Strategic marketing is a common term that you may have heard a lot of times but not fully failed to understand precisely. It usually happens because it has been perceived as something that is only relevant to larger enterprises. But strategic marketing thinking should be added to all marketing activities that a business offers. So today, we will explain what strategic marketing is and its importance, and its phases.
So, without any further ado, let’s move forward and learn about it step by step.
What is Strategic Marketing?
Businesses that implement strategic marketing have a clear, documented marketing strategy, leading all their activities. In addition, they are long-term in nature and act as a backbone upon which all marketing decisions are made.
A marketing strategy owns clear objectives and targets it is striving to achieve. Therefore it is about building a sustainable competitive advantage that allows future profitable growth.
Significance of Strategic Marketing in an Organization
- Helps in assessing the organization’s current environment: Strategic marketing lets you assess an organization’s positioning and performance. It is necessary to understand what resources are at the disposal of an organization at any provided time. The accumulated data helps in knowing how well an organization is doing within the overall competitive environment. It will also assist the organization in planning for later strategic marketing activities or plans.
- Helps in setting clear marketing objectives: Having a strategic marketing plan in place helps establish achievable marketing objectives. The goals should have a definite time frame and should be measurable.
- Streamlines your product development: Strategic marketing lets you design products and services that present the organization with high profits. This is because strategic marketing begins by carrying out a SWOT analysis of the organization, a market analysis of the customers, and the current trends in the market. You can use this information to create the optimal products and services for the consumers.
Now you must be wondering what makes it different from marketing strategy.
What is the Difference Between Strategic Marketing and a Marketing Strategy?
People usually utilize these two terms interchangeably; they are very diverse and symbolize different things. To know this better, here are some of the differences between strategic marketing and a marketing strategy:
- Strategic marketing is a process through which an organization distinguishes itself from its competitors by concentrating on its strengths to implement better service and value to its customers.
- It is a planning method, and it includes three phases.
- It is related to the management level, including defining budgets, allocating resources, and enhancing product quality.
- It includes the marketing goals of the organization as a whole and consists of all products.
- It is a process that is put in a position to accomplish organizational goals.
- Strategic marketing studies various factors such as business performance, competition environment, competitors, and demographic behavior of customers to reach organizational goals.
- An organization plans to target people and turn them into its products and services consumers.
- It means the implementation of a predefined strategy.
- This strategy does not require higher management, as it just includes designing marketing strategies for a particular product or service. The strategy could consist of a promotional plan, administration, and product price.
- This is confined to the marketing goals and strategy of a single product or service.
- This is a part of one of the practical strategies that assist in accomplishing organizational goals.
- A marketing strategy concentrates on the products and services of a business and its positioning about withdrawing customers.
Three Phases Of Strategic Marketing Process
1. Planning Phase
The planning phase is the most crucial as it examines internal strengths and weaknesses, external competition, developments in technology, industry culture shifts and presents an overall picture of the state of the organization. This phase has four essential components that will give a clear picture of your company and what it is doing.
a) SWOT Analysis – Determines your business’s strengths, flaws, opportunities, and threats and shows your company’s position in the market. To maximizes strengths and reduce weaknesses, an organization must do the following:
- Examine competitors
- Research company’s current and prospective customers
- Evaluate company
- Recognizing trends in the company’s industry
Once you are done with the analysis, then you should use these outcomes to improve the company’s marketing plan, which should be assessable and attainable.
b) Marketing program – Once you determine your customer’s requirements and decide which products will satisfy those needs, a marketing program or mix must be formed. This marketing program is a planning phase that concentrates on marketing principles and the budget required for each mix element.
c) Established marketing and product goals
- Once the customer requirements are understood, you can establish the goals to meet them, thus improving success with new products.
- Find details of difference: like your company’s unique selling point, every product should also have a particular set of traits or characteristics that makes it preferred to the competitive substitute. For instance, your product could be longer-lasting, more convenient, more stable, or very user-friendly so that the users will pick it over the competitors each time.
