The marketplace in most industries has grown very competitive over the years. To dominate in your industry, you need a detailed and refined strategic marketing plan.
What Is a Strategic Marketing Plan?
A strategic marketing plan is a detailed framework. It’s used to prepare a company for a targeted and systematic application of its marketing efforts. Such plans are very precise and are developed using data sourced from and for your industry, for better targeting.
When mapped out effectively, your strategic marketing plan will provide growth in conversion by eliminating any initiative that hasn’t proven beneficial for your business.
When preparing an effective strategic marketing plan for your company brand there are several components that must be considered.
Let’s take a look now at 9 of the Key Elements of a Successful Strategic Marketing Plan.
Analysis of Current Market Position
Sales and analytics reports from the past year should be reviewed to evaluate your business brand’s position in the market. They will also reveal the marketing plans that worked as expected, and those that underperformed.
Measurement is key, and often underutilized. It’s important that you’re gathering the right data to be measured, in order to make solid marketing and business decisions. You should be relying heavily on your Google Analytics, to gather the necessary data.
Doing this will help to evaluate the success of marketing efforts against financial results gathered.
This is one of the best ways to discover your strength and weaknesses. Allowing you to clearly identify what parts of your business you need to keep promoting, and what parts need to be worked on.
Although this is ideal, unfortunately for many businesses, this data is not systematically recorded and reviewed, so can be limiting in its guidance. Lack of measurement is one of the reasons why your marketing struggles to achieve the results you aim for.
There’s always a new opportunity for you to make sales, but they need to be identified first.
Your marketing team should engage themselves in extensive buyer research. Identifying emerging and existing customer groups that can be the focus of your marketing efforts. This will help determine what type of marketing efforts will be applied to each group, the expected length of the sales process, and their overall customer lifetime value.
Marketing resources are usually limited, and expending them on the wrong leads will bring in poor ROI.
Goals, Mission and Vision
Every action taken to promote a business should reflect their mission and vision. These are integral parts of a business as they are the building blocks of the brand’s image.
And the goals of any business are usually centred around growth. Those goals will serve as a driving force for implementing any strategic marketing plan.
Goals are not always big, long-term aims. You can also set small goals (like conversion goals) to give your team a clear view of what you’re all working towards.
Interest of Stakeholders and Shareholders
More people than just the owners of a business have a vested interest in the success of the said business.
Your stakeholders, which includes your customers, employees, boards, industry, targeted public, and even government organizations, should be considered when developing your strategic marketing plan.
Detailed Description of Target Market
Your marketing team should be able to identify the groups of people who have needs that your products and services can solve. They can do this by conducting market and customer research that will provide the needed information when preparing marketing plans.
This information could include:
- their demands in the market,
- an insight into their buying decision process,
- their demographics,
- and even their preferences on a wide number of things.
Potential customers are drawn to your company and brand when they believe that you understand them. They also want to know that you can provide the solution to their needs and challenges.
Your overview of the market should also cover existing customers. This will supplement your understanding of their needs, and keep them loyal to the brand.
Use of Media
The media is a critical tool in your marketing plan. It provides an opportunity for direct communication between you and your potential and existing customers.
Media, in this case, includes both traditional and digital media options.
The media options that take a majority of your marketing efforts should be those that are largely common among your target audience. Strategic marketing is focused on being precise with targeting your ideal audience. Meaning that every marketing effort to be taken, including traditional and online media efforts, should align directly with the groups of people you are trying to reach.
Timeline for Implementation
Timeline for implementation doesn’t just cover the period the marketing strategy will be active. But also includes all actions geared towards it.
For example: If a video is needed for a campaign, the person or team in charge should project a turnaround time. This will keep everyone accountable. It also helps your marketing team create an overview of the length of time needed to create and implement your marketing plan.
There are situations where people envision a great marketing plan, but forget to factor in how much time will be needed to execute the plan. The results are usually half-baked efforts, or abandonment when the process feels rushed and unproductive.
A specific amount of time should also be allowed for correcting errors, in a situation where one or a few are detected.
Whenever money, time and other resources are invested in a new marketing effort, there’s always the knowledge that it might not produce the expected results.
With strategic marketing, risks are not just expected, they are also planned for. A brand cannot completely insulate itself from mishaps, but it can be proactive about fixing them as quickly as possible.
Your brand should have a practical step-by-step guide. Documented guidelines help employees when they get into situations that can cause them or your company potential harm. This will help them to react immediately and prevent further damage, rather than looking around helplessly for someone who can provide direction.
Budget Being Allocated
Any and all expenditures required to execute your marketing strategy should be considered when developing your plan.
A strict budget should be laid out for all departments to see. However, not all departments in a company are allocated equal resources, that’s okay – that’s how it works. As long as each department knows what their allocated budget is, and works within it, then you’re on the right track.
Note: Creativity is sometimes needed to effectively manage funds provided. Producing solid growth results can often mean surpass the resources that were made available. That’s when you need to take a step back and re-evaluate to see where you can shuffle funds (so as not to go over budget completely).
If your strategic marketing plan is implemented effectively, your company will grow its market share in your industry. Which also means a growth in revenue and profit.
Once your plan is in place, you should continue to monitor it closely. You’ll want to identify errors or initiatives that are not functioning as expected and fix them as quickly as possible.
Listen; creating and implementing a strategic marketing plan isn’t always easy. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. As long as you identify early on why your marketing strategy isn’t working, and take the necessary steps to get back on track.
Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments below, the components you use in developing your strategic marketing plan.