Many Marketing Managers, Execs and Directors will have been subjected to the “can you just make this look nice” request as you are handed an old leaflet from 1998 that a sales rep wants to regurgitate ! No mention of why, what the objective is, who the target customers are, what price the product will sell at, for how long, how profitable will it be, how much should the business invest, what’s the return.. etc etc etc!
Selling the concept of Marketing Strategy in some businesses can be a tiresome task, in others, perhaps the business and the board are very supportive and pro-marketing.
Importantly the modern day Marketer should not only be asking those questions, but actually driving the conversations in their business.
1. Goals & Objectives
A strategic marketing plan should be integral to the organisational goals and objectives. Where does the board see the business within the next 3 to 5 years? How is the business going to meet or exceed its budget sales in the next 12 months? Are their risks ? What are the potential economic factors ? Does the business require additional investment or new product innovation ? Do the %Margins allow for investment?
Marketers should be passionate about the industry they work in and as such take great interest in feeding information back into the business? What kinds of opportunities might present themselves in the coming months and years ? Are customers investing in their own growth? Are there new technologies coming into the market? The marketer should align their budget and activity levels accordingly.
A Marketing Strategy should demonstrate that a sufficient degree of research has been carried out. What is the size of the target market(s)? Who are the top competitors in the market ? Who are the potential customers? Are there enough customers? What’s the target price level? How will your price impact on what the competitors charge? Will they take notice and adjust or just ignore you ?
4. Target Groups
Building on the ‘research’ point, It’s really important to profile those potential customers and their demographics. How big are they, what is there spending power, where are they, how much of your competitor’s product are they buying, are they looking for price, quality, service, delivery?
Marketers can live or die by how they manage and allocate their budget. No Strategic Marketing Plan is complete without a comprehensive and realistic budget, with a full implementation plan, timescales, responsibilities, suppliers agreed on, and full visibility for all the stakeholders in the process: the marketing team, the MD, the Board, the Sales Manager etc.
Get it done….! and delivered in the agreed timeframe !
Really important that the ‘checks’ happen, regular reviews are conducted throughout the project and post-completion to ensure ‘lessons learnt’ and ROI can be monitored and reported back to all the stakeholders. The ‘feedback’ part is essential for the Marketer to ensure full visibility and integrity.