Marketing is the action you take to get an audience for your business. You want to interest people in what you have to offer and share content with them to help them decide whether to do business with you.
However, since marketing helps you attract people to your business, it is important to know how to attract them, and most importantly, who the people you want to attract are. Without this important information, it will be difficult to be successful in your marketing processes.
You can get this information through strategic marketing. In this post, we define strategic marketing and explain the different phases of the process that can be used to effectively market your business, attract customers, and increase sales.
What is the strategic marketing process?
The strategic marketing process involves conducting research and setting goals that will maximize the effectiveness and success of your overall marketing strategy.
This process is beneficial as it will help you target your marketing more effectively. You can make sure you have targeted the right audience, entered the right markets, and used the right media.
You can think of it this way: Strategic marketing is the butter you put on toast. You can just have toast as is, but the butter will add flavor and make it better. Strategic marketing ensures that your marketing campaigns are well planned, effective and shown to the right people.
Strategic marketing is essentially uncovering the information you need to create an effective marketing plan and run successful campaigns.
Strategic marketing process phases
Since strategic marketing directly affects many elements of your overall marketing strategy, it is important to approach the process carefully. The different phases of a strategic marketing process are explained below.
1. Planning phase
The first phase of strategic marketing is the planning phase. This is the most critical step as it is the foundation of your endeavors. You want to identify your business purpose, needs, and the goals and objectives that you want to achieve, as the whole process will help you achieve those goals.
Without this information, it will be difficult to move on to the next steps as you will not understand the purpose of your marketing efforts, which makes it even more difficult to come up with a solid plan that will help you succeed.
2nd analysis phase
In the analysis phase, it is examined externally how your company behaves towards your competitors and your industry. During this phase, many companies will conduct market research and competitive analysis.
Market research gives you an understanding of what your industry is like, current trends, market shares, and a general sense of the playing field. The information you discover should also validate your goals and let you know if they are achievable. For example, if your overall business goal is to bring a new type of fork to market but there is no industry or consumer demand for that new type of fork, then your efforts are not worthwhile.
A competitive analysis shows you how your competition is performing, what position it occupies in the industry and which market niches you can use to outperform them. You can look at competitor testimonials to get a feel for what your target audience is looking for that they aren’t, and use that insight to create a product that your ideal customer already wants.
You should also take the time to study your target audience and create buyer personalities. The aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of who your customers are, what needs, wants, interests they have and where you can find them in the market.
All in all, your analysis should give you an understanding of how competitive you are and how competitive you need to be in your final strategy to outperform similar companies and become a viable market competitor.
3. Development phase
Once you have a clear picture of your industry and how you should present yourself in the marketplace, the next step is to develop your marketing plan. This phase is more closely related to the aspect of marketing that you may be most familiar with as you are setting up the marketing tactics that will be determined by your strategic marketing process.
In this phase you define your marketing mix. This will help you achieve the goals of the first phase in terms of the information you discovered in the second phase.
A marketing mix consists of four Ps: product, price, location and advertisement. Let’s go over some quick definitions of each:
- Product: This is what your business is selling. Product marketers or managers usually do this job, but it involves researching (from stage two), developing, and creating a product launch timeline.
- Price: The price at which you are selling to consumers. Pricing should also be informed through market research and reference to various pricing strategies.
- Place: Where your product or service is being sold, such as online or in-store.
- Promotion: How to promote your product and bring it to market. For example, the various advertising channels (like social media) that you use to engage your audience and entice them to do business with you.
You can think of it this way: Let’s say your end goal, which was developed in the first phase, is to create a full-service CRM. Your discoveries in phase two showed that the current CRM your customers are using is not scalable. This is a consistent pain point. You also want a cheaper option.
This current phase would help you build, evaluate, market and promote your full service, scalable and affordable CRM to the right audiences who are ready and willing to buy what you have to offer.
4. Implementation phase
The final stage of the process is when you start responding to your marketing efforts. As the name suggests, you start by implementing the strategy that you have developed based on your planning and market research. They will launch your product and see sales.
Once implemented, it is also important to take the time to review your processes and make changes if necessary. As the market continues to evolve, you may need to re-address certain things from phase two onwards due to new trends or changing consumer interests.
Strategic marketing is a process that comes full circle.
Although each phase has its own requirements, it comes full circle. The marketing mix you created in phase three is based on research from phase two. And when you’ve put the time and effort into your entire strategic marketing process, you will acquire customers, increase sales, and achieve the goals you identified in Phase 1.