If we wanted to define strategic marketing planning, it is a method which will help an organisation to focus its limited financial resources on the most promising opportunities to improve sales and reach a sustainable competitive edge. It is not uncommon to see many companies spending enormous amounts of money on marketing and spend too little time developing strategic plans. The old adage, ‘you are what you spend money on’ really does ring true when it comes to marketing. A company’s budget should be allocated carefully and wisely towards achieving its long-term business objectives.
It is not necessary to be in business for profit to adopt strategic marketing strategies.
Business is about doing things for the betterment of the company and the satisfaction of the customers. In other words, it is an attempt to build something bigger and better than what was yesterday. Business must have a clearly defined vision of its strategic goals and must develop systems to measure and ensure these goals have been achieved. This planning phase of strategic marketing is actually the very first part of the development process.
To measure and define strategic marketing planning processes involves defining the goals and objectives of the company and setting relevant timeframes and deadlines for achieving them.
Measuring results and success of any marketing strategy requires skills of analysts and executives. However, there are several general methods used to determine the effectiveness of a strategic marketing process. They include: measuring product and/or service sales, analyzing marketing performance by means of surveys and questionnaires, evaluating marketing effectiveness by the use of internal and external customer questionnaires, assessing marketing performance by means of interviews, presenting data to management and other stakeholders, reviewing marketing plans and forecasts and finally analyzing marketing performance by means of quantitative tools such as graphs and surveys.
These methods of measuring success often depend on the type of marketing being conducted and therefore, it is important that appropriate resources are available to conduct these types of studies.
Strategic management is actually an integrated set of processes and activities, which in turn define and develop a strategic marketing plan, help to monitor the effectiveness of the strategy and monitor its progress.
It is an important part of any company’s overall business operations and therefore, it should be given the same level of priority and attention as any other important business objective. A business should be able to clearly define strategic marketing planning, and implement its various processes. Some key components that comprise a solid strategic marketing plan are: defining the goals and objectives of the company, developing and managing a marketing strategy, tracking and evaluating its performance, creating a marketing communication plan, implementing a financial plan and forecasting future sales.
A good marketing plan is crucial to the company’s growth and profitability. It is also necessary for its employees and executives. In addition, strategic marketing is necessary for making business decisions. For instance, if a business decides to launch a new product line or introduce a new brand in the market, it must know the market demand for it.
A strategic marketing plan gives business goals a clear definition and shows how these goals can be reached.
It helps create policies and procedures for effectively managing advertising, marketing, sales, distribution, research and development and other related activities. It is also necessary for decision-making and involves analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the business environment. It enables businesses to make informed decisions and take wise actions. Lastly, it helps ensure that the company remains on track towards its goal, regardless of changing market conditions.