Mention the word “strategic marketing” to executives of small to mid-size businesses and they will understand the phrase in varying degrees. Some will equate it to simply a plan to spend an allocated annual amount of marketing capital on various media. Others will understand that has something to do with advertising in specific areas, an advertising campaign that hones in on certain markets. Still others will understand that it is a long term marketing plan, but are not sure how it should be targeted.
Strategic Marketing: An Oxymoron?
Strategic marketing is, for simplicity’s sake, a long-term campaign to pinpoint areas where marketing and advertising will garner the most business. A strategic marketing plan has all the trappings of a standard marketing campaign but is more flexible and fluid. A marketing campaign cannot be developed and implemented if it is not set up to provide feedback. Marketing strategically should be sending back to the company about as much information as the company sends out through its marketing efforts. The strategic part is how the campaign evolves and develops.
A Plan That Acts and Reacts
Suppose you send soldiers into battle with a single weapon — a rifle. They are locked into planning the battle around a single weapon. Send the soldiers in with grenades, a pistol, a rifle and a mortar launcher and you’ve given them an ability to react to multiple scenarios. A strategic marketing plan does much the same thing. By identifying your customer base, an audience, you determine who buys your product or service and who does not. Implement a strategy that gives feedback on what works best. If the talk shows are performing well and social media is performing poorly, shift more assets to morning talk. Should another social media similar to Facebook show up on the horizon, your plan is flexible enough to change to marketing on the new social media platform. If the demographics change to a younger female, move more toward music shows and style magazines.
Marketing strategically is fixed but fluid, enabling it to work to better target your audience, shorten the sales cycle and improve analytical data. Do you have a long-term marketing plan? What benefits would one have for you? Leave us a comment or question.