Strategic Marketing Planning: Everything You Need to Know
Are you a marketing enthusiast looking to excel in the industry? Strategic marketing planning (SMP) can be the key to your success.
Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a marketing professional, understanding strategic marketing is crucial for achieving remarkable results. With the evolution of the digital age and almost every business becoming virtual, it is essential for brands to have strategic marketing planning to achieve their goals and reach their target audience.
This blog post will guide you through the essential steps of strategic marketing planning and discuss ways to create a winning marketing strategy for your business.
What is strategic marketing planning?
Strategic marketing planning is the alignment of marketing practices and strategy to achieve desired business outcomes. It is a part of market development strategy. This process is a structured approach to formulating and executing plans that drive businesses to success.
Market development strategy involves:
- Market trends analysis
- Product pricing
- Product distribution
- Promotional activities
These efforts maximise market impact and contribute to long-term business objectives.
What is the purpose of strategic marketing planning?
Strategic marketing planning provides organisations with a roadmap for achieving their marketing objectives. It ensures that marketing efforts are aligned with the overall business strategy, optimising resource utilisation. By creating a strategic marketing plan, organisations can identify opportunities, anticipate business challenges, and develop strategies to combat the odds.
Here is a strategic marketing example: If a business wants to see a 15% growth in overall sales, they can assign a strategic marketing goal of a 50–60% increase in the generation of organic leads to their SEO teams.
The figures mentioned here are only to paint a definitive example. Real-world businesses calculate these figures with the help of detailed data analytics and market research.
Steps to create a strategic marketing plan
The following points are core concepts to keep in mind to streamline your strategic marketing planning initiatives. Strategic marketing planning is a continuous process that is subject to evolution according to the changing market dynamics. The steps mentioned here are basic guidelines to follow when creating a strategic marketing plan.
Step 1: Define your marketing goals
The first step in the strategic marketing process is to clearly define your marketing goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Marketing goals should be tailored to meet your overall business goals.
Step 2: Conduct market research
Market research is a vital component of the strategic marketing planning process. It involves gathering and analysing relevant data on the market, industry trends, customer preferences, and competitor activities. Through market research, you can gain valuable insight that helps shape strategic decisions such as product development and competitive pricing.
Step 3: Identify your target audience
Understanding your target audience is crucial in the strategic marketing planning process. By identifying your ideal customers, you can tailor your marketing messages and tactics to resonate with their pressing needs, preferences, and pain points.
This practice helps yield better sales results and higher conversion rates. A master's in strategic marketing can help you learn the intricacies of conducting industry analysis to rightly approach your target audience. It can tune your abilities in identifying and consolidating an accurate communication strategy.
Step 4: Develop a unique value proposition
A unique value proposition (UVP) sets your product or service apart from competitors and communicates its authentic benefits to the target audience. It defines why customers should choose the product you advertise over others.
By developing a compelling UVP, you can cause your brand to stand out in the market and attract customers who align with your unique value proposition.
An MA in strategic marketing (or a master of marketing with a specialisation in strategic marketing) is a great place to start if you wish to develop your skills in creating foolproof UVPs.
Step 5: Choose the right marketing channels and tactics
Selecting the appropriate marketing channels and tactics helps a business reach its target audience effectively. Social media, content marketing, email marketing, and traditional advertising are some examples of marketing channels.
Choose the marketing channel you need to use based on your analysis of what works best with your target audience. Then you can craft your marketing tactics to fit the chosen channels and align them with your overall business goals.
Step 6: Create a marketing budget
A thorough marketing budget helps businesses to effectively allocate resources. Consider the potential return on investment (ROI) when allocating resources for different marketing channels and endeavours.
Step 7: Develop your marketing messages
Marketing messages are what communicate a business’ unique value proposition to the customer in a way that resonates with the buyer. This creates the possibility for high conversion rates and customer retention. Base your marketing messages on your target consumers' pain points and validate their needs. This tactic helps your marketing message create a lasting impression.
Step 8: Implement the strategy
The implementation of a marketing strategy requires close monitoring to ensure all factors are employed correctly. Execution of marketing strategy is most effective once your plan is aligned with your resources and initiatives.
Step 9: Measure and analyse the results
Measuring the success of your marketing efforts is crucial for understanding what works for the business. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rates, sales revenue, and customer feedback.
You can use this data to gain precise direction into the necessary steps to improve your marketing campaigns.
Step 10: Evaluate and optimise
Continuous improvement and optimisation are essential for the success of any strategic plan. You can ensure this by regularly assessing your performance. This practice helps identify areas that need improvement.
What are the three major problems of marketing strategy implementation?
Strategic marketing planning is an eagle eye’s view of the industry and a predictive model of the best practices and paths to follow. However, during the implementation of marketing strategies, organisations may encounter three major challenges:
- Interdependence: The marketing plan determines how a strategy is implemented across various departments of a business. However, the inverse is also true, as raw data from business insights, such as profit sharing, employee training etc., can also shape the marketing strategy.
- Evolution: Environmental factors, such as supply and demand, are always subject to change. These variables can cause a significant shift in a marketing strategy and implementation. Hence businesses should be flexible when designing their marketing strategy and implementation practices, making enough room for inevitable changes.
- Separation: Strategic marketing planning can sometimes be misaligned with business goals when crafted with a desire to impress clients and board members. Professionals in this field can consider not going overboard with unrealistic marketing goals, strategy and implementation that could harm the business resources in the long run.
Why strategic marketing planning is essential in an organisation
Strategic marketing planning is essential for organisations as it provides a structured marketing approach, ensuring that efforts are aligned with overall business objectives.
Secondly, it helps organisations identify and capitalise on market opportunities, stay ahead of competitors, and adapt to changing market dynamics. Lastly, strategic marketing planning streamlines resource allocation, helps in optimising marketing investments, and can give you better results.
In conclusion, strategic marketing planning is a vital process for any organisation that aims to achieve its marketing objectives. You can learn strategic marketing planning as a core skill for your business development by studying certified courses offered by reputable institutions.
The London School of Business and Finance (LSBF UK) offers an online Master in Strategic Marketing that you can study from the comfort of your home. LSBF UK is ranked among the top B-schools in the world and remains a standard for business education in the present day.
You can continue to pursue your professional life without missing out on the opportunity to upskill no matter where you are in the world. Learn from industry experts and teachers who are well-established in the marketing industry and connect with established professionals.
Consider enrolling on the Strategic Marketing programme today!
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