Marketing strategic planning is a strategic approach that will help an organization to focus its limited marketing resources on the most promising opportunities to increase revenues and reach a sustainable competitive edge. Strategic planning encompasses a wide range of activities and agencies that are utilized in marketing activities. Marketing strategies are designed to achieve defined goals and objectives. A wide variety of approaches, models and techniques are utilized to implement strategic plans.
Marketing plans are usually prepared by marketing departments, but sometimes the objectives of the marketing plan do not conform to the budget constraints of the company. When this situation occurs, it is advisable for the management to hire external consultants to help in the formulation of the strategic marketing plan. These consultants have an in depth understanding of the company’s issues and they have experience and expertise in the different fields of marketing. The consultants should be able to define the problems with current tactics and recommend possible new tactics and approaches that may be helpful in solving the problems. Management must be committed to the cause and willing to act fast when the deficiencies are identified.
One of the primary tasks of marketing strategy formulation is to perform a comprehensive marketing analysis. This includes a review of the company’s present situation and a look into the future expectations. A complete marketing strategy should cover all marketing disciplines including research, development, pricing, public relations, promotions, selling and shipping. The strategic analyst should include a chapter on planning as part of the marketing strategy development.
The first step in developing a marketing strategy is to conduct a SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis is used to determine which of the marketing objectives is the strongest. The SWOT analysis shows the strength of the competitive environment, the free enterprise strategy and the customer strategy. In order to make an accurate assessment, the SWOT analysis has to cover all aspects of the business. The first step is to analyze the past year performance.
A marketing strategic planning process starts with a marketing objectives definition. The next step is to determine the target market. The third step is the comparison of the competitors and the strategy that the company will use to compete with the other companies. The fourth step is the planning process, which is the implementation of the strategies. The fifth step is monitoring and evaluating the results.
The strategic marketing plan also involves setting and achieving a short, medium and long term market share target. The short term market share target is related to profitability. The medium term target is related to the competitive environment. The long term market share target is determined by the strategy adopted to achieve this target. The marketing strategic plans are reviewed periodically in order to make adjustments to the strategy as required.