals from the focus strategy, take time to evaluate if the strategic goals meet long-term organizational objectives. Long-term organizational goals incorporate the organization’s competitive position listed in the five forces analysis, profitability, return on investment and the company’s image in the public eye.
If a company needs help with finding their target audience, begin by initiating market research strategies, such as focus groups and online surveys.
Overall, a focus strategy is a benefit for a company looking to expand its reach within different markets. Following this procedure will help an organization adapt to the various changes of an industry’s competitive landscape, besides the target audience’s core values, attitudes and behaviors.
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