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  • Alex Montas

20 Minutes to a Marketing Strategy

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

If you had 20 minutes to make up a basic marketing strategy, how would you do it?

How to build a basic marketing strategy in 20 minutes:

Strategy consulting is one of the most desired career paths of business students.

In order to get strategy consulting roles, most students have to go through case interviews. In a case interview, a hypothetical or real business case is presented and the student has a few minutes to construct a high level strategy without knowing all the facts of the business. As a full-fledged marketer and former business student, many of the lessons that I apply in my day-to-day activities were learned while casing.

If I had 20 minutes to make up a basic marketing strategy I would want to know the following:

Minutes 0–5:


You have to know thyself and most companies know their product. However many do not know where they stand vis-a-vis their competitors and customers. Ask yourself the following questions:

What problem is your product solving? How is your product differentiated? What does your company have that allows it to build the product better than others? If customers/competitors could build your product themselves would they do a better job?

Minutes 5–10:

Who are your customers?

Knowing your customer is the most important thing a business has to do in order to be successful. Having an idea of the willingness to spend, high-level demographics (age, etc), psycho-graphics (interests and desires). Most importantly, knowing whether they want or need your product and where they would buy it, is the main key to success.

Minutes 10–15:


Is there someone already building your product/service? If not, why not? What keeps them? How does the market currently react to your product/service? Many businesses assume that having no competitors is the sign of a “blue ocean” where they can keep all customers to themselves. Instead, it maybe a sign that no demand for your service currently exist. Beware.

Minutes 15–20:

Put it all together. Once you have a good idea of the relationship between your customers, your business and the competition you should be able to get an idea of whether your product could succeed. You can then build a value proposition and make an initial hypothesis on marketing channels.

For example, if my product is a vacuum cleaner for supermarkets which cleans 200% faster than anything available. Let’s assume the competitor’s product is far behind ours in terms of technology. My strategy may entail the following:

Customers: High end supermarkets (wholefoods, trader Joes) that need high level of cleanliness AND can afford product.Competitors: Current vacuum cleaner manufacturers or any other cleaning equipment.Product differentiation: Faster and better cleanup than anything on the market.

Value proposition: Vavoom cleaners provides high end supermarkets with the most effective cleaning apparatus that helps you save time AND money. Unlike our competitors we make dirt disappear 200% faster so your staff doesn’t waste time on activities not related to sales.

Marketing Channels: B2B sales-force, Trade Conventions, Trade Publications.

Pricing: At least 50% margins

Sales channels: Direct (high luxury product).

Nevertheless, please note that high level brainstorming will never replace actual market research and talking to customers directly. However, the kind of structure exhibited above should help start your business or marketing campaign in solid grounds.

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