What is Strategic Marketing Planning?

Making spur of the moment strategic decisions reduces the likelihood that these decisions are the best.Every CEO and marketing executive periodically faces urgent strategic marketing challenges that can affect the future of the company for many years. Frequently these decisions are made without having an opportunity to study the situation and make the best possible decision.

A better approach is to perform an annual comprehensive review of markets and opportunities, then make long-term strategic decisions without the distractions of day-to-day marketing and sales activities. Daily decisions then fit into the company’s overall strategic marketing goals.


It’s important for a strategic marketing planning process to look at the company from the customer’s point of view by asking questions that have a long time horizon, such as:

  • What needs or problems cause customers to consider buying from our company?
  • What improvements in the customer’s personal or business life can we enable or improve?
  • Which customer market segments are attracted to our company or products?
  • Which customer motivations or values lead people to decide to purchase our products?
  • What changes or trends in our customer base are affecting their general interest or attraction to products like ours?

Strategic vs. Tactical Marketing Plans

What makes a strategic marketing plan different from a more tactical marketing communications plan? The key difference is the focus on meshing overall customer situations with your overall company direction.

For business-to-business marketers, this means combining industry sector segmentation and product use with other factors related to purchase decisions. These include the purchase criteria and decision motivations that affect large, enterprise size purchases.

For example, the trend toward increased use of outsourcing to both domestic and global vendors creates markets for those suppliers. However, those vendors need to have a strategic marketing vision in order to see these new markets early enough to take advantage of the opportunity.

For consumer marketers, this means using geographic and demographic segmentation, as well as psychographic segmentation (i.e., values, attitudes, lifestyles), and product usage motivations.

For example, the aging population bubble creates a general increase in demand for a wide range of products. It also creates market niches that are large enough to make product development and marketing worthwhile.

The same shifts can also reduce demand for other products. These long term shifts in markets are frequently misinterpreted as short-term competitive pressures or fluctuations in the economy. Instead of increasing advertising or sales efforts, it might be better to abandon a declining market.

Without a strategic marketing plan a company could waste resources or miss an opportunity.

What’s the cost of missing an opportunity? Of course, it’s impossible to know at the time the opportunity is missed, but years later it will become clear when a competitor opens a new factory or enters a new market — and their revenue grows faster than their competitors.

In other words, the annual cost of a strategic marketing plan review is miniscule compared to the revenue, market share, and profitability it can generate.

Developing the Strategic Marketing Plan

The strategic marketing plan process typically has three stages:

  1. Segment the market
    • Geographic
    • Demographic
    • Psychographic
    • Behavior
  2. Profile the market segments
    • Revenue potential
    • Market share potential
    • Profitability potential
  3. Develop a market segment marketing strategy
    • Market leader or product line extension
    • Mass marketing or targeted marketing
    • Direct or indirect sales

After analyzing market segments, customer interests, and the purchase process, it’s time to create the strategic marketing plan. The strategic marketing plan document usually includes:

  • Situational Analysis – Where is the company now?
    1. Market Characteristics
    2. Key Success Factors
    3. Competition and Product Comparisons
    4. Technology Considerations
    5. Legal Environment
    6. Social Environment
    7. Problems and Opportunities
  • Marketing Objectives – Where does management want the company to go?
    1. Product Profile
    2. Target Market
    3. Target Volume in Dollars and/or Units
  • Marketing Strategies – What should the company do to achieve its objectives?
    1. Product Strategy
    2. Pricing Strategy
    3. Promotion Strategy
    4. Distribution Strategy
    5. Marketing Strategy Projection

How to Use a Strategic Marketing Plan

Once a company’s executive team has approved the strategic marketing plan it’s time to take the next step — create the tactical marketing programs and projects needed to implement the plan.

These tactical programs usually include:

  • Product Development Plan
  • Marketing Communications Plan
  • Sales Development Plan
  • Customer Service Plan

Benefiting from a Strategic Marketing Plan

The top-down process of developing a strategic marketing plan helps insure that all tactical marketing programs support the company’s goals and objectives, as well as convey a consistent message to customers.

