10 Steps to Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan
Steps to Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan for your company
A business does not become an overnight success based only on a good idea. In order for any business to generate a sustainable income over time, a strategic marketing plan must be established to implement your idea into the market and execute it in an appealing way that attracts clients. The success of your business depends on the strategies employed within your marketing plan.
A strategic marketing strategy is one that is scalable and grows with your company’s needs, being rigid enough to create structure yet flexible enough to stay relevant in the constantly changing business environment.
Here are the first 8 steps to develop a strategic marketing plan for any new project or business venture:
1. Establish long-term business goals
Before you create a marketing plan, you must have a purpose for it. This purpose is based on the long-term goals that guide all of your efforts. Once these long-term goals are established, break them down into specific objectives. Your objectives should be measurable over a period of time. For example, your goal may be to establish a social media marketing strategy. Meanwhile, an objective related to this goal could be to gain 100 followers on social media during the first month on the platform.
2. Conduct a thorough SWOT analysis of your company
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. Once you have an overview of how your company ranks for each of these factors, you will have a clear understanding of the situations or potential situations your company will face and how you overcome challenges even if they fall outside of your control. If you haven’t started trading operations yet, your strengths can be what makes you stand