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What Is a Strategic Marketing Plan?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A strategic marketing plan is an approach to structuring marketing efforts in a manner that identifies and meets consumer demand. Unlike other methods that tend to be more concerned with positioning the business to operate in a manner that keeps costs low and reaches the widest range of consumers as possible, a strategic marketing plan focuses more on building connections with consumers in specific markets, drawing on their stated wants and needs to build a strong position in the marketplace. As part of the process, input from consumers plays a major role in the development of the strategic plan, often helping the business to find the ideal balance between the resources used to produce goods and services and offering finished products to the public at pricing that is equitable for both parties.

There is no one right way to create a strategic marketing plan. Differences in the types of markets associated with a company, the nature of the products offered, and the competition within the marketplace will all have some impact on exactly how the plan is structured. Along with these factors, the wants and needs of consumers will also play a major role in determining issues such as the composition of those products, the nature of the packaging used, and even how those products are made available for purchase. Ideally, the strategic marketing plan will allow the business to identify and make use of the best retail methods to reach potential consumers and allow them to easily purchase the products when and as they wish to do so.

Part of the positioning that takes place within a strategic marketing plans is to identify not only how to sell the finished goods but how to connect with consumers so they are motivated to purchase those products. Along with creating viable products that are in packaging that is attractive, informative, and useful to consumers, the marketing plan will also consider what types of publicity efforts are likely to result in reaching the desired customer demographics and resulting in sales. For example, a company may determine that certain demographics are highly likely to respond to television and print ads but less likely to be reached using banner ads and pop-up ads online. With this in mind, the business will likely aim at using more traditional marketing campaigns to reach its core customer base while also devoting some resources to cultivating smaller niche markets via use of a web site and other forms of online advertising.

Companies of all sizes can successfully make use of a strategic marketing plan. Since the concept makes it possible to establish specific marketing goals then develop methods and strategies that are highly likely to result in the achievement of those goals, the basic format can be used by a local grocer who wants to attract more business by highlighting the quality produce carried, or by a multinational company that is seeking to develop a presence in a new nation. When care is taken to properly evaluate specific consumer markets and identify a way to generate interest, a strategic marketing plan approach can increase sales and allow a business to enjoy a level of success that would be impossible otherwise.

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