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How to Develop a Strategic Marketing Process?

How to Develop a Strategic Marketing Process?

Consider a scenario. You want to purchase shoes. You visit two e-commerce stores simultaneously. Just a few hours later, you receive push notifications, offers, and emails from the first store. On the other hand, you receive no updates from the second store. Which one will you opt for? The sure-shot answer will be the first store. This is a true example of a strategic marketing process. A strategic marketing process is defined as the planning and implementation of manoeuvres. It helps you set a front foot over others in the market. It outlines the company’s objectives with a streamlined map to achieve them. The bottom line of all marketing strategies comes down to business and customer satisfaction.

Phases involved in a strategic marketing process

There are mainly three phases involved in a strategic marketing process. These include:

  • Planning phase: It involves the analysis of a company. This helps you in understanding its strengths and weaknesses. The planning process provides a framework of company culture and its workflow optimization. It also aims at understanding the position of the company in the market and external competition. There are four key components under this phase, which include:
    • SWOT Analysis: This is done to understand the implicit and explicit factors for business prospects. Some questions you can ask while performing this are:
      • Strengths: How does your company have an upper hand over the others? What is the competitive advantage? What strategy will make you sustain in the cut-throat competition?
      • Weakness: Where do you lack? Is there any limitation on the availability of resources? In which aspects is your company not living up to the performance?
      • Opportunities: How are the market trends working? How can they help the brand? Which markets are untapped?
      • Threats: Where will the hurdles be? Are there any external factors that may cause an issue? Are they political, economical, social or technological (P.E.S.T.)?

SWOT analysis presents a clear cut picture of attainable goals and streamlining the marketing plan.

  • Marketing program: Once you are aware of how to get started and which customers to focus, you are able to set the base. Next is to understand the 4P’s of the program. These include Price, Promotion, Product and Place. This allows you to set up a budget for each. It involves thorough research and is crucial for the successful offering of products. The marketing program is about delivering value to the customers.
  • Price: Make the price list, discounts to be offered, payments and other financial functionalities.
    • Promotion: It is about building brand awareness. This is done through marketing, public relations, sales and advertisements.
    • Place: It is about the distribution channels, transportation and outlets of how the business will be carried out.
    • Product: This is the most important aspect. The customer trust relies majorly on its features, durability and branding.
    • Set the goals: After the budget and analysis, you know what you have to achieve. Set up short-term and long-term goals. Understand the pain-points of the customers. Once you do that, market the product in a way that customers can connect with your brand. Select the target market. This helps you achieve the goals along with fulfilling the customer needs.
       
  • Implementation phase: This is where the real action happens. The implementation must happen according to the planning phase. Else, all the efforts go in vain. Implementation must be well-structured. Further, it takes place in the following steps:
    • Integrating the resources: Combine all the resources that you developed in the planning process.
    • Marketing hierarchy: Start following the hierarchy and implement the strategies. Allocate tasks and time for working out the plans. Tick the tasks off and achieve the goals. You might have to revamp certain strategies if they don’t turn out as expected.
    • Execution: Finally, you can execute it and see the business coming to life. This is where you will have to respond to instantaneous situations. You need to live up to your plan along with satisfying the customer’s expectations. It is crucial to bridge the gap.
  • Evaluation phase: It is time for results. You check on how well the plan worked. Did your goals align with the plan? Were you able to achieve them? All the goals were achieved or a few? Where did you lack as a marketer? All these questions help you understand the deviations in the plan. Analyse the positive and negative divergences. After evaluation, work on the tactics to accomplish your goals. You might not achieve it in a single go. But, eventually, you will.

Tips for effective implementation of marketing strategies

Working your way out through marketing strategies requires efforts. To avoid any major mishaps and to fulfil your goals timely, here are some tips you must follow:

  • Set achievable goals with a well-defined purpose.
  • Quick wins for the run. Align short-term goals with the ultimate goals. This keeps you motivated and tracks your progress journey.
  • Be practical. You can’t go beyond the availability of your resources. Partner up with experts. Make your expectations work with the right tactics.
  • Conduct thorough research. It is the key factor to understand the market you are delivering the products to. You can’t hit the bull’s eye without knowing where to target.

Challenges that come with planning and execution of long-term marketing strategies

It is vital to overcome the hurdles that come in the way. Some problems to consider while planning the marketing strategy include:

  • Organizational issues in the workflow: While carrying out the marketing process, you may face certain issues in the organization. These include:
    • Unavailability of a skilled and efficient workforce
    • Productivity issues during the process
    • Seeking no validation for customer support
    • Not understanding the variations in customer demographic
  • Inability to keep up with constantly changing markets: Across all industry verticals, you can never expect the market to remain constant. With customer demands and operations, it keeps on changing. The company may face issues in assessing the problems, coordinating and being inflexible.
  • Integration of marketing strategies with business goals: For every business, the goals vary. However, the basics of marketing strategies are the same for all. Many times the brand is unable to integrate the marketing strategies well, not being able to achieve the goals. You need to understand which strategies work and which don’t.
  • Expensive marketing tools: This is quite an issue especially for small businesses. Not all have a strong financial hand. It can be a barrier, and the marketing tools offer basic functionalities at lower prices. You have to spend more for advanced functionalities.
  • Outsourcing issues: Trusting a third-person for your business is not easy. The brand’s reputation depends on the outsource marketer. So, it is important to look for trusted marketers who will carry out the processes efficiently. Also, outsourcing is the only reliable for major small businesses.

Tips to overcome the challenges

There are no such challenges that you cannot overcome. All you will have to do is put in some extra efforts and change your work tactics. Here are some tips to overcome these challenges:

  • Measure your success: No matter how small it may be, keep a note of your success. Know whether the seeds you sowed reaped results or not. Check your ROI and adjust the process.
  • Be visible: You cannot remain underground and expect big brand visibility. This is contradicting. Be present for your customers, for the leads and be approachable.
  • Hire a skilled team with the same core values: Employee retention, productivity and reliability matter invariably for business growth. Have a good team who always has your back. A skilled team with similar business goals helps you grow by leaps and bounds.
  • Keep up with trends: Marketing is no less than fashion. The moment you step back from following the trends, you’ll have a backfoot in the market. Invest time in rigorous market research and deliver value as per customer’s expectations.

Conclusion- The final thoughts

In brief, developing a marketing strategy is tedious. But, it is worth every bit of the results coming out as expected. Do not abandon your goals and keep working strategically. Analyse what the big businesses are using across the globe. Take note of that. In the cut-throat competition of the digital world, you have to stand apart. Among all the strategies, a quintessential thing is to remain unique and deliver something of value to customers. It is all about building brand loyalty and living up to it. The rest strategies will fall into place.

Author Bio-

Sara Williams: Sara is a Content Writer at PeppyBiz. She is not only a creative writer but also paints a beautiful canvas. She makes sure that you are left with no doubt about keeping up with marketing and sales.

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