What is involved in building a strategic marketing plan?
Assuming we have already gathered any market research required, the following diagram represents (top to bottom) the decision flow used in developing your plan. Your solution may require all or some of these elements. For some clients, we go even further, and develop a full business plan that includes areas such as financing, operations, information technology, and human resources.
You can see here that we start with the big picture, and work down to the tactical details, to a level where we have a clear budget for moving forward.
Purpose & Vision: Determines what key need the organization, business or product fulfills, and what size and scope they will need to become in order to meet this need.
Offerings: Works through all your products and services to program them into full solutions to a given need; this helps you to deliver the best possible offering and increase your unit sales.
Pricing: Determines how the price should be structured to help your customers perceive the greatest value, sets the level to reflect your quality, and consistently sets out any discounting and payment terms. The improves your profit margin and consistency. If need be, we’ll also discuss how to transition existing customers over to new pricing.
Target Markets: Considers all the possible target markets, and selects the best ones based on a detailed set of criteria (such as speed of the sales cycle in a given market, price sensitivity of a given market). This helps you focus on the best, most relevant targets, and reduce time spent on less profitable areas.
Location: Determines whether you need your own physical locations (and why), or dealers/distributors, or simply online distribution (with shipping support). This strategic decision makes a huge difference to your marketing control, and overhead costs.
Messaging: Sets out the brand direction (tone, personality of brand), key overall message, and clear supporting facts to differentiate your brand from competition over the long run.
Promotional Mix: Here, we address both marketing AND sales elements: deciding upon the most efficient channels to reach all target markets, including direct selling (how many sales people, and what targets are they assigned to?), sales tools (presentations, brochures, etc.) branding, marketing/advertising, publicity, events, social media etc.
Budgeting & Goal Setting: At this stage, we set priorities of what most needs to be done and when, and proceed in building a budget and schedule. We’ll also set reasonable goals and milestones, and assign team roles.