How to Prepare a Marketing Plan and Define a Marketing Strategy
Strategic marketing planning is the process of matching the present and future resources of a business with anticipated future opportunities in the marketplace. It is a formalized approach used to identify, evaluate, and choose alternative courses of action to accomplish desired objectives. To be meaningful, strategic marketing planning must become a way of life, an attitude, and an ongoing process of strategic thinking on the part of management.
The strategy statement in the marketing plan defines the approaches to be taken in the marketplace to accomplish the desired marketing goals. Marketing strategy development, however, is not merely the listing of objectives, courses of actions, or procedures, which that will be used to implement the marketing strategy. Strategy development also addresses the concepts and methods a business will employ to best utilize its resources and competitive advantages to achieve the highest possible level of performance in the marketplace.
To establish an effective strategic marketing plan, it is necessary to first establish and/or define the following:
1. The Company
A. What is our business today?
B. What do we want our business to be one, two, five years from now?
C. What are our strengths?
D. What are our weaknesses?
E. What are our current goals?
F. What is our present market area?
G. What do we see as future market area?
H. Our performance, past, present, future?
2. The Customers
A. Who are our present customers?
B. What are their needs, present and future?
C. Who are potential customers?
D. What are our potential customers’ needs, present and future?
E. What needs are not being met for present and potential customers in the marketplace that fit within our present or future capabilities?
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