“In marketing I’ve seen only one strategy that can’t miss – and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last.” – John Romero
Strategic Marketing: the setting out of clearly defined business goals and how they will be implemented.
This is basically about what connects your business to the market and how you will maximise the commercial opportunity that exists. Your strategic marketing needs to take several factors into account and thought needs to be given to all of them to develop a robust strategy that will help your business succeed:
- Where is my business trying to get to in the short, medium and long term? Short term tends to be the main area of focus with new businesses but putting some thought into the direction over the longer term is a useful exercise within the strategic planning.
- Which markets will the business operate in and what other types of activity are involved in those markets? This can open many areas for exploration such as potential collaborations with others who have complimentary products or services but overall it provides an understanding of the scope of the market.
- How will I compete? More importantly, how will I compete better than my rivals to gain a commercial advantage? This could be quality, price, service level or any number of differentiators – it could even be ‘how’ you sell your products or service.
- What do I need to compete successfully? Resources – equipment, finance, people, skills etc.
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- What external factors will influence or affect my ability to compete? This covers a broad range of subjects but good examples would be things like the exchange rate if you are an importer or exporter. These are elements which are beyond your direct control but impact on your ability to operate in your market.
- Who else influences the market? The expectations and values of a number of stakeholders can have importance within your market space (trade associations or local government for example) and you need to understand how their influence works and how you can best utilise it.
The combination of the goals and strategy will then generate a vision of your strategic marketing and what your business will look like and an awareness of the environment you are looking to operate in.
Strategic marketing is something that can be utilised again and again as the business grows, not just within the start-up phase, to minimise risk and maximise opportunities.