The Basics of a Strategic Marketing Plan

Whether you’re already marketing your business or you’re just getting started, if you don’t have a clear idea of who you need to reach, how you’re going to find them and what you want to say, you’re likely to waste time, money and other resources. Getting great at marketing requires strategy but the return on investment is sales growth and brand recognition that you couldn’t have gained without marketing.

The Basics of a Strategic Marketing Plan.jpg


So how do you get started creating a great marketing plan?


Well, before you even get started, there are some critical details to identify and get crystal clear on.



1.     The Most Important Piece of a Marketing Plan Is Your Target Customer


Knowing your target customer is the single most important piece to any strategic marketing plan. While it’s something that will be ever evolving, and you may have many different customer personas, get a clear picture of what you know to be true today so you can base all of your decisions on who that target customer is, what matters to them and where to build genuine connections with them.


Check out our blog for more info on identifying your target customer and creating buyer personas.


2.     Know Who You Are and What You Stand For


Your business has a set of values that guides it. Creating a mission statement outlines these values and ensures that the people who interact with your business are aware of them. Just be sure that this message reflects your brand honestly so you can actively demonstrate the values outlined in the mission statement through your interactions with clients. This statement and how it is carried out can make or break your clients’ trust.


Use your mission statement and values as a guide for your brand voice – the way you communicate with customers on your website, emails, advertising, social media and pretty much every way to interact with them. And whether you’re an established brand or just getting going, check out our blog on Brand Inventory to make sure you are (still) on the right track!



Now that you have the fundamentals in place, you know where your compass is guiding you so it’s time to get started on creating a strategic marketing plan that you can execute for your business. Here goes!



Step 1: Determine your marketing philosophy


Companies that are successfully building brand awareness, driving more leads and securing new business as a result of their marketing efforts all share a common philosophy — they view marketing as an investment, not an expense. Once you have determined that marketing is vital to your company’s growth plan, your next step is to define some measurable goals.


If you have any questions about the importance of investing in marketing and having all stakeholders on board, check out our recent podcast on this topic!


Step 2: Determine goals and objectives


To help you determine the right goals, spend meaningful time evaluating your growth levels to date and your current position in your market space. After making your list of marketing goals, prioritize the list and then select the top three to five, focusing on the ones that will most meaningfully move your business forward.


Make sure the goals you set are measurable. Setting measurable goals also brings with it accountability, which is an essential part of ensuring your plan is effective and on track. You will not know if certain tactics are working if you don’t know how you will evaluate them.


Step 3: Set marketing strategies


Many companies skip strategy development in favour of tactics, but tactics without strategy are about as effective as a car without a steering wheel. If your goals dictate where you want the company to be, the strategy is the route you need to take to get there.


For example, the goal may be to increase sales in a certain area of your business. The strategy may include reaching a new customer type you haven’t tried before, or better accessing some of your target demographic now. Tactics are how you get there such as changing up your target SEO keywords or designing a new landing page on your website, social media ads, etc.



Step 4: Determining tactics


Strategies establish a broad outline of how you want to achieve your goals/objectives, and tactics are the specific actions or activities that need to be properly executed in order to achieve them.


If a goal is to increase and enhance your company’s brand awareness, a sound strategy would be to increase the number of brand touches among potential customers. Tactics for implementing that strategy would be blogging about issues that are relevant to your target audience, creating and promoting an e-book with helpful tips or sponsoring an event.


Step 5: Determine your marketing budget


Your marketing budget should be directed by your company’s goals and objectives for the future, by how fast you want to grow and by how ready you are to grow it, not based on an arbitrary budget line item created from an accounting formula.


Also, your marketing budget can’t be solely focused on just dollars. It must consider time and resources needed to manage and execute the plan as well.



Lastly, be sure to regularly evaluate your tactics and review your strategy. Make updates and adjustments as you try things, test, collect feedback and of course, as digital marketing shifts. Marketing is a fast and ever changing industry, so be sure to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening with key partners such as Google, YouTube and social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to newsletters or follow industry leaders both globally and in your local area to get updates on what’s going on in the marketing world and tips to optimize your current strategic marketing plan.


Sometimes your business may need a hand creating a strategic marketing plan. Sometimes you know what you need, but you need more hands to execute it. Sometimes you need help with both.


Whatever you need, the team at Digital Monk is here to support you -Reach out today if we can help!

Similar Posts