Marketing is one of the most important arms of any business – it serves as that essential link between the company and its customers.
That’s why effective strategic planning is especially vital for the marketing department. A clear, well-defined strategy is required to ensure the business is projecting the right message to its market, attracting the best customers and retaining them.
What are some key things to remember when beginning to formulate a marketing strategic plan?
1. Do your research
Every marketing plan begins with a situational analysis that assesses the external environment your business is competing in.
Find out who your biggest competitors are at the moment, and who are likely to develop on the scene in the near future. Should you aim to extend your reach in your current market, or are there perhaps some niche opportunities you can tap into?
Only when you have an extensive understanding of the competitive environment can you take the next step in defining your strategy.
2. Define your core competency
Once you’ve done a comprehensive analysis of the market you’re competing in, it’s time to determine what can set you apart from the rest.
Every business should have a core competency or unique selling proposition (USP), something that it does better than anyone else in the market.
This will largely form the identity of your business and the foundation for your marketing strategy.
3. Invite cross-departmental input
Of course, it’s not just the marketing team that should be privy to its strategic planning process.
An effective marketing plan requires input from a variety of departments, such as accounting, who can provide advice on budgeting.
By having strategy mapping software in place, your business can divide up any strategy and allow access to the people and departments in the organisation who can provide the valuable insights it needs.