What is Strategic Marketing Planning?
Strategic Marketing Planning is the process of creating and following a plan to be more successful in your business. You might do this to increase profits and revenue, get higher visibility, discourage your competitors, or improve your business by totally rebranding it. You have to have management and operations teams working together, identifying goals, outlining steps, assigning tasks, and measuring the success of the efforts. You might decide to revise your steps over a period of time, but you should begin with a research-based, practical plan in place.
You might use a variety of devices and programs to help you to get to where you want to go in the planning stages. One reliable source that you might decide to use would be https://www.clickfunnels.com/blog/sales-funnel-planner/ and using Clickfunnels to help you from planning an effective marketing campaign strategy to building an explosive value ladder sales funnel. You will also need to do more research to get to where you need to be, but this will give you a start.
Steps to a Successful Strategic Marketing Plan
Find Your Starting Place
The first thing that you need to do in any marketing plan is to get with the rest of your company and ask one simple question – What does our company exist to do? Once you have worked together to find an answer to this question, you can move on to the next stop, although this may take a little while to answer. You can decide what your niche market is and your company’s mission statement and then reflect on what you have already done and where you want to go from here.
Once you have done that, you might want to do a swot analysis, which will measure your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/swot-analysis-guide . From there, you can decide what opportunities are still available for you and which are achievable. You will then go from there to come up with a starting point for your strategic marketing plan.
Conduct Market Research
Once you have decided where you have come from, you need to know where you are going. You will want to know what your competitors are doing and what they were doing when they were at your spot in this plan. If they are facing similar challenges and threats, see what they did to connect with their customers. If you are trying to launch a new product, see what worked when your competitors did to do the same thing. If they faced significant challenges in this step, how did they overcome it? These are questions that you need to answer before you can move on in your own process.
Before you get further into your planning, you want to involve your customers – especially the ones that have been loyal to you through your planning. You want to ask them some serious questions about how your business works for them and how you can improve it. Some questions that you could ask are: Where did you first come across our product? How do you use our product? What changes would improve your experience and which ones would harm it? When you get the answers to these questions from your customers, you can move on.
Define Your Target Audience
You want to build a profile for you perfect customer – include their needs and their complaints. You might also determine what their age range is, where they might live, what their family size is, their job titles, their lifestyle choices, some money habits, and other qualities that would define them. You might try to determine what an average day would be for them – what are their unique characteristics such as resilience and curiosity, and sensitivity towards other people.
While you are doing this, you might also determine where else this ideal customer would go throughout their day – would they go to the gym? The theater? Grocery stores? Once you determine all of this, you can decide where you might want to market towards them.
Set a Measurable Goal
Wherever you are trying to go with your business, whether it is to drive more sales, improve brand awareness, enter a new market, or increase customer engagement, you will need to set new goals so that you can assess the progress of your marketing plan. You can do this by setting a SMART goal, which is one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Doing this will help you to visualize your goals, assign them to your appropriate team members, and then use them to focus and motivate yourself and your team members. It could also show you where your plan needs work such as achieving an number of emails that is not realistic in a few weeks instead of a few months. You can spot these errors early on and then help your team to pursue the appropriate goals and stay more positive in the process.
Get Budget Approval
You might have to wait to get your budget approval until after you have made out your plan. If you think that your budget might be limited, you might want to present all the information that you learned from the first four steps to see how money you will assign to the plan. Then determine what you need to do based on what is realistic financially. Whatever step that you decide to take first, it might be helpful to you to work on two of these steps together rather than doing each step separately.
If you must go to a budget manager, think about approaching them in a similar way that you would approach your customers. Tell them the end results that you expect to make and then walk them through the steps it will take to get there. If you have a manager that oversees other company budgets like technology and personnel, you may want to see how other departments are achieving the goals that they have.
Decide on a Mix of Strategies
Your marketing research should help you to determine what tactics that you will use to reach the target audience. There are many marketing strategies to decide from, but one that can help you is the 4 Ps of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. You can see more about the 4 Ps here. They can help you to see more about this subject.
Product – You want to know what value that you are bringing to your customers and how this might compare to your competitors’ way of doing things. Ask yourself these questions to help you to decide your strategy – What is your product and how does it help your customers? Who needs your products and how will they use it? How is your product better than your competitors’ products?
Price – There are ways that you can determine what price your customers will pay for your products. This includes the amount of money that your customers are willing to pay, the conditions of the current market, the pricing structure of your competitors, and costs of production. Again, there are questions to ask yourself – Are your customers sensitive to pricing, and if so, how much? Will the perception of quality change if you decrease your price or offer a discount? What is the price of similar products and is your product the same or better quality?
Promotion – You need to check your promotion strategies which are the way that you use to teach your customers the value of your products and how your products meet their needs. Some questions that you could ask yourself this time – What is the marketing channel that your customers use the most? When are your customers most likely to buy? What is the best place to market your message? In what ways do your competitors promote their products?
Place – You will need to determine where to distribute your products to your customers in the easiest and most enjoyable ways. You can ask yourself these questions – What is the place that your customers search for products and where can they discover your products? Which channels of distribution will reach the target audience you are looking for? What are the channels of distribution that your competitors are using and how can you make yours better?
Craft Your Detailed Schedule and Begin
You will want to create some clear expectations for each of your team members that are helping with this marketing plan that includes your target dates for reviews that may be weekly, monthly, or quarterly. It might help you to assign the goals to team leaders who know how to manage the details of the goals and who can delegate responsibility to their team members. That way, when it is time to measure and evaluate the strategies success to see if you need to reevaluate your goals, you can meet with just the team leaders and not the whole set of teams.
A successful marketing campaign can help you to get you ahead of the game with your product or service. You want to follow these suggestions to get started with your plan but remember that you know your company better than anyone else and you need to do what is best for your company.
Suman(Kul Prasad) Pandit is an accomplished business professional and entrepreneur with a proven track record in corporate and start-up sectors in the UK and USA. With a focus on sustainable business practices and business education, Suman is highly regarded for his innovative problem-solving and commitment to excellence. His expertise and dedication make him a valuable asset for businesses seeking growth and success.