As a strategic thinker, the marketing strategist spends time and effort analyzing the current scenario and past trends and comparing it with planned goals and objectives. He also identifies resources required to achieve those goals while identifying opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, and threats along the way. The major role of a marketing strategist is to ensure that the activities of an organization are in line with the company’s goals and objectives.
Marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach to planning with the fundamental goal achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Strategic planning involves an analysis of the company’s strategic initial situation prior to the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented competitive position that contributes to the company’s goals and marketing objectives.
What is strategic marketing?
Strategic marketing is a method through which an organisation differentiates itself from its competition by focusing on its strengths to provide better service and value to its customers. In a nutshell, the goal of strategic marketing is to make the most of an organisation’s positive differentiation over its competition through the consumers’ perspective.
The implementation of strategic marketing involves three questions, which include:
- Where to compete;
- How to compete;
- When to compete.
Once these questions have been answered, then the strategic marketing planning phase can begin.
Phases involved in the strategic marketing planning process:
- Planning phase: In this phase, the various aspects of an organisation, such as its strenghts, weaknesses and technology are assessed. The overall state of the organisation is also presented to the management. This phase comprises of four components, which include:
- SWOT analysis: This method analyses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to the organisation. The results of this analysis help in developing a strategic marketing proposal for the organisation.
- Marketing mix strategy: Once the SWOT analysis has been conducted, a proper marketing mix strategy is then prepared. Marketing mix strategy consists of combining and analysing a variety of components that help in strengthening a company’s brand and in selling its products or services. Take a look at a sample marketing mix strategy table:
- After sales services
- Price level
- Price terms
- Perceived value
- Set product and marketing goals: Setting product goals is one of the best methods for obtaining success with new products. The product should be marketed in such a way that it becomes indispensable for the consumers.
- Four P’s of marketing: Once the product goals are set, the four P’s of marketing; price, place, product and promotion strategy, come into the picture.
- Implementation phase: The strategic marketing plan is implemented in this phase, and it consists of four components:
- Collecting resources: raising the capital required to develop and promote new products;
- Marketing hierarchy: A marketing hierarchy should be put in place to ensure the proper implementation of plans;
- Formulating schedules: Preparing schedules in which specific time periods are allocated to tasks;
- Executing the plan: this needs to be in an extremely efficient manner.
- Evaluation phase: In this phase, the plan is crosschecked with the product goals to determine if they are aligned. If that is not the case, the marketing team will have to edit and improve the plan until there are no deviations between the plan and the goals.
Some of the guidelines that will help in ensuring your strategic marketing planning process is a success include:
- Set goals that are achievable and can be measured;
- Prepare the plan after conducting a thorough market and competitor analysis;
- The prepared plans must be concise and easy to understand;
- Ensure that the plan and set goals are in sync with the requirements of the consumers.
While preparing a strategic marketing plan, it is important to be aware of some of the issues that may arise. These include:
- Lack of skilled workforce;
- Assuming the requirements of the consumers without conducting a thorough research;
- Changing demographic of the consumers;
- Management issues;
- Coordination problems;
- Incorrect SWOT analysis;
- Issues in conducting marketing research;
- Confusing marketing feedback obtained;
- Budgeting issues.
The importance of strategic marketing in an organisation:
- Helps in evaluating the current environment: Strategic marketing helps in assessing the positioning and performance of an organisation. It is important to know what resources are at the disposal of an organisation at any given time. The data that is collected helps in understanding how well an organisation is performing within the overall competitive environment. This will also help the organisation in planning for future strategic marketing activities or plans.
- Helps in establishing clear marketing objectives: Having a strategic marketing plan in place helps in establishing achievable marketing objectives. The objectives should have a specific time-frame and should be measurable.
- Streamlines product development: Strategic marketing helps in creating products and services that provide the organisation with high profits. This is because strategic marketing starts off by conducting a SWOT analysis of the organisation, a market analysis of the consumers and the existing trends in the market. This information is then used to create the optimal products and services for the consumers.
Difference between strategic marketing and a marketing strategy
Although people sometimes use these two terms interchangeably, they are in fact very different and mean different things. To understand this better, here are some of the differences between strategic marketing and a marketing strategy:
- Strategic marketing
- Strategic marketing is a method through which an organisation differentiates itself from its competition by focusing on its strengths to provide better service and value to its customers
- This is a planning process and it involves three phases
- This is related to the management level as it involves determining budgets, allocation of resources and improving product quality.
- This covers the marketing goals of the organisation as a whole and includes all products.
- This a process that is put in place to achieve organisational goals.
- Strategic marketing analyses various factors such as organisation performance, competition environment, competitors and demographic behaviour of customers in order to achieve organisational goals.
- Marketing strategy
- This is an organisation’s plan to target people and convert them into consumers of the organisation’s products and services.
- This plan is an implementation of a predefined strategy
- This strategy does not involve the higher management, as it only includes creating marketing strategies for a particular product or service. The strategies could consist of a promotional plan, distribution and price of the product.
- This is restricted to the marketing goals and strategy of a single product or service.
- This is a part of one of the functional strategies that help in achieving organisational goals.
- A marketing strategy focuses on the products and services of an organisation and their positioning in relation to attracting customers.
Marketing Strategist Job Responsibilities and Duties
- Creates marketing strategies to launch and market new products
- Uses customer feedback to ensure client satisfaction
- Forecasts market trends
- Provides analysis and recommendations to the marketing and communications team
- Helps shape the brand positioning and narrative while targeting the proper audience
- Analyzes sales and marketing key performance indicators
- Ensures marketing strategies align with overall business strategy
Marketing Strategist Job Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, or related field
- Minimum 2 years of experience as a marketing strategist, marketing manager, or similar role
- Creative thinker and data-driven
- Proven track record of project management and strong attention to detail
- In-depth knowledge of CRM software and content management systems
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- Great leadership skills
Role of Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy identifies the strengths of your product, according to the business experts at the Microsoft website. Part of your marketing plan’s purpose is to explain, in detail, the many benefits of your product and how your customers can realize some sort of return by using your product. For the customer, that return could be in the form of saving money, or it could be a competitive advantage that grabs more market share. The marketing strategy also identifies the ways in which your product is superior to the competition, and the reasons why your customers should consider your product over the competition.
One important role of a comprehensive marketing strategy is a detailed description of the target audience, according to marketing expert Michael Goodman writing on the Intel website. In order to create effective marketing campaigns, your strategy needs to identify important details about the customer demographic that you have determined to be the best fit for your campaign. Some of those details include age group, median income, geographic location and the advertising medium that would best be used to reach that target buying group.
In order to develop an effective marketing campaign, your marketing strategy needs to offer a detailed description of the competition, according to the small business experts at the Center for Business Planning website. The role of the marketing strategy is to give historical information on how the competition has advertised products in the past, the target market the competition goes after and the product features that the competition offers. Other factors such as competition pricing, the competition’s distribution network and the sales methods of the competition are also part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy is used to determine the revenue that the campaign will deliver. All of the parts that go into determining revenue, including the budget allotted to the campaign, product cost, selling price and the life span of the product, should all be part of the marketing strategy. The revenue goal can be measured against the actual revenue, and that information can be used to create future marketing strategies that are more successful.
Marketing strategy is the section of your business plan that outlines your overall game plan for finding clients and customers for your business. This section contains a number of critical elements, including defining your target audience and developing a marketing plan to reach them effectively.