How to Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan

In selling or marketing anything you really do need a strategic marketing plan to help you stay on track.  A plan of this nature is set for a period of time and usually that is 3 years to 5 years.  It is a critical part of business growth for any new business or for individuals as they strive to establish market presence.

A plan of this nature can be incorporated into your personal business plan.  The actions that you take should be matched to the marketing plan.  Be prepared to make adjustments where necessary when the market or your client base changes.  A process of tracking and measuring is quite important.

Here are some tips to help you with the establishment of a marketing plan to grow your business in a competitive market:

  1. Given that the plan is for a lengthy period of time, the prevailing market and the business conditions will change over that time.  For that reason you need to be prepared for a reassessment and or repositioning of the marketing plan as required.
  2. Understand your position in the market today when it comes to market share, product or service offering, and specialisation.
  3. Given the previous point, your competitors will also have a ranking to be watched and tracked.  Understand how your competitors attract market share and check out their policies regards pricing, and supply.  If discounting is evident in your industry then you will need to determine if you want to compete at that level or provide a different point of difference that will be of real value to your clients.
  4. It is important to understand your competitive advantage if any.  A new competitive advantage can be created if you currently do not have any.
  5. Determine your objectives in marketing. Do you need more clients or better business?  Perhaps you need both.  Be quite clear in the objectives that you set.
  6. You will need some resources to get your marketing efforts underway.  Money will be part of that process, and some tools and specific brochures or systems will need to be designed.  Put them into your plan with set timelines for implementation.

A good marketing plan will help you with building your business.  Take action based on the objectives and targets of your plan.