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When you’re at the helm of a marketing department, you should focus all your efforts in one direction. If you’re not quite sure where to start, what you’re going to need, and how you can reach the goals that management has set, it’s because you need to build a strategic marketing plan.
Keep reading to find out how you can develop one.
What is a Strategic Marketing Plan?
We have a business idea, we develop a business plan, we think about the goals and the feasibility, and there we go.
We often think that the business plan is essential, but what about the marketing plan?
Regardless of whether you’re just getting started or already have a business, it’s important to have a strategy containing the actions you’re going to take and how you’re going to check if they’re yielding the expected results.
The strategic marketing plan involves:
→ Developing a document that outlines the company’s goals, actions, investment, resources.
→ Setting the indicators you’ll bear in mind to measure the success of these actions.
Check here to see how to build a
Benefits of making a marketing plan
A strategic marketing plan has many advantages. Here are just some of them:
➡️ Having a clear strategy to avoid making mistakes
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages you may encounter will help you determine the roadmap of your marketing strategy. You can’t grow or measure results without a clear strategy.
➡️ Anticipating unforeseen developments
Anticipation prepares you for unforeseen developments. Not only for surprises but also for such simple matters as the ingredients you need to make the dishes in your restaurant, bearing in mind the diner estimates you have made. The goal is to be ready for different situations.
➡️ Setting a roadmap
Procrastination is your worst enemy. By having your strategic marketing plan, there will be no room to waste time or postpone tasks.
➡️ Coordinating departments
All stakeholders involved in the strategy should be aware of their tasks and timeframes. This is the only way to get the job done.
➡️ Periodically checking the actions taken and future actions planned
The strategic plan and the actions to be taken aren’t static. Depending on the target audience, the market, your brand’s circumstances, and your figures, you should change the actions to improve your strategic marketing. You can’t figure out whether your goals are working or have to be changed without a plan.
➡️ Using KPIs to analyze the results
When setting goals, you’ll have to determine which metrics you’re going to use to measure the results. Goals are measurable, so you have to know where to find this information. Once you’ve set KPIs, use them to analyze and monitor your strategy.
Phases in the marketing plan
Analysis of the situation
The first step is to collect all the information on the sector, the competition, the company and the actions taken to date. Conduct an internal analysis based on these points:
→ History of the company
→ Marketing actions taken to date and their results
→ Strengths and weaknesses of your company
→ Resources available to your company and budget
→ External analysis (context, sector, competition, opportunities and threats)
When you analyze the competition, you should know that it’s no big deal to have competitors. Sometimes it’s even relevant to find them. And then you should see how it’s going for them and how to differentiate your company. If there is competition, this means that the market, your audience, has a need and is willing to cover it. So, part of your job is already done.
→ Ask questions like: Are there other similar or complementary products? Can I cover an existing need, or should I create a need from scratch? At what point is the market to receive my product?
With Metricool, you can use the competitors tool to quickly analyze your competition
Your strategic marketing plan needs goals. Defining them is essential to developing a coherent roadmap.
These goals should be SMART:
In order to define your goals, you have to clearly know who your buyer persona or ideal customer is and what they’re like.
Describe them in your marketing plan in terms of:
→ Demographics (age, sex, education, type of family, etc.)
→ Personality: interests, needs, and personality.
→ Specific: give your ideal customer a name and face. This will make it easier to personify them and understand them.
In this way, you can set the tone, language, and messages you use to impact them, and even your value proposition.
Once you’ve got all the information, the time has come to develop your marketing strategy.
You can choose from several strategies:
1. Position your product or service with a slogan or claim. “The product that does this the quickest” or “We’ll take it to you”.
2. Offer products or services in line with your users’ needs and change them as the market needs change.
Strategy to launch a new product
If you’re launching a new product onto the market, the best strategy is to do it with MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
This is a version of a new product that you can use to test the market and get feedback on both the feasibility and most important functionalities with the least possible effort and the minimum features.
Forget about launching a 100% finished product. It only makes your investment higher and delays the market debut, with all the consequences this entails. Launching the MVP is an interesting strategy for a new product that has no competition, which will give you a picture of how well it is accepted.
In order for a strategic marketing plan to work well, you have to define the actions to take in order to get results.
Tactics are used to attract, convert and retain customers. Most initial efforts revolve around inbound marketing. This involves attracting the most people by positioning your brand on search engines, social media, affiliation channels, online advertising, etc.
To convert customers, offer them something of value: a subscription, a download, a webinar, a free trial, or discounts.
And finally, you have to retain these customers so they come back and recommend you to their acquaintances or on social media.
Ideally, you should be able to allocate a budget for each section in your marketing plan because that way you can check whether your ROI (return on investment) is positive.
In order to measure the ROI, check that you’re on the right track (even if your sales are slow at first), and define the next steps in your strategy, you have to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Within your strategic marketing plan, you’ll have to define a social marketing section.
In this case, metrics are essential, and you should periodically study the results bearing your goals in mind.
Goal: “To grow the number of Facebook fans by 10%.”
It’s relevant to measure whether the actions you are taking in your social branding strategy are working. If not, you have to pivot your strategy.
To analyze the actions you are taking, you can use tools like Metricool to analyze, manage and measure the success of all your digital content and campaigns.
With a comprehensive study, good planning of your strategy according to your goals and a tool like Metricool to track your actions, it will be much easier for you to create a successful strategic marketing plan.
Feel free to share your questions in the comments