What Is Strategic Marketing? (With Benefits And Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 28 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In business, strategic marketing is a term many companies use while seeking to improve their competitive advantage. Strategic marketing involves defining the company's general business processes and direction through a marketing plan. To achieve business objectives, it takes into account diverse aspects such as the demographic behaviour of the customers and company performance. In this article, we understand what is strategic marketing, find out its importance and look at the steps to develop strategic marketing.

What is strategic marketing?

Finding the answer to "What is strategic marketing?" can help marketers understand its importance in finding commercial success and long-term growth. In strategic marketing, companies seek to differentiate themselves from their competitors by focusing on their strengths to provide customers with superior service and value. To put it simply, strategic marketing aims to use a company's positive differentiation over its competitors to its advantage.

Related: What Is Strategic Planning And How To Do It In 6 Steps

Steps to a strategic marketing plan

The following are the steps companies use to develop a strategic marketing plan:

Planning phase

It is imperative that a company conducts strategic marketing planning by assessing its internal strengths and weaknesses, technological changes, external competition and industry culture change, along with its current market position. All subsequent work begins with the preparation phase. This phase involves:

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a method of gauging a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats based on its position in the market. Identifying industry trends and studying the current and potential customers are all essential steps towards maximising strengths and minimising weaknesses for businesses. It is imperative that they evaluate the strategies of their competitors, analyse their own strategies and capabilities. The findings of this analysis can serve as the basis for developing a marketing plan that is measurable and attainable.

Related: SWOT Analysis Guide (With Examples)

Market program

As a company increases sales, it undertakes various marketing activities as part of a marketing program. Marketing programmes are well-coordinated and well-planned activities that facilitate the achievement of marketing objectives. The 4Ps these strategic marketing programmes use include:

  • Product: Goods and services that satisfy consumer needs are products. The product can also be a bundle of services consisting of characteristics such as design and brand name.

  • Place: Place refers to the physical location of the business or anywhere a brand sells its products, which can include the Internet.

  • Price: As part of the marketing mix, price is the value customers pay for products and services offered by a company. A product's price has a direct impact on its sales volume and its profits, where the price of a product could be lowered to encourage accessibility or increased to promote exclusivity.

  • Promotion: In the marketing mix, promotion refers to the communication efforts in promoting a product, activity or brand among the target market. It helps to stimulate sales and involves both buyer and seller.

Related: What Is A Marketing Manager? Definition, Roles And Skills

Create marketing and product goals

Marketers and product developers require setting goals based on customer demand. Product development begins with setting meaningful goals. Also, the product goals require remaining relevant to the overall business objectives. Taking the product goals and tying them to the top-level corporate goals can help brands determine what initiatives, features and releases they require to achieve success. Determine the unique selling point of the company along with the characteristics that differentiate it from other businesses.

Related: What Is Product Management? (With Skills And Duties)

Setting goals and focusing on the market-product

Once an organisation recognises its position and its goals, it is time to map out the resource allocation and implementation of strategies. This involves using different methods, including pricing, distribution, product and promotion. Throughout the messaging, marketers focus on customers to meet the needs of their target market.

Implementation phase

Implementing a strategic marketing plan involves assigning team members, setting deadlines for completing tasks and creating collateral that can help a brand meet its marketing goals. This helps in the analysis of the company's performance for determining whether the company achieves the expectations set in the planning phase. The implementation phase involves the following to-dos:

  • Set realistic expectations for everyone involved.

  • Document the implementation strategy.

  • Build a strong team with a focus on skills and resources.

  • Optimise workflows by mapping out tasks, assigning them to members and setting deadlines.

  • Plan the completion of the task according to a timeline.

  • Monitor progress in terms of time, resources and budget.

  • Make necessary adjustments to optimise results.

  • Review and measure results.

Evaluation or control phase

During this phase, marketing team members evaluate all the necessary steps in a marketing plan to ensure they are correct. Moreover, they monitor performance continuously and update strategies frequently as conditions change. For instance, a deviation in strategic marketing may result in increased sales at times. The marketing team can record this positive divergence that describes this unforeseen improvement in performance for future reference.

Benefits of strategic marketing

Here are some of the benefits of strategic marketing:

Provides a competitive advantage

Strategic marketing is important since it allows a company to gain an edge over its competition and establish its brand presence in the market against the existing players and new entrants. It demonstrates how the brand is unique. In addition, the features and benefits of the products and services that it offers in an innovative, strategic and planned manner shows the differences from competing brands.

Increase in efficiency

Strategic marketing management can improve a company's overall efficiency. Good strategies provide them with the clarity to make good business decisions. In good strategic marketing, brands can identify their budget, target audience, messaging and track performance. All these things contribute to efficiency and reduce wastage of precious resources, allowing them to make better business decisions.

Supports marketing communication

The marketing communications strategy is fundamental as a means to reach out to consumers and get their attention. Successful marketing communications are critical to generating consistent sales. This strategy starts by identifying the right consumers and how the company can satisfy their needs.

Establish marketing budgets

Every year, management allocates budgets to departments such as marketing, sales and human resources. The goal of budgets is to promote business success. Strategic marketing allows companies to spend their marketing budgets on marketing activities with a high return on investment (ROI). Using marketing budgets most effectively can achieve not only marketing goals but business goals too.

Improves brand awareness

Brand awareness is the ability for consumers to recognise and remember a company. The more familiar audiences are with a brand's logo, messaging and products, the greater their brand awareness would be. The process of spreading a message, growing an audience and establishing high brand recognition increases within a given target market. Improve the social media presence by posting more content and ensure the content is high quality and resonates with the customers.

Maximise the return on investment

Strategic marketing planning is a process that integrates production processes and consumer behaviour. In addition to maximising the marketing return on investment, a strategic marketing plan is vital for minimising the sales cycle of a company. The implementation of specific action steps and the measurement of results allows them to more precisely target customers for returns with selective intent. Corporate entities can grow their market share as well with a sound strategic marketing plan resulting in more revenue and profits.

Related: How To Become An Investment Banker: A Complete Guide

Difference between strategic marketing and a marketing strategy

Often, people use strategic marketing and a marketing strategy interchangeably. It is important to note that their meanings are different in the marketing context. For a better understanding, here are some of the differences between the two:

  • In strategic marketing, when a company seeks to differentiate itself from its competitors, it focuses on its strengths to offer customers greater value and service. Conversely, a marketing strategy is a method of converting people to customers with the help of a company's products and services.

  • Strategic marketing is a three-phase process whereas marketing strategy consists of implementing a predefined plan.

  • Budgets, resource allocation and product quality improvement are the major responsibilities at the management level in strategic marketing. In contrast, developing marketing strategies for a specific product or service does not require higher management. It merely requires developing promotional plans, distribution plans and pricing plans.

Tips for strategic marketing

Here are some of the tips for strategic marketing:

  • Develop a strategic marketing plan after thorough research and a solid understanding of the market competitors.

  • Engage the right stakeholders from the very beginning, taking into consideration both internal and external sources.

  • Get a clear picture of the company position in the market and in the minds of the customers.

  • Identify the top company's executives, collect industry data and interview the customers.

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