- Place the product: market so that your product is the “go to” for their obstacle in people’s subconscious. Through emotional and mental marketing, consumers will connect your brand with their solution and reduce choice. For instance, many mothers use “Pampers,” when relating to diapers, as this brand has been positioned as the go-to in baby diapering requirements.
- Select target markets: based on the research and their commonalities, requirements, and goals are met.
d) Market-Product focus and Goal Setting – Once the company’s doubts and what it requires to achieve are answered, the next step in the planning process is to decide where you need to allocate the resources and how to transform plans into focused action. To do this, customers can be segmented to determine what kind of marketing technique will reach each targeted group and what every group needs.
Next measurable goals should be established to get the necessary products to the diverse groups, thus accomplishing the marketing objectives. For instance, if customers are divided into groups of everyday needs, it’s more comfortable to market them and give what they have determined to require at the time. And as well, if their standard response to marketing groups customers, the cooperation will acknowledge the right decisions to make to reach that particular market segment.
- Price strategy: concentrates on the list price, price adjustments (reductions), discounts, payment periods, and credit contracts.
- Place (Distribution) Strategy: the final ‘P’ in the marketing mix should focus on delivery channels, outlets, and shipping to get the product to the consumer when they require it.
- Promotion Strategy: This program element should concentrate on direct marketing, advertising, public relations, and sales promotions that generate brand awareness.
- Product Strategy: this element concentrates on the features, packaging, branding, and product warranty.
2. Implementation Phase
The implementation phase is also perceived as an action part of the process. If the organization cannot carry out the plan prepared in the early stages, then planning hours are lost. However, if the plan was adequately and effectively structured, the program can be put into force through a sales forecast and a budget, utilizing the following four components.
- Obtaining Resources – sums of money to produce and market new products.
- Designing marketing organizations – a marketing hierarchy should be put in the position to discuss the plans to fulfil properly.
- Developing planning schedules – time required to be allocated to particular tasks so they can be achieved.
- Executing the marketing plan – efficiently executing the marketing plan will take care of detail and concentrate on the strategy and tactics outlined in your marketing plan.
3. Evaluation of Control Phase
The evaluation phase is the checking phase. This process includes ensuring that the outcomes of the program are in line with the aims set. The marketing team, particularly the manager, will be required to recognize any deviations in the plan and promptly correct negative deviations to get back on course.
A few methods to assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategy involve paying attention to:
- Strategy versus tactic – strategy establishes goals, and tactic describes actions to accomplish goals.
- Measurable versus vague – have breakthroughs that define when you’ve attained your goals.
- Actionable versus Contingent – According to Inc.com: “A strategic goal should be attainable through the tactics that support it, rather than dependent upon uncontrollable outside forces.”
- The marketing strategy should be supported by a business plan with tactical moves to achieve goals or useless.
How To Implement Strategic Marketing Process
A well-thought-out plan for giving value and solutions to your target market enables the company to discover the requirements of the targeted customers and satisfy those needs in a cost-effective and timely fashion. This, in turn, allows for the marketing team to evaluate a company’s value based on your ideal customer’s response to your product and strategy. Some guidelines to make sure that this strategy is effective:
- Set measurable, attainable goals by ensuring they are transparent, structured, and measurable. It will be more comfortable to achieve your purpose.
- Formulate plans on facts and validated assumptions through market research.
- Use uncomplicated, clear, and precise plans to show what benefits you will offer your clients and how. Wants and desires drive customers, so a clear plan will target those to increase customer loyalty.
- Have a workable plan by using research to determine the best way to connect with and engage your ideal buyers and then implement a plan your company can support and carry to fulfilment.
- Ensure authority and flexibility by customizing your business plans and aims to match the customers’ needs, as they define the success or failure of your company.
Although every phase in Strategic marketing has its individual requirements, it all evolves full circle; the marketing mix you built during phase three is based on research from phase two. And, if you’ve set time and effort into your overall strategic marketing process, you’ll entice customers, drive revenue, and reach the goals and objectives you recognised in phase one.