Businesses exist in dynamic, evolving industries. There is an ebb and flow to company resources. Competitors actively change their product's attributes, price or message. Consumers' tastes change. Mature brands need to be refreshed. This is the game of marketing. Winning in the game of business is why marketing strategy development is warranted.
Strategic development is the activity of developing a game plan to succeed in business. Whether your business is large or small, you need a game plan to win in a climate where the odds are constantly changing. Marketing strategy is your planned path to win.
What is Marketing's Objective?
Marketing is performed in service to a sales goal. Marketing strategies are developed for four main areas of the company's business, including its product, price, distribution and promotion to help meet or exceed the sales goal.
Developing Marketing Strategy
In order to develop a marketing strategy, you need up-to-date information on all the areas of marketing. Major marketers planning season is proceeded by fact-finding from both data mining and field research.
Marketing strategy development begins with a thorough evaluation of all the macro forces that impact the business, with conclusions drawn about their impact on the business positively or negatively. The fun of marketing is in determining what you will do because of and in spite of the business situation to meet challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
What methods will you use to get the job done? This is the fun part of marketing strategy. Whether a budget is large or small, resources are always viewed as limited. But with the available budget, the marketing strategist will craft a strategic course of action then select from the toolbox of tactical marketing program options to use.
One manager may decide the best tactic to increase the product's distribution outlets is to host 20 of the total regional managers to a weekend stay at an exclusive Florida spa with their wives. Another manager with the same marketing goal might decide to hire an advertising agency to create a trade ad for publication several times a year.
Strategy and Budgets
Development of a budget is a key element in a strategic plan. All the wonderful tactics in the world won't help if you can't afford to do them. Each element of the plan should be a line item in the budget and a dollar figure assigned to it. When combined, their total is the cost of the strategic plan. Revisit the budget monthly to reconcile actuals against estimates to control expenditures.
After your planning year has ended, it is important to measure the success of your strategic development plan against its primary sales goals. By evaluating sales performance, you're able to refine strategies plan for the coming year.
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