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Strategic Marketing Plan: All You Need To Include

Strategic Marketing Plan: All You Need To Include

A strategic marketing plan goes a lot farther than the editorial calendar or a digital marketing campaign. Scheduling social media, creating email marketing campaigns, or updating the content on your webpage is important. Still, the concept that goes on behind the scenes is what determines if your marketing tactics will be successful or not.

A strategic marketing plan is a description of the mission, vision, processes, marketing activities, and budget that guides the company's products and services to reach a target audience and create a competitive advantage in its market.

Marketing Plan on a green background
Strategic marketing plan as a blueprint of your marketing activities

The strategic marketing plan should be your blueprint of everything that goes out to the public. This means it tells you when to post, where, and how to create effective content for the right channels.

When you have this plan in front of you, you can create tactics and future goals. If you have already been reading this article, without a doubt, you are taking the right steps forward.

1) Find Out the Reason Why

This means finding the reason your company exists and why you have created it in the first place, besides profit and money. This powerful statement can drive your company's plans for the future.

You could have started your company to improve community interaction and bring the world together, like Facebook; or you were willing to provide a computer on every desk and in every home, like Microsoft, or even create a better everyday life for people, Ikea.

Most companies are created for some reason bigger than their own organization or next year's budget goals.

This reason why is presented by Simon Sinek, who emphasizes that the "why" influences the "how" (processes, tools, platforms, and people) and "what" (products and services).

Knowing your company's bigger reasons for existence will drive your company to succeed. Below a diagram showing the Microsoft example superficially.

Microsoft was aiming to provide computer access to everyone in its foundation

2) Define Your Vision and Mission

Vision for companies represents something ideal.

  1. Ideally, how would my company be in five years?
  2. What kind of positive impact will it generate on the world?

It's more a way of exposing the reason why of its existence in an inspirational sentence.

For Microsoft, the vision is:

To help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.

Rephrased in their current website:

Microsoft Vision

Related to Microsoft's mission, they show a much more concrete goal. The sentence is more down to earth:

Microsoft's mission is dedicated to advancing human and organizational achievements

Hubspot lists different mission statements below:

Example of company's mission statements

The "why" your company's mission and vision will represent the three main pillars of your strategic marketing plan. They will give you the basis you need to think about what your company wants to achieve and how it can achieve that.

In the next step, you will define the "what" and the "who" of your strategic marketing plan, which means your unique selling proposition and your audience.

3) Develop A Target Audience

It doesn’t matter what your company’s business is about, and there are always certain consumer demands that can be easily deciphered.

Illustration of target audience
Target Audience

This can be done by making a demographic target market profile. It’ll include important components like gender and income level. It has to be a meticulously designed profile that will, in turn, help you in deciding where to concentrate your funds and energy.

Also, it will clearly outline the probable demands that consumers of a certain area have. It might seem too minor a detail, but the purchase motivation and demands can sometimes differ drastically in two different areas.

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Some segmentation of your audience segmentation can be done by demography, geography, behavior, or aptitude.

  1. Demography: the name basically explains the term. Here you can choose your audience as the millennials or baby boomers. You have the possibility to segment by income or by stage of life, such as a recently married couple.
  2. Geography: Is United States your target? If you have a digital company and sell digital products, why not expand it to English-speaking countries? Defining your audience based on where they live or where they consume it's also a good option, but it can be too wide. You may think about starting small, such as focusing on a city or a neighborhood before targeting the whole world.
  3. Behavior: In this case, you may want to target those who are vegans or look for locally grown products. The way they behave when consuming a product or service is what limits their segment.
  4. Aptitude: If they buy products because they want the product to represent themselves or their self-brand, such as a nice car or a fancy grill, they are buying because they have an aptitude toward this product. This is where the segment is the aptitude the person has concerning purchasing a product or service.
Design demography profiles

Hence, to properly gauge the efficacy of a full-fledged marketing campaign in a particular area, you must make a target market profile. It’ll also channelize your strategic marketing plan and help you concentrate where the chances of conversion are high.

4) Define your Unique Selling Propositions

When you build a strategic marketing plan for a client or your own company, you have to start with the basics no matter what type of business it is.

Target Audience: Business basics

After remembering why your company existed in the first place, which will inspire your vision and mission, you should continue by determining what the company does and who it serves. When you nail this down in one or two sentences, you can guarantee a clear picture of their target audience.

Developing your USP

To be successful with your offer, you want to move on to determine the company’s unique selling proposition.

Odds are, with all the competition in the marketplace, other businesses do exactly what your company does, making it extremely important to define a differentiation that sets your company apart from the competition.

Think, Why would someone order from your company versus your competitors? Define USP based on what your target customers are looking for.

Locally Grown Vegetable as a Unique Selling Proposition
Locally Grow Products can be a USP for those looking to eat healthily and help the local community

Although this was mentioned above, you want to make sure you dig really deep into your company's target market since many things will be affected by the audience, such as the product or services development, product features, USPs, price points, and many other marketing factors.

5) Establish Your Goals and KPIs

Just like with anything, you need to set your goals before you can begin. To measure if your marketing is successful or not, you need goals in place to measure and track. Set your goals.

You want to set SMART goals for all of these. This means they must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

When you create SMART goals, you give yourself and your client something to measure throughout marketing campaigns.

SMART methodology

There are a few areas that you will need goals for: your website, your social media and online marketing paid advertising, and sales. Prioritize and measure them. Make it easy to follow up with your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

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Table to Prioritize the goals of your strategic marketing plan
Prioritize and follow up on your goals

6) Distribution

Now that you have the company details defined and approved, you want to move forward to the distribution plan under the strategic marketing plan.

