Like everything, when a plan is in place you are more likely to accomplish your goals. This holds true for losing weight, traveling, school projects, businesses and marketing.
Without a plan, you have no road map to guide you. You start with the end goal and then work backwards to identify all of the steps (tactics) you’ll need to execute to reach that end goal.
Developing a strategic marketing plan is much the same way – and, of course, there’s a process some brilliant person already developed for us to use.
- Know and understand your organization’s business goals and mission statement. If your marketing strategy goes against the company’s business goals, then, even if you are successful at your strategy, it will not support the larger goals of the organization.
- Conduct an internal audit that consists of:
- Description of your business or product
- Brief history/background of the organization
- Identify the markets you currently target and want to target in the future
- Know your current market share in those markets
- Identify any secondary markets that you don’t directly target
- Identify the markets that you have chosen NOT to compete in
- Identify any specialty or niche of the organization
- Detail your last three years sales growth or decline and the reasons that you have experienced growth or decline
- Identify your organizations Strengths and Weaknesses
- Perform an external evaluation that consists of:
- Detailed analysis of your major competitors and where you each rank in price, features, service, distribution, value/price relationship, quality, or any other important area
- Identify any new trends that can impact your business and decide if they are favorable or unfavorable to you
- Identify the climate and how it will impact you – political, legal, economic, social, cultural or technological
- Identify your organizations Opportunities and Threats
- Customer Profile
- Understand your best customers and why your products and services are important to them
- Detail the different segments that you serve the most effectively:
- Percentage of your sales
- Industry vertical
- How they use what you sell
- Support requirements
- Price sensitivity
- What channels will best reach them
- Any demographics or psychographics they have in common
- Identify why they buy from you and why your prospect isn’t buying from you
- Identify the top 5 features that are most important to the customer and turn these into benefit statements
- Customer Buying Patterns
- Detail the Customer Journey and where you impact them during that journey
- Identify where targets gather information about you and your offerings
- What tactics have worked best in the past for you, or your competitors
- List your current major tactics and whether they are gaining or losing effectiveness
- Product – how will you leverage the products’ advantages
- Price – determine pricing strategy. Will it be commodity pricing, value pricing or luxury pricing. Will you offer discounts, financing, bundling
- Place – determine the distribution channels. Where will you sell your product?
- Promotion – how will you advertise your product or services
- Process – what is the process that you use for every client interaction
- Physical Evidence – what is the physical evidence that you are what you say you are?
- People – do you have the right people in place who are trained to execute your process
- What needs or desires of your major target markets are not being met by your competitors? Is there one you can meet and excel at?
- What positioning tactics can you employ to better meet that unwanted desire?
- Identify your organization’s competitive advantage
Developing marketing strategy is not for sissies! It can be a long and difficult process, but it is the road map that will take you from the beginning to the end of your journey. And, it will insure that you arrive at the place where you wanted to be!
When you’re ready to develop or execute your Marketing Strategy, Multi-Craft is here to help!