Every successful business must have a business plan. This plan spells out among others the ways the company intends to rationalize its resources, engage in production and even handle its clients. Most importantly, a sound business plan must also include a strategic marketing plan.
Strategic marketing planning is considered as a creative process in its right. Here, the management and operations teams strive to come up with and implement practical marketing strategies that can guarantee a stable flow of business for the company.
Considerations in the Planning Process
A strategic marketing plan revolves around the kind of environment the entity desires to establish for the client in the quest to make sales. This plan involves concepts such as geographical and demographic target markets as well as market segmentation.
The Plan should contain the following five components:
- Company Positioning - It
should outline the current position of the firm regarding financial
results. Such an analysis allows the planning team to identify the
strategies that were previously put in place and assess the success of
the overall plan against the financial results. In the end, a SWOT analysis reveals the current situation of the company.
- Goals and Strategies - The
strategic marketing plan is never complete without listing the
organizational goals and strategies to be implemented. The goals inform
the rationalization of resources in production, distribution and
marketing while the strategies discuss the conversion of targets into
realities. For instance, a goal may state the intention to improve the
brand recognition and image while the corresponding plan defines the
most appropriate media or promotion method to achieve desired results.
- Market Opportunities -
The plan should always assess emerging or existing market opportunities
that may be harnessed in the short and long term. By so doing, the
planners can easily dedicate resources to the most promising
- Target Market Defined - It
is important to define the target groups for all your products and
services. This step allows you to conduct more research on their needs,
demands, and even preferences to capitalize on sales. Also, define the
demographic and geographic stratification of these groups.
- Marketing Budget - Last and most importantly, a strategic marketing plan is considered complete due to the inclusion of a realistic marketing budget and the dedication of an implementation period. Tough decisions have to be made at this point. These include the division of duties and responsibilities.
Benefits of Strategic Marketing Planning
This process facilitates a common understanding among all stakeholders in an organization. The plan informs management decisions, the behavior of the employees towards the institutional goals and also the response among current and potential clients. The plan is also subjected to changes over a period to meet changing demands.
A sound marketing plan allows a corporate entity to grow its market share which results in more revenue and profits. A the firm expands, its able to enjoy the large economies of scale and thus less operational costs. Overall, the strategic marketing planning process connects the production engine to the consumption transmission.