The marketing strategy in every SME is a key which helps to expand the company’s performance. Competition in the SME sector is at an all-time high. Brands looking to grow and survive in the market require strategic positioning to present a winning competitive edge. Today’s consumer not only has more choice, but is also more informed and with more forums of interacting with the market, including social media. The SMEs thus have an even bigger task of constantly learning the changing needs and demands of the consumer.

In Marketing Management, the marketing managers develop the firm’s detailed marketing plans and procedures. With the help of subordinates, including product development managers and market research managers, they determine the demand for products and services offered by the firm and its competitors. In addition, they identify potential markets for example, wholesales, public, retails business firms, or government. During the training on marketing strategies organized by Africa Agribusiness Academy Rwanda Chapter, Charles Gitau (August 2016) underlined that marketing managers develop pricing strategy with an eye towards maximizing the firm’s share of the market and its profits while ensuring that the customers are satisfied. In collaboration with sales, product development, and other managers, they monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services and oversee product development.

Mr Said Havugimana the owner of Haji Enterprise said that Marketing managers work with advertising and promotion managers to promote the firm’s products and services and to attract potential users. Other areas where market management is required may be in promotions, public relations, sales, production and all levels of the organization.

After the training on marketing strategies where the members attended during two successive days on 17 August in Kigali and on 18th in Nyanza, the members and facilitator revealed that there are five pillars which help in building a great content marketing strategy:

In line of marketing the entrepreneurs has to be able to respond to the following questions:

  • What are your key demographics? Do they share any traits in common, such as age, gender, education, marital status, or location?
  • What title do your customers typically have? Are you typically selling to bigwig CEOs, small business owners, or someone else? What is the average salary of this target audience?
  • What personality traits govern a purchase? Are your customers cautious about making new investments? Are they first in line to adopt new technology or do they adapt slowly?
  • What do they want from your offering? What goals will your product or service help them achieve? What do they value, that you’re offering specifically appeals to?
  • What holds them back from making a purchase? Is your customer hesitant, because they haven’t been convinced that your product or service will benefit them? Does a high price tag stop them in their tracks? Or is something else such as the inability to convince a superior of why your offering is necessary?
  • What persuades your customers? How do you overcome whatever objections your customers might have? Are they seeking social proof? Do they need specs or are they looking for simple advice on how to use your product? Are there any sources they trust?
  • What other details are relevant? Can you appeal to your target audience through their hobbies? Their favorite blogs? Showcasing other customers? What extra information will help you sell to this lead?

Mr Charles Gitau said that we need to manage business units to anticipate and respond to changes in market places so that businesses are ready for tomorrow. Generally this allows businesses to avoid threats and take advantage of marketing opportunities. He also stressed that a good marketing strategy is the one which is futuristic, specific, holistic & complete, involvement of top management, flexible and pro-active. One of the members who attended the training added that if you succeed in marketing strategies you will consider the marketing strategy as a road map which facilitates the situational analysis, optimization of available resources and developing performance.