Learn About the Key Success Factors in Marketing

Key Success Factors
Getty Images /Thomas Bar

The term "key success factors" can make anyone who is hungry to win eager to learn more. In marketing, these factors are defined as the basic steps that comprise the major components of winning.

Marketing vs. Sales 

Many businesses assume that marketing and sales are the same thing, but in fact they're not. Marketing is actually composed of two separate elements: marketing research and marketing strategies.

Marketing techniques lead to successful sales. Sales without marketing research and marketing strategies may not result in optimal success. Sales are always the result of a carefully strategized marketing concept.

Key Success Factors

Key success factors are defined as the basic planning, design, and implementation of the way in which products and services will be presented for consumers to result in successful sales. For example, a major U.S. corporation might plan, design and implement certain marketing strategies based on exhaustive studies of their potential target market.

These studies should result in the creation of marketing strategies that meet the needs of consumers within that market. Marketing strategies are designed around products and/or services to engender the greatest positive reaction from targeted markets. They become part of the overall sales style of each business as it best relates to their public offering.


Identifying Key Success Factors

Each business identifies its key success factors differently depending on the nature of its products and services. Ideally, key success factors are seen in ongoing sales that maintain healthy business revenues. They can also be viewed in the context of successful advertising and promotions online and in the public domain.

Things to consider to help identify key success factors include consumer response to advertising and promotions, customer retention, successful trade show presentations and social media "buzz."

The Purpose of Key Success Factors

The purpose of key success factors is to inspire marketing and sales to a more robust business status through incentives. A business's products and services should not remain static without evolution. Maintaining vigilance over key success factors helps business owners gauge potential within the target market and also in the realm of business competition. 

Types of Key Success Factors

Different types of key success factors offer more advantages to some businesses than others. For example, a key success factor for a successful car dealership might be frequent special sales campaigns. But this key success factor might not suit businesses that are service oriented or that offer products that have no margin for discounts. 

Tracking Data 

Data tracking is an important aspect of gathering additional information that should produce visible proof of marketing success. It helps relate marketing strategies to successful marketing results. Data tracking is also useful as a sales training tool in that it helps sales personnel identify those marketing techniques that have the strongest effect.

For example, businesses that rely on trade association events to promote their products or services might want to track new business gained through event participation.