This approach improves company efficiency in all areas, which helps improve revenue and market share growth, and minimizes expenses — all of which lead to higher profitability.




How to and effective promotion

Probably the most difficult part in marketing is choosing the right promotional material to cater to all your marketing needs. This becomes a crucial part because it talks about the cost of printing and the assurance that it will work to increase sales and promotion.

Most promotional materials are made affordable so that the users will turn into their companies but if you are a customer, you should not just jump into decisions without further planning and without knowing if it will work for your company’s promotion.

If you are a customer, see to it that the prices are worth buying for and that the services are enough to add to the marketing potential of your business. Printers to this day have been made more affordable so that users who are at home can easily buy and use it.

As a business owner, you should first consider your needs for a promotion. If you are in a starting business, you need to have a variety of promotional materials, which will help you increase your sales faster. The business owners have relied upon printed promotional materials for the past few years.

Great article from allrighmagazine.com

Promotion: How to Make Your Business Envelopes Unique

By: brentdurell

Some business envelopes excel easily in marketing while other less than ideal envelopes just crash and get classified as junk mail. The factors that determine this go beyond the envelope printer who actually printed those envelopes. If we look at how people actually design and develop those discount envelopes, you will see that there are key factors that do make a big difference in the finished product.

If you want your business envelopes to of course always be on the successful side of the equation, it will be pivotal that you know about those correct key factors. Let me discuss with you, item by item the five major factors that do represent a big influence on the impact and performance of colored envelopes. Learning about them will be a big help in how you should develop the features of your own unique business envelopes.

1. The envelope color – The color is a big deciding factor of your business envelopes. You should realize by now that white envelopes do not cut it too much these days, and more or less that option should be out for you, especially if you want to make waves with these cheap quality envelopes.

What will make a huge difference is if you go for more distinct colors that people do not normally see. Besides being totally visible and eye catching, they will also be more memorable, getting their content read easily. So realize now that you will want to decide on a good envelop color as it will mean big with regards to their visibility and performance.

2. The logo marker – The logo you place on your envelope printing designs does count a lot. It is where people measure the official nature of your business envelopes. They judge the authority of your business envelope through the quality and impressive nature of your logos and supporting images.

Hence, you will want to be careful in composing your logo markers for business envelopes. Make sure that you use high resolution full color quality logos and images so that even your cheap craft envelopes will look like they have the authority and trustworthy nature to earn the attention of your readers.

3. The text font style –The main content of most business envelopes is text of course. That means that the font style will make a big difference in how people will perceive these prints. Use old style fonts commonly used by amateurs and your envelopes will be branded as amateurs. Use creative styled fonts and they will of course consider your mails as more of a casual type print. Of course, if you use professional type web 2.0 fonts that will imbue a more modern sleek value to your prints. That is the power of the text font style, so decide on what you want to use very carefully.

4. The paper quality – Printing cheap envelopes online typically allows you to choose specific paper material options easily. This is a good thing because the paper quality and paper finishes will make a big difference on how your envelopes will look overall.

Use thin and rough paper and you will look cheap with these envelopes of course. Use thick and glossy paper and they might think it is another marketing type envelope print. So be careful as you choose your printing materials as they will have a direct effect on the impression of people with your envelopes.

5. Extra marketing headlines – Lastly, if you are the type of designer that uses extra headlines in business envelopes, you should realize that they can also be a big contributing factor in the performance of such prints. Using cliché headlines will probably work against your envelopes of course since people already read too much of those.

Use something very specific and targeted however directly for your goal readers and you will see that they will elicit more positive responses from your business mails. So take note of this as they will be a big determining factor in your campaign.

Now that you know the major feature that make a big difference in envelopes, hopefully you will take great care in deciding precisely how those features are developed and composed. Good luck!

Cover February 2011 Issue #12


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