Strategic Marketing Process: A Full Step-by-Step Guide
A strategic marketing process makes all the difference in customer retention. It directs how effectively you communicate with your customers and keep them engaged in your business. A well-researched and tactically built marketing process can turn your targeted leads into loyal customers.
Having a marketing process in place helps you set measurable goals, minimize risks, track your progress, and revise and revisit whenever needed. Skipping this step can drastically affect your customer relations and interactions.
Doing so can lead to poor sales and affect customer retention. No matter if you’re just starting to draft your business plan or you’re an established business, it’s never too late to take a step back and work on your strategic marketing planning.
What is a Strategic Marketing Process?
A strategic marketing process is a systematic collection of all the goals and tactics you use to ace in your particular niche. It ensures that everyone involved in the company is clear about the purpose and goals of the organization.
It also helps you define your metrics of success and guides you to build successful marketing campaigns. In other words, a strategic marketing process is a road map of your objectives and goals with specific milestones set and clear guidelines to achieve them.
How to Create a Strategic Marketing Process
A strategic marketing process is nothing but a series of planned steps that can help you navigate while marketing your business. This is similar to creating your business plan, it begins with stating your objectives and defining goals.
Furthermore, it involves analyzing your market, identifying your customers’ requirements, and developing a set of marketing tactics that work for your target market. There are five major steps involved in a strategic marketing process:
- State the mission of your company
- Analyze your market
- Devise a marketing plan
- Customize a marketing mix
- Implement, improvise, and iterate
1. State the mission of your company
Before we begin developing a marketing process, it is essential to identify and define the mission statement of your company. It explains the purpose of your business and how it helps your target customers. Here, you also mention your company’s value proportions, goals, and objectives.
1.1 Value proportion
Value proportion states why someone should buy your product and defines the value it adds to them if they do. A mission statement will touch upon the benefits the customers get from your business. Here, you elaborate it even further.
In a nutshell, value proportion says why you should be chosen over your competition. This becomes a central idea around which you build your marketing process.
1.2 Objectives and Goals
After defining value proportion, you list down your company’s objectives and goals. Objectives include your tasks and the techniques you are using to complete them effectively. Here, you also mention the goals you aim to achieve through the objectives.
2. Analyse your market
The next step after defining goals and objectives is to analyze your market. This analysis will give you a clear view of the market and help you understand your strengths, weaknesses and assist you in developing counteractive measures.
2.1 Study your industry
Before you start writing your strategic marketing process, you need to first understand the marketplace completely. This is essential to recognize the untapped areas of your industry and take advantage of them.
Further, understand the industry trends, growth projection, and the magnitude of your industry. This will also help you understand the competition you will be facing and the advantages you have over them.
2.2 Define your market
After analyzing your industry, you should research and define your market. Identify your ideal customer and specify their values, needs, expectations, and lifestyle. Post-research, it is ideal to test your observations with your target customers.
This helps you adjust and refine your offerings. Go one step ahead and research your competition. Understand their value proportions, how they have an edge over you, and formulate strategies that can engage your customers better than they do.
2.3 SWOT Analysis
Here, you will undertake a SWOT analysis of your business including your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Detect the opportunities and threats in your industry and specify how you will exploit and tackle the same respectively.
Explain the advantages you possess and discuss if you can use them to balance out your weaknesses. Eventually, explore the threats your business has and develop a fool-proof strategy to stifle failure.
3. Devise a marketing plan
With everything you have gathered in the above two steps, now you must now plan how to market your product or services to your target customers. Create detailed customer profiles and specify their needs, this will help you effectively provide value through your product.
3.1 Goals and metrics
Before you begin developing a marketing plan, it is beneficial to specify your goals. Setting relevant and time-based goals is the beginning of the path to success. Setting the wrong goals is inviting failure even before you begin.
To ensure sticking to your goals, create a blueprint including the steps and initiatives you can take to achieve them. This will include your marketing techniques, product branding, etc.
Identifying and using relevant metrics is as important as setting goals. Goals are futile unless they can be measured and used to derive actionable interpretations. Hence, it is vital to use metrics that are apt for your business. The commonly used metrics are sales, profit, product performance, etc.
3.2 Create a Budget
The next thing after specifying goals is creating a budget that works for you. Budget is one of the powerful tools businesses have, it helps you predict and control your cash flow.
Here, you allocate resources to propel your marketing planning process. Predict costs and assign resources to various tasks like advertisements, branding, social media marketing, and more.
4. Customize a marketing mix
Now that you are done developing a marketing plan, let’s move on to create a marketing mix. This is a commonly used marketing strategy tool, which involves four main tactics called the 4Ps.
These will guide you in marketing your product.
Here, you mention the features, dimensions, material, durability, and other details of your product. The purpose here is to communicate what exactly is the item that you are selling to the customer.
In this part of your marketing process, you mention the price of your product. The pricing depends on a lot of factors. Ideally, it’s a balance between your budget and the perceived value of your product in the eyes of the customer.
The right price is one which is low enough that there will be demand for your product and high enough that it can earn you good profits. This will require intense demand forecasting, market research, and consistent customer feedback.
Here, you define and list out the promotional channels through which you want to market your product. Think about how and when you will promote your product or services. These can include TV ads, social media marketing, Pay-per-click ads, billboards, etc.
After marketing your product, now comes the actual selling part. Now, you decide how you will sell your product to your customers. Depending on your customer preference and your prospects of profit, you decide if you want to sell online or offline or even both. State the distributive channels and supply chains you’re associated with.
5. Implement, improvise and iterate
So far, you have stated your mission statement, done your market analysis, devised a marketing plan, and customized your marketing mix. Now, it’s time to put it all together and launch your strategic marketing process.
Finalize the when and how of your launch. This is the step where you need to start taking notes of what’s working for you and what’s not so that you can go back and make changes.
A strategic marketing process is dynamic and can be revised multiple times, whenever required. This helps you reposition yourself and adapt to the ever-changing business environment.
Strategize your marketing process
Developing a marketing process can be overwhelming, but the right amount of research gets the job done. Your business’s success is proportional to the value you add to your customers.
A strategic marketing process helps you communicate the same with them. No matter if you’re a start-up or an established business, it can help you reach your desired milestones.