Strategic Marketing Planning Process
There are many elements involved in the Strategic Marketing Planning Process, and they can all be categorised within these four steps:
In this first stage, one seeks to understand all internal and external environmental factors that influence the business. Essentially, it is a full business review including but not limited to the business mission and vision, product reviews, sales performance, marketplace trends, competitive landscape and consumer feedback. Sometimes, market research may be conducted to fill any knowledge gaps. A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is also conducted at this stage.
With deeper insights gained during the Understand stage, it is time to formulate the marketing strategy. This often includes defining a USP (Unique Selling Point), clarifying the product offering, crafting the message, segmentation of the target market, and defining marketing objectives.
At this stage, we design and implement a marketing plan to achieve the marketing objectives set out in the Strategise stage. The marketing mix should be optimised to communicate the message to the target audience in the most effective and efficient way, within the provided budget. It may include online and offline strategies, advertising, public relations, word of mouth, merchandising, consumer competitions, etc.
It is essential to regularly track and measure the success of the campaign as well as each marketing execution. The benchmark of success would depend on the marketing goals – e.g. Is it delivering the ROI (Return on Investment)? Are sales increasing? Are there more customers? Are more people aware of the brand? Has consumer perception improved?
An important question to ask is ‘Are the goals realistic?”. For example, if you wish to sell more shoes than Nike, are your plans and your resources sufficient to tackle this challenge? Or might you be better placed to identify a niche in the shoe market, and put your resources behind this?
The review of the campaign will help you to evaluate what amendments you might need to make for your marketing strategy and your marketing plan.
To assist you in your decision making, you should also do split testing of the executions – e.g. print ads with a different headlines/ radio commercials on different radio stations etc, to test which is more effective. This way, you can channel your resources to the more effective version, and have a higher ROI.
As you can see, the Strategic Marketing Planning Process is a disciplined process. Although it is time consuming, it dramatically increases the chance of success of your business/ product/ services.
If you need any help with your strategic marketing planning, please feel free to contact us on 0432 940 225 for a consultation.