The way customers will find and receive your products has a lot to do with how you will be marketing.

Do you sell a digital product, provide a service, or ship goods to the customer after purchase? Are you using a distributor, a client retailer, selling on your own stores, or selling door to door?

As an example, Warby Park chose to be an eCommerce company against every other glasses store. In this case, they send five glasses to the consumer and give them benefit if they chose a glass in the first batch.

Warby Parker changed the way people buy glasses

On the other hand, Whole Foods had brick-and-mortar stores first but started opening their online eCommerce a few years ago, which was intensified after the acquisition by Amazon.

Whole Food store in Redwood city

Currently, Wholefoods offers eCommerce with fast delivery.

7) Create A Budget

A strategic marketing plan almost always has to consist of a proper financial plan. The distribution of funds to all the different operations of your marketing strategy needs to be decided beforehand.

Calculator, charts and piggy bank
Create a financial plan

Eliminate any doubts regarding the budget and try to distribute it how it should be. Distribution here shouldn’t be equal as all aspects of marketing strategy might not be efficient.

Concentrate most of your funds where you get a better chance of conversion and can score leads. Look for the low-hanging fruits.

Keep checking your strategy every once in a while to understand where to spend the money and where not to. Try to understand what kind of advertising will be best suited to your company's business.

Woman holding a "1000 like" poster
Focus your marketing investments on easy ways to generate leads

After all, different types of businesses have to be promoted and advertised differently. Make sure that you make your client realize why a certain type of advertising isn’t good for his business, and another is.

The more convinced your client will be, the better will be the execution of the plan. These factors are more often than not ignored by professionals, resulting in a weak and inefficient Marketing plan. Avoid this at all costs and plan the spending keeping the probability of returns in mind.

8) Define Your Marketing Promotion and Communication

This section covers all the paid advertising that your company will take part in. This can include paid search advertising, Facebook ads, SEO, promoters, and more.

Anything that is not completed organically through online marketing and costs money outside of time (and maybe some tools) counts as paid advertising.

You want to set a budget for the various paid advertising methods your company will take place in and define the different campaigns they will run.

After a Marketing plan is created and followed through with, you want to perform check-ups for your company. This is where you look into their analytics and determine what is working and what is not.

Illustration of Ad campaigns
Analytics let you inspection your activities

This will allow your team to optimize the strategic marketing plan and focus on the most effective tactics.

Along with this, you want to have a section of all the possible offers you will be marketing and selling.

SRed color sale board 30% off
Define your offers

Define the steps a potential customer has to go through to become a customer. And then the steps they need to go through to become loyal, return customers. This is where you start defining your conversion strategy to turn leads into customers.

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Woman buying macaroons
Loyal and repeat customers are a real asset to your business

It may look something like this: discovery, research, follow, engage, purchase, enjoy, be followed up with, and purchase again.

Every company has its own ‘flow’ that its customers take to become loyal and repeat customers.

9) Define Your Tasks and Timelines

Now it’s time to outline all organic, inbound marketing strategies that will be used. This included SEO, social media, blogging, email marketing, and your website. This section is essentially a calendar of all the marketing tasks you should be doing.

Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing

A great way to break it down is to list all of the online marketing tasks in the following sections: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. This way, your team can take the simple task list and apply it to their editorial calendar.

Using the sections above, you also want to include a table of ideas for content that will be successful.

Content and Ad Campaign Planner
A planner is a must

For example, if you tell your client to blog every week, you want to give the categories they should be blogging on, and how often they should be covering each category will also determine the nature of your strategic marketing plan.

You can also include a section here that talks about possible and planned collaborations.

A list of “power people” for promotions, guest blogs, and future advertising can be handy for a company. This is to have to refer to when they need help promoting a service or product.

10) Follow Up: Constant Reviewing Will Do Wonders for Your Strategic Marketing Plan

In a nutshell, the key to a good strategic marketing plan is constantly measuring how far you have come and filling the loopholes.

A dog wearing spectacles
Review your plan

For the entirety of the plan, you need to keep in mind the nature of your company's business. As soon as your plan strays away from the business's basic requirements, it ceases to be a good business plan.

Given that you are aware of your company's intricacies and what kind of promotion it demands, you are sure to end up with a good business strategic marketing plan.

Numbers are important when it comes to gauging the efficacy of any business plan. Hence, make sure you have the data to weigh the outcome of the efforts. If a particular plan fails to give a solid output in numbers, it is not a good plan.

Review your performance

Hence, it doesn’t matter how good your plan looks on screen. It would help if you weighed it based on the output it gives. As soon as you see the output faltering, you’ll do good to examine where the problem lies meticulously.

After all, a marketing plan might appear flawless on paper, yet, its efficiency can only be examined after it is implemented.

Hence, constant reviewing on whether or not your plan is meeting the objectives comes in handy. It helps you make changes to a plan before it's too late, and the strategy is beyond repair.

4 thoughts on “Strategic Marketing Plan: All You Need To Include”

  1. Lilla

    I loved the information. Fantastic article! However, I don’t agree entirely that this is the right order to do the strategic plan. For my company, for example, I wouldn’t invest any more time if I were not 100% sure about the budget for it. So, I would pull the budget creation as one of the first steps.

  2. rardjum

    Nice, will use these steps 🙂 Thanks 🙂

  3. MixZib

    Thank you very much for the invitation :). Best wishes.
    PS: How are you? I am from France 🙂

    1. By Totempool

      Hey, welcome to Totempool!

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