STRATEGIC MARKETING PLAN: Steps to Strategic Marketing Plan

Strategic Marketing Plan
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A strategic marketing plan is essential when it comes to running a successful business. Organizations develop business plans, and they lean on these plans to help guide their operations and define their objectives. A company’s business plan outlines how it expects to optimize its resources, engage in manufacturing, and even deal with its customers. To carry out successful business planning, you will need to incorporate a well-thought-out strategic marketing plan and understand which steps to take to help you achieve your objectives. This article will guide you through the steps of the marketing strategy process with an example of a strategic marketing plan.

Overview: Strategic Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a strategic blueprint that companies follow in order to organize, carry out, and monitor their marketing strategy over the course of a certain time frame. It encompasses a variety of marketing approaches, each catering to a specific marketing team inside the organization. But, ultimately serving the same commercial objectives.

The objectives of developing or planning a marketing strategy involve documenting a strategic plan in a logical and sequential format. This will basically assist you in staying on target and determining how successful your promotions have been.

Furthermore, this process will assist you in considering the objectives, buyer personas, budget, strategies, and deliverables of each campaign. You will also learn what approaches are successful and which ones are not.

What is Strategic Marketing Planning?

Strategic marketing planning is the process of formulating and implementing a plan in order to achieve certain marketing objectives. It involves taking into account the company’s present situation, which aids in discovering and then analyzing promotional prospects. It is possible for businesses to build strategic marketing plans with the goals of increasing revenue and profits, achieving higher awareness, discouraging competitors, or improving their appearance through a complete rebranding.

The management and operations teams, in general, collaborate to determine the objective, map out the process, delegate responsibilities and evaluate the outcome of their combined efforts. They may alter the measures they take over time, but they always start with a strategy that is backed by research and is also feasible.

However, marketing is such a complex endeavor, and you typically cannot accomplish its planning in a short amount of time. The planning of a strategic market usually takes into account both long-term and short-term perspectives of the market. Additionally, it takes into account a variety of characteristics in order to plan according to the target market.

What are the Components of a Strategic Marketing Plan?

Every organization and industry has its own unique set of requirements for strategic marketing plans, but they all need to include the following five elements:

#1. Company Position

This basically describes the company’s present financial situation. This, among many other analyses, helps the planning team to discover the methods that were previously implemented and evaluate the overall plan’s success against the financial results. You can analyze the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, allowing the SWOT analysis to expose the company’s current state.

#2. Goals and Strategies

In order for strategic marketing planning to be completed, it must include the company’s goals or objectives as well as strategies. Goals and strategies are intertwined, guiding the allocation of resources in the production, distribution, and marketing of goods and services. For example, a goal may be to increase brand recognition and image, while the associated strategy specifies the most appropriate media or promotion method to achieve the intended outcomes.

#3.Marketing Opportunities

When developing your marketing plans, you should constantly consider long- and short-term market opportunities that are emerging or already exist. That way, the planners may focus their efforts on the most promising opportunities with confidence.

#4. Target Market

All of your products and services should have clear target demographics. This step will typically allow you to undertake additional research about their wants, demands, and even preferences in order to maximize sales. Define each group’s demographics and geographic location as well.

#5. Marketing Budget

You can only say a strategic marketing plan is complete when it finally includes a realistic budget and an execution period. This is where you have to make a difficult choice involving the division of labor and responsibility.

What is the 4PS of the Marketing Mix?

McCarthy’s four P’s of marketing remain the standard place to begin the development of a successful strategic marketing plan. The four marketing-mix are;

#1. Product

A product can be in the form of tangible items or intangible services capable of fulfilling a need or want. Regardless of what you’re selling, you’ll need to consider the best way to show it to your customers. This is why marketers need to get familiar with every aspect and characteristic of the products they are willing to sell. Basically, the more you are able to clarify and describe these factors, the more you will have faith and trust in your marketing strategies.

#2. Price

In order for stakeholders to come up with the appropriate price plan, they need to know everything about the product.

Normally, the prices you charge for your products and services will clearly influence customers’ purchasing decisions. Hence, you’ll need to do some research to find out how much your product should cost. So you need to become familiar with how your competitors price their products and learn how much people are ready to pay for them.

#3. Promotion

You can better promote or position your product in the market once you have a thorough understanding of its value as well as price point.

This specifically is where you’ll need to put your strategic marketing plan to good use. In today’s marketplace, there are a plethora of ways for companies to get their products out there. It can be in the form of radio ads, TV, social media, or any other available channel. Nevertheless, take your time to consider all of your options before making a final choice that best represents your company’s image.

#4. Place

Physical location, digital touchpoints, or mindset are all examples of the fourth P. To be successful, your product must be easily accessible to potential buyers. The question you need to ask yourself is: is your product available for purchase online? or whether or not customers will need to go into a store. You’ll also want to think about how much merchandise you’ll need and where you’ll store it. The efficient modern inbound marketing strategy basically depends on interesting content to attract customers and make them visit your site.

Steps of the Marketing Strategy Process

The steps of the marketing strategy process include the creation of a strategy that describes what the company’s objectives are; what initiatives you’ll employ to attain such objectives; who is responsible for the KPIs; and when you’ll be able to accomplish these objectives. Creating and effectively maintaining a strategic marketing plan involves, in a nutshell, essential steps in the process of achieving business objectives.

