What is Strategic Marketing?
Most small business owners know “what is strategic marketing” but many don’t have a step-by-step blueprint. Strategic marketing is marketing with a tactical plan put in place as a guide to accomplish specific business goals. It’s a well-written and thought-out marketing approach designed to improve sales, build brands, and increase profitability.
Irrespective, if you’re new in business or business pro, knowing the answer to what is strategic marketing is a good starting point!
It’s easy to overlook, tactical marketing guidelines which are often overlooked or misunderstood by small business owners. This lends to reason why according to the SBA; 50% of all small businesses fail in five years. Like the old cliché’ goes, failing to plan, is planning to fail! The good news, is we’re here to help, keep reading!
In a five-year study, researchers analyzed the growth and performance of 1,850 corporations. They found that the companies with the most sustained profitable growth had used a systematic, disciplined approach to expand the boundaries of their core business into an adjacent space.”
Four Most Common Reasons Small Businesses Fail
Further According to Investopedia, the four most common reasons why small businesses fail are a lack of sufficient capital; poor management, inadequate business planning, overblown marketing budgets, and cash flow problems.
Included in this post we give a simple definition of strategic marketing, break down the three phases of the strategic marketing process, and offer guidelines for an effective marketing plan.
Lastly, following a strict marketing schedule keeps your marketing endeavors in line with your company’s mission, vision, and helps to maintain a competitive edge. Continue to read as we detail more stats and facts. Our research will nudge and pique your interest!
After which, you’ll clearly understand the benefits of having a strategic marketing plan. The idea to implement a calculated approach will become crystal-clear. Moreover, now you’ll understand how significantly impactful those policies can be to attract your target market and outwit your competition!!!
Let’s get started!
Strategic Marketing Process Phases
There are 4 phases to create a successful marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many small business owners (SBO’s) sidetrack one or more of the stages. That being said, if your business required funding, one of the business questions asked, what is strategic marketing is and what are your short, medium, and long-term plans. A thorough business plan answers those questions which set your marketing tone.
On the other hand, to acquire funds while your business is operating, guess what, your marketing future objective is requested.
A strategic plan is time-consuming, but it forces you to look at every component of your business. Done right, it will provide a roadmap of your business first five years. Those years are the most difficult.
Listed are the Four Phases:
The most vital phase in starting your business is the planning phase. Here’s where you articulate your company’s mission, address your client needs and desires, and set your goals and projections.
The analysis phase is a very involved and critical step. This is the time when you will conduct your market research. At this point, you will research your competitors, and identify your competitive edge. This before moving forward will save you heartbreak and potentially thousands of dollars.
Results from your research will give you an understanding of what your industry looks like, trends outlook, and display market shares. As an example, your business idea is to create a new type of software. While during the market research you discovered that there isn’t a huge demand for your product or service.
When performing the competitor analysis this shows your competitor’s hand, metaphorically speaking. It identifies their position in the industry and helps to discover any possible gaps in the market. Here you’ll also uncover your target market and distinguish your customer’s persona.
All in all, this is the most crucial step, at this point, you will know whether it’s a go or NO GO!!!
Now that the smoke has cleared your next step to take is to develop your marketing strategies. This stage involves defining your marketing channels. Sustainable marketing should consist of a mixture of strategies. Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket is Bad business.
The magnificent 4p’s are now ready to be put in place. If you watch the Profit (TV show) Marcus Lemonis, always implement the 4 p’s.
Read below as we cover the four P’s
A balanced marketing mix is composed of four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion.
- Product: After passing the market research test, this is the product or service that your business will promote.
- Price: This is the amount you’ll sell your product or service for to your target market. The pricing was determined by completing your market research.
- Place: Where will your product or service be sold; online or in-store.
- Promotion: Next step, is product promotion. How will you get your product out to the masses? Keep in mind that there are many marketing channels. A well-rounded mix or types of advertising will offer better results.
- Keep in mind this is the day of social media or digital marketing and to not include social in your marketing plan is like shooting your business in the foot.
- Finally, the implementation phase is as the name implies. This is the starting line. It’s now time to move forward with your marketing efforts. As the name suggests, you’ll now begin implementing the marketing strategies detailed in your marketing plan. Excitedly, it’s time to launch or relaunch your business.
“We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency: With hundreds of TV channels, billions of Web sites, podcasts, radio shows, music downloads, and social networking, our attention is more fragmented than ever before. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value.
They’ll be the richest, the most successful, the most connected, capable, and influential among us. We’re all publishers now, and the more we publish, the more valuable connections we’ll make. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Fitbit, and the SenseCam give us a simple choice: participate or fade into a lonely obscurity”.
– Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable
Social Media Marketing Tips
Lastly, we’ll cover a few marketing strategies. Of course, those strategies include social media. Some people think social media is dying and others think it’s oversaturated. Social media is the most go-to strategy. However, there is so much noise and competition on social media it’s silly easy to get lost. The number one rule that most marketers break is thinking that everyone on social is their customer.
They’re of the mindset of building it and they will come. Not quite but using the strategic marketing plan that was formulated will be the guide, there’s no quicker route to travel for customer engagement, retention, and building a brand than social media network.
Strategic Produce Specific Goals
A social media strategy is a set of processes written out in a strategic step-by-step format to pursue a specific goal. It’s an easy and straightforward action that’s designed to keep you on track. The end goal is to keep you focused and working only on the action step that’s in front of you. Your plan should be precise, concise, and detailed. Naturally, the more specific your layout is the more effective it will be.
Adding content such as videos, images and written text is necessary to engage you’re your users. However, using creative messaging is key. Something to keep in mind, more than 50% of all content uploaded goes unnoticed. Social Media promoting is simple, but it takes consistent strategic efforts
Finding the right messaging can win the hearts and purses of your target market. Getting it wrong will do the opposite. Including having you practice yelling at the wrong crowd if you lack a business plan.
Social Media Networks
In 2018, an estimated 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 3.1 billion in 2021. However, there are only a handful of staple social media networks you may want to consider; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest. Notably, “Facebook” has gone from social to business social, as the saying goes if your business isn’t social…it’s not open!
Social media marketing has become one of the primary marketing channels today that encompasses 53% of the world’s population. Its usage is one of the most popular online activities for business growth.
Although we talk a lot about social media, listed below are examples of other ways to grow your market.
Common examples of marketing are:
Distributing Flyers and Business Cards
Word of Mouth Advertising
Implement Video Marketing
Set up Google my Business Listing
To name a few…
We hope you are salivating after reading the above tips. Now that you know what is strategic marketing and the importance of planning. If you hadn’t completed your business plan yet just knowing the statistics of those that did should be reason enough to get you moving.
Implementing your marketing strategy will place you eons ahead of your competitors. We’ve highlighted a few pointers, that we thought you may want to remember.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of market research. This one element can determine green for go or Red to Stop!
- Keep your marketing strategy clear and concise. Quick wins keep you motivated and on track.
Implement the SWOT Analysis: Analyze your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Do you have a written strategic marketing plan?
If not today is as good of a day as any.
Please share your thoughts by leaving a quick comment below.
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