How to Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan

14 February 2024

When you’re at the helm of a marketing department, you should have a clear focus and plan, so that you can reach your overall business goals. If you’re not quite sure where to start, what you’re going to need, or how you can reach the goals that management has set, it’s because you need to build a strategic marketing plan.

This plan will allow you to analyze your strengths and weaknesses, brainstorm strategies to execute your work and create benchmarks to measure your growth.

What is a Strategic Marketing Plan?

You have a business idea, develop a business plan, think about the goals you want to achieve, and then what? While we know a business plan is crucial, a marketing plan is often overlooked.

Regardless of whether you’re just getting started or already have a business, it’s important to create a strategic marketing strategy that outlines your organization’s goals and objectives that you want to execute to achieve your goals.

This strategic marketing plan involves:

→ Developing a document that outlines the company’s goals, actions, investments, and resources.

→ Setting the indicators you’ll bear in mind to measure the success of these actions.

If social media is a main priority for your brand, view this guide below to create your social media marketing strategy. Then, use these two in tangent to analyze and measure your overall marketing goals:

⚡️ Social Media Marketing Plan

Benefits of A Strategic Marketing Plan

A strategic marketing plan has many advantages and can help your business stay ahead before any chaos hits. While the benefits are endless, here are some of the main advantages of creating this strategy:

➡️ Avoid basic 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. This way, you don’t have to play the trial-and-error game forever or feel unprepared for your actions.

➡️ Anticipate unforeseen developments

Anticipation prepares you for unforeseen developments. Not only for surprises but for being prepared to problem-solve quickly with multiple solutions. By having this plan, you can view potential obstacles beforehand, so when the time comes you don’t need to panic.

➡️ Set a roadmap

Procrastination is your worst enemy. By having your strategic marketing plan, there will be no room to waste time or postpone tasks. Plus, this will help you realign your focus in times when you lose sight of your goals.

➡️ Coordinate 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. This plan helps to outline departments, so managers can delegate tasks and effectively organize their teams.

➡️ Periodically monitor your actions

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.

➡️ Create KPIs or OKRs to analyze 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 or OKRs, use them to analyze and monitor your strategy.

How to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan

Now that you understand the benefits of creating a marketing plan, let’s get into what elements are necessary to include in a marketing plan, and how you can create your own from scratch. First, let’s see how this process works.

What are the elements of a strategic marketing plan?

To create this plan, let’s see what elements are needed to build this. While it can look slightly different for each brand, consider adding these parts to your strategy:

  • Summary of the brand’s current situation, mission, and vision.
  • Internal (SWOT) and external (competitors, customers, trends) analysis.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) or objectives and key results (OKRs).

Phases of a strategic marketing plan

When writing a strategic marketing plan, you first need to think about these four phases which will guide you to creating a strategy, and content, that will relay your company’s value to your customers. In each of these steps, you will build on your marketing strategy so at the end you have a clear idea of how to execute these strategies:

strategic marketing plan

Analyze your current situation

Now it’s time to actually create your strategy, let’s go! The first step is to collect all the information about the industry, your competition, where your company sits, your ideal clients, and what marketing actions you have taken thus far. Conduct an internal analysis based on these points:

👉 Company history

👉 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)

👉 Competition

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. Then, you should analyze how their content is working and what measures they are taking on their channels.

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 competitor’s analysis tool to quickly analyze your competition

Characterize your ideal customers

To define your goals, you also have to 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.

Specificities: 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.

Create your goals

The next step in building your strategic marketing plan is to define your goals and the objectives that will bring you to these aims. These goals should be SMART:

     Specific

     Measurable

     Attainable

     Relevant

     Time-bound

These goals should be aligned with your overall business goals, and challenging, but not impossible. While it’s important to think of the long-term, these objectives should have a time limit, so you can measure your results at the end and improve your strategies for the next evaluation.

Select tactics for your goals

Now that you’ve created your goals, it’s time to define strategies you will incorporate to achieve these. In this step, keep in mind the marketing mix, which includes the product, price, promotion, and place where you will be advertising. You will use these to target your audience and best market your product or service. Then, think of ways you can reach your target audience via social media, content marketing, email marketing, traditional advertising, etc.

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.

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 features 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.

Define your budget

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. 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.

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.

Anniston Ward Anniston Ward , 14 February 2024

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