Strategic marketing and planning are critical components for the success of any business. Without strategy and planning, it will be difficult to reach business goals, let alone measure success or otherwise. Together with Daniel Scicluna, Sales and Marketing Partner at MYC, we shall be discussing the importance of strategic marketing and planning.
Strategic marketing and planning entail the creation and documentation of a written plan to achieve specific and measurable goals. Such marketing goals can vary and may include the increasing of revenues and profits, greater visibility, outshining the competition and enhancing brand value amongst others. So how does one go about with strategic marketing and planning?
Determine the starting point
When developing a plan, it is necessary to take an accurate snapshot of the current situation that the business finds itself in. It is important to understand why the company exists and what its unique selling propositions are. To properly conduct an exercise of where the company finds itself in, one should prepare a SWOT analysis aimed at determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats surrounding the business. Having this information and analysis documented allows an organisation to understand what objectives are realistic and achievable.
Perform market research
Prior to the development of a plan, it would be ideal to perform some degree of market research to gain insights, understand trends and obtain clarity for questions that you may have. One approach is to investigate how competitors are tackling the threats that they are facing and analyse ways to execute a more cohesive strategy. It might also be beneficial to reach out to your customers or the market through surveys or focus groups to see how trends have evolved and use that information for the plan. Customers can enable a business to understand how they found out about the product and its usage, together with providing recommendations that can improve the experience.
Establish a target audience
By understanding the product benefits and researching the market, businesses need to establish a target audience. Companies need to understand their typical customer including the needs and pain points. To do this more specifically, businesses should profile their typical customer including factors such as behaviour, lifestyle, income, age and spending habits amongst others.
In order to measure success, businesses need goals. Following the implementation of the strategy, businesses need to monitor their goals and then determine what went right and potential improvements for the future. Setting goals is not a straightforward exercise, as they need to be SMART, prompting businesses to take a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound approach. Doing so allows for a clear vision that a business can follow, staying positive in the process.
To execute a plan or strategy, budgets will need to be allocated accordingly. Depending on the structure of the business, processes and resources, approvals may be required. Before deciding on a marketing strategy plan, it is necessary to keep in mind budget constraints. Being able to communicate the potential return on investment might make it easier to get approvals for budgets.
Establish the marketing mix
Based on experience and research conducted, businesses will then use different tactics to reach the target audience. Here we must make reference to the marketing mix, the 4Ps, including the Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The Product refers to the value that the business is offering, whilst Price goes into the amount that customers are willing to pay. This is influenced by competitor pricing, production costs and overall market conditions. Place refers to where customers can purchase the product or service. This may include brick and mortar outlets or websites where customers can do their shopping online. Promotion delves into the communications strategy aimed at driving customers to take action and purchase or enquire.
To learn more about strategic marketing and planning and how it can be used for the benefit of your business, get in touch with Daniel and the team by sending an email on [email protected]_administrator