#1. State Your Company’s Mission

Stating your organization’s mission is the first of many steps in the marketing strategy process. Despite the fact that this is strictly a marketing-specific purpose, it should support the overall aim of your company. But, keep your details concise without becoming terse in your description. You will still have the opportunity or room to explain how you intend to gain new consumers and accomplish this goal.

 #2. Identify the Mission’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Good marketing plans usually outline how the department plans to measure its success in accomplishing its goals. For this to be possible, you need to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs). The key performance indicator helps you evaluate the basic components of a marketing campaign. These elements, therefore, help you establish the short-term goals within your mission and you can then report your progression to other business management.

Let’s look at an example of a strategic marketing plan mission. If one of your company’s goals is to attract an audience with an interest in fashion, you might decide to use organic page views to keep tabs on how many people have visited your website. In this scenario, page views are a KPI, and you can track your page views as they grow.

#3. Identify your Buyer’s Personas

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Age, gender, place of residence, family size, and job title are a few examples. Your company’s present and potential customers have to be reflected in each buyer persona. As a result, all company executives or business leaders must access and agree to your buyer personas.

#4. Describe Your Content Initiatives and Strategies

This is the section where you will have to summarize your marketing and content. This portion of your marketing plan is critical since there are so many different types of content. And you will have so many different ways to distribute it. Here, you’ll have to sit down and choose the appropriate channels and how you intend to use your content on these channels.

#5. Clearly Define your Plan’s Ommissions

A good strategic marketing plan should outline the focus of the marketing team and also highlight what it will not focus on. 

You should think about other parts of your business that you’re not addressing in this particular strategy and include them in this section if you have. Including these omissions helps to support your goals, buyer persona, KPIs, and content. Every customer has different expectations, which means you can’t please everyone. Nevertheless, it’s important to communicate to them what your team’s responsibilities are upfront.

#6. Define your Marketing Budget

In spite of the fact that your content strategy may make extensive use of free channels and platforms, your marketing team still needs to account for a number of additional costs.

For example, if you need to hire a full-time marketing employee or even a freelancer, you’ll need a marketing budget and this area of your marketing plan will describe each expense.

#7. Know Who Your Competitors Are

Knowing who you’re up against in marketing is an important part of the steps of the marketing strategy process. You should investigate all the major players in your field and think about creating profiles for each of them.

However, it is important for you to understand that not all of your competitors are going to provide you with the same obstacles. Some of your competitors might have a strong online presence on a social media network, while others may rank highly in search results for terms you’d like your website to appear in search results for.

#8. Describe Who Will Contribute to Your Plan and Their Responsibilities

At this point, you already have a solid and reliable marketing strategy in place. You can now think of it as how to break down the responsibilities( assign roles and tasks according to your marketing plan). You don’t necessarily need to get yourself involved in the day-to-day operations of your staff, but it is important to know which teams and individuals are in charge of what type of content, distribution methods, and key performance indicators are.

The Objectives of Strategic Marketing Planning

In strategic marketing planning, you will basically describe your revenue targets and other marketing objectives for the upcoming year (and, ideally, beyond). Likewise, you will also spell out the strategic marketing process and steps on how to achieve those objectives.

For starters, you should note that normal strategic marketing planning includes at least four objectives. They are:

  • Lead generation: finding potential customers 
  • Brand awareness: educating those potential customers about your firm and the things it offers
  • Brand consideration: getting potential customers to keep you in their minds.
  • Sales: convincing potential customers to make purchases from you.

Example Strategic Marketing Plan

A good and well-detailed strategic marketing plan should provide answers to these questions;

  • Who are my ideal clients, and how can I reach them with my marketing strategy?
  • Exactly how do I reach them?
  • Is there a way I can keep them around?

All of these might not even be close to covering everything, which is why going through an example of a strategic marketing plan might not be a bad idea. 

However, instead of mindlessly following a strategic marketing plan example, think about what resonates with your aims and your target audience when starting a business.

Again, remember, don’t use an example like GPS coordinates when developing your strategic marketing plan. Instead, let it be just a guideline for your course.

Every example of a strategic marketing plan you come across must carry all of these elements; 

Conclusion

The process of strategic marketing planning for an organization helps ensure that all of its stakeholders share a collective understanding of its goals and the steps to achieve them. The plan not only influences the decisions made by management but also the actions taken by employees toward the goals of the institution and the reactions of both existing and prospective customers.

When a company has a solid marketing plan, it is able to increase its market share, which in turn generates more revenue and profits for the company. When a company grows, it may be able to take advantage of substantial economies of scale, which results in lower operational expenses. In a nutshell, the process of strategic marketing planning establishes a connection between the production engine and the consumer base.

Strategic Marketing Plan FAQs

What are the stages of strategic marketing plan?

Strategic market planning has 3 basic stages. They are:

  • Segmentation of the market and custom
  • Profiling of the market segments
  • Development of the actual marketing strategy

What is the best way to come up with a marketing plan?

How to Come Up with a Business Strategy

  • Make an executive summary of your first step.
  • Describe the mission, vision, and core values of your business.
  •  Identify your market and who the competitors are.
  • Set out to identify your ideal consumer
  • Create a list of your marketing objectives.
  • Describe your marketing approach
  • Determine how much money you have to spend on marketing.

Who is responsible for a marketing strategy plan in a company?

The management and operations teams should work hand in hand in the process to design a marketing strategy, lay out the steps, allocate responsibilities, and track progress. They may alter the steps they take over time, but they always start with a marketing strategy process that is validated by research and is also feasible.

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