How to Find and Use Key Success Factors in Marketing?
The best marketing strategy is a well-thought out plan that will help you grow your business and reach more customers. However, without such planning it’s hard to know where or how much time should be spent on specific activities; this means wasted resources as well as negative results for the company in general. If we want our small businesses (or start ups!) to succeed then they need an effective ongoing approach rather than just throwing money into advertising every so often because one day might turn into another with no follow up whatsoever!
To match your marketing strategies to the needs and expectations of your target customers and ensure that your business continues to grow, start by identifying your key success factors.
What Are Key Success Factors?
Key success factors (or KSF) are business strategies that are critical to a successful relationship with your customers.
Key success factors are decided by the needs and preferences of your market and customers, not by your business. However, consumers are not going to tell you what those KSF are. Discovering your key success factors requires researching your customers to understand who they are, what they want from your company, and what prompts them to make a purchase.
A business generally has three to five key success factors that it needs to focus on to achieve its goals. Key success factors also may relate to areas of weakness that you must overcome to create a stronger relationship with your customers.
When you know and use the right strategies, your key success factors become an integral part of who or what makes up your brand and business style.
Marketing by Using Key Success Factors
Your key success factors influence your marketing choices. When implemented correctly they result in robust sales, a strong brand, and a loyal relationship with your customers.
Once you have used research and observation to determine your KSF, you can use them to tailor the message you send through your marketing.
For instance, a famous food corporation uses market research to discover that their target customers are health-conscious mothers between the ages of 20 and 45. Providing a convenient location is one key success factor for reaching those customers.
To make this KSF part of its business and marketing strategy, the food corporation positions its grocery stores near gyms, daycare centers, shopping centers, and other areas that its target customers already frequent. The corporation then creates advertising that highlights the convenience of shopping at its stores for healthy mothers with busy schedules.
Key success factors can also be applied to individual product launches or events.
For example, there is a self care center advertising its grand opening, and one key success factor of the opening is having as many people visit the salon as possible that day. To increase customer turnout, the center offers a 15 percent discount to the first 50 people who arrive and promotes this discount in all its marketing.
The Importance of Data Tracking for Key Success Factors
Just as market research is the best way to learn what your customers want and need, data tracking is the best way to analyze how well you have identified your key success factors.
Tracking how customers respond to your marketing initiatives will give you a huge opportunity to see whether you are creating strong relationships with your customers or on the contrary. If your marketing results in strong sales, that will mean that you have correctly identified and used your key success factors. If they will not be strong, you may need to return to the research and planning stage and make some changes.
There is also a possibility that you may also discover that as your business grows and your customer base changes, your key success factors change as well. Data tracking will help you identify trends over time so that you can adjust your marketing and sales plans accordingly.
Finding Your Key Success Factors
EIn general every business has its own, different key success factors depending on its industry, location, competitors, and of course target customers.
As an example we can say that car buyers expect large yearly sales, so a key success factor for a successful car dealership is the traditional 4th of July sale. This key success factor would not be appropriate for service-oriented businesses or those selling products with no margin for discount.
To properly identify and use your key success factors, pay attention to customer retention, the results of trade show presentations and events, they give you a chance to be informed about how customers respond to your advertising and promotions, social sentiment regarding your brand, and media coverage. After that, make sure that all those things actually translate into sales. If your social sentiment is positive, your media coverage is growing, and your customers are coming back for more, as a result you know your strategies are working.