Strategic marketing

Do I need a strategic marketing plan?

Developing a strategic marketing plan is critical to supporting the company's overall strategic plan. Strategic marketing plans should detail how the marketing department will aid in accomplishing the company's stated goals. The plan must be integrated with all other supporting plans such that all departments or functional areas are working together. The marketing communications team should be available to assist in developing and implementing departmental plans and the overall strategic plan as relates to any external (or internal) communication tasks. They can also help keep everyone “on brand.”

Helpful tip #1: We recommend developing a brand checklist. This is a quick guide to keep you on track when reviewing new projects.

Sound strategic marketing plans with realistic goals, a detailed action plan and a defined budget will keep you on track and you will be less likely to make impulsive decisions or follow paths that will draw you away from goal conversion. The strategic marketing plan should include a clear definition of the target markets, detailed action items with responsibilities assigned, a budget and a resource pool, and target completion dates set, with midpoint checks and success measures defined. It should also include a marketing communications plan. This plan goes into more detail with specific strategies for communicating with audiences within the defined brand platform. The marketing communications plan supports your strategic marketing plan and should address strategies for written, visual and audio communications by target group.

Helpful tip #2: If your business is small or you simply cannot find time to develop a complete strategic marketing plan, we recommend you put together a strategic marketing outline that hits the high points and keeps you on track!

A strategic marketing plan is a living document. Results should be reviewed on an ongoing basis and tasks, focus and budget adjusted to ensure goals are met. We recommend a quarterly review to compare the plan to actual performance and to ensure the direction is still correct. Integration and coordination are two keys to an effective plan. A well thought out strategic plan is an asset and should help you manage to the bottom line and ultimate success. Many businesses are so focused on day to day tasks that marketing communications and strategic planning may not receive the attention due them.

If you need help with developing a strategic marketing plan or with marketing communications, give vitalink a call at 919.850.0605 or contact us online.