What is Strategic Marketing Planning? Step by step to stay ahead of the competition

Strategic Marketing Planning

Every successful company like Blue World City has a business plan, which they execute to follow the best growth paths and achieve the expected results. Having a strategic marketing plan is also essential to help the organization hit targets and sell more.

If you don’t know what strategic marketing planning is, we’ve separated the concept to clarify: it’s the marketing team’s process to define its strategy, according to the company’s guidelines, helping to make decisions about the allocation of resources to execute the that was planned.

There are many guides ready for you to carry out strategic marketing planning in your company. These templates help a lot for the execution, but knowing the concept of each step of the process will help you to be more productive and get better results.

With that in mind, we created a step-by-step guide for you to set up your Marketing Plan and stay ahead of the competition.

1. Define your audience

For strategic marketing planning to be effective, your company must really know who your audience is. With this information, it will be much easier to think about the strategies to be applied that will bring the greatest return to your business.

Generally speaking, we call personas the ideal profile of the customer who buys your product or service. Many companies create a fictional character for both marketing and other departments to know who their customer really is.

It seems like an easy task, but the truth is that many companies think they know their customer but haven’t even talked to some to understand the real pain they feel when they buy their product.

How to create your persona for a Strategic Marketing Plan

Applying a survey is critical to creating your fictitious character (persona). For this you must have answers to these simple questions:

  • What is my customer’s buying journey? (facing a problem, is aware of the problem, discovers solution options to solve it, and seeks a solution provider)
  • What media do they access most? (especially when looking for something in relation to its solution and problem that it solves)
  • What is this person’s role within an organization? (your objectives and goals)

Preferably, the research should be done in person, because that’s where your company will have the best “insights” to understand your customer. Try to talk to customers who have already bought your solution, with potential customers and even those who didn’t buy from you.

Many people prefer to do this research through online forms but can’t get as much information as a personal conversation because contact is colder. In case you don’t have many clients and time, our tip is to use forms together with the personal survey.

There are online form platforms like Google Form and Typeform. Use your email database to spread the word and get more results. To learn more about personas and how to apply research, we recommend our post: How to create personas for your business.

2. Choose your Channels

After conducting the research and putting together the ideal persona, you will know which channels they most seek information about when they face a problem or are looking for the solution you offer.

In strategic marketing planning, choosing channels based on this research is essential to avoid “shot in the dark”. Testing channels that were not mentioned in parallel is interesting to innovate and stay ahead of your competition.

In digital marketing, you can use the following channels:

  • corporate blog
  • Social networks
  • E-mail marketing
  • paid media
  • videos
  • Podcasts
  • webinars

In traditional media (no less effective, but more difficult to measure and segment), you can also choose these channels:

  • TV
  • Radio
  • newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Events
  • Sponsorship

3. Know the Market

Another important factor in strategic marketing planning is to compile market research on the solution your company offers.

Knowing how your competitor is acting in the market and its differentials are information that well-done strategic management planning can give you. Applying in marketing, you can research which channels your competitor is using, what is the difference in marketing campaigns, content strategy, etc.

It can be difficult for a marketer to recognize that your competitors are carrying out marketing actions that put them ahead of your company. Leaving that aside and studying in-depth what they are doing best will ultimately bring good results to your business.

Our tip is to make a table in a spreadsheet with all the differentials that other companies are applying that can work for your company and attach it to the strategic marketing plan.

You can also do a SWOT analysis focused on marketing strategies. In summary, a SWOT analysis assesses the strengths and weaknesses (internal characteristics of the company) and the threats and opportunities (external characteristics of the company) of the business. For example, if your company does not yet invest in digital marketing, this could be considered a weakness in your business.

4. Goals and Objectives of Strategic Marketing Planning

Now that your company knows your audience, the main marketing channels, and also the references in the market, you must outline what will be the goals and objectives to be achieved.

In general, a strategic marketing plan does not have a certain duration to apply in your company. There are quarterly, semiannual, annual, and even monthly plans. The key is to establish the period in your business to measure results.

Think about the objective: what does your company want to achieve in this defined period? Are there more sales opportunities? Increase your website traffic? Improve visitor conversion? Generate more leads?

Defined, you should think about the goals that will lead you to achieve this goal. The goals should be more tangible metrics such as: 10% increase in organic traffic per month, delivery of 20 leads to the sales team per month, generation of 80 leads per month, etc.

Remember to be aligned with the goals of your company and also of the sales team so that the whole business can grow and achieve the best results.

5. Data Monitoring and Measurement

As important as creating a strategic marketing plan is to monitor if what was planned is actually being executed and reaching the stipulated goals.

Many companies make mistakes as they only look at the result when the planning period ends. Always being aware of the metrics is important, because if something is going really wrong, you can fix it before you screw up the final goal.

This correction has to be done according to what was planned because another common mistake is that people want to change the entire strategic planning because it is not going as planned. This gets in the way of both focus and feedback after you finish executing the plan as a whole.

To help, we’ve listed some of the key metrics that should be used to measure results:

  • Visitors or website traffic
  • Conversion rate
  • Number of generated leads
  • Cost per Lead
  • ROI (return on investment)
  • CAC (customer acquisition cost)
  • Number of Visitors (may measure by channel)
  • Sales
  • Opportunities Delivered for Sales (MQL)
  • Opportunities accepted by the sales team (SQL)

Do you already know everything about Strategic Marketing Planning? Now just create yours!

Now that you are aware of what strategic marketing planning is and the step-by-step instructions for applying it to your company, our final tip to improve the execution of the plan is to use marketing automation software that gives you all the necessary information.

The lahar marketing automation software and provides real-time data of your marketing actions such as traffic, leads, and sales, also helps you to automate tasks such as sending e-mail marketing, social networking campaigns, contacts pick up on the website, etc.

Our specialized team will also give your company all the necessary support to implement the software, in addition to helping to create the first marketing campaigns. Please contact our team, we will be happy to help!

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