Strategic marketing is the lifeblood of any business, and cannot be underestimated. It encompasses planning, SWOT analysis, consumer behavior and budget as well as other elements that affect how a product or service appeals to potential buyers. Without it people would never know about an item or service existed nor its features nor if it is necessary or desirable. Most importantly though – including the customer in this definition – there would be no business at all!
Marketing has many definitions, but the most basic one is that it is the process of identifying and distributing products or services that provide value to consumers. Additionally, it involves building and maintaining customer relationships with businesses – this is what sets one business apart from others.
No business should ever operate without someone in charge of marketing. Without an effective plan, no venture would ever get off the ground. Identification of products and target customers along with demographics, attitudes and perceptions and purchase behavior should all be part of any successful campaign. Once identified, these details can then be matched up to create a customized campaign that ensures consumers buy what you offer them. Furthermore, successful marketing requires strategic thinking about ways to retain these customers while keeping them loyal to your brand – but successful marketing requires more than simply following steps!
Strategic marketing is essential to all businesses; it ensures customers come back again and again. Marketing should be an ongoing process with resources allocated to it in order to reach company revenue targets and remain competitive in the marketplace. Here are some additional advantages that demonstrate the significance of strategic marketing for businesses:
1. Strategic Marketing Facilitates Quick Adaption to Changes
Strategic marketing requires businesses to stay abreast of changes in the industry and economic climate they operate in, so they are prepared for opportunities or potential hurdles when they present themselves. Being prepared for contingencies is one of the foundations of a successful strategic marketing plan; whether the changes are positive or negative, an effective plan should enable your business to maximize success from whatever arises.
2. Marketing Keeps Businesses Competitive
A SWOT analysis is an integral component of a strategic marketing plan, identifying the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This assessment should be done against the backdrop of competitors to gain insight into why consumers buy from certain businesses. To stay ahead of the competition and capture share in their market share, companies must constantly improve their products or services by out-pacing what competitors are offering with superior benefits or features.
3. Marketing Accelerates Sales Growth
More than advertising, it is marketing that drives sales. Advertising only gets so far when it comes to drawing customers in; marketing creates the incentives that encourage people to purchase and keep buying the products. With the correct packaging, pricing, and promotions in place, marketers are able to drive more purchases with greater frequency.
As part of the marketing process, there are various initiatives that can be included. A marketing plan typically forms part of an annual business plan and it typically builds off previous year’s plans unless drastic changes are needed due to market, industry or environmental developments. Common marketing initiatives outlined in these plans include tapping new market segments, exploring new areas, repackaging products for resale, developing and launching new items and holding promotions for products needing extra encouragement.
Marketing departments conduct research either internally or by hiring an external research agency. The scope of required studies could differ depending on which initiatives the business wants to investigate; benchmarking studies are commonplace among businesses offering services; focus group discussions about user attitudes and interests as well as surveys on product preferences and usage are common for fast moving consumer goods items. To guarantee reliable and usable research results, study objectives must align with marketing goals too.
Businesses must recognize there is no single-size-fits-all approach to marketing. Each business must clearly define its goals and objectives, then tailor its plan accordingly. It also needs to pinpoint its target market and find creative ways to meet their needs and wants. Only through strategic marketing can real profits be generated and sustained over the long haul for all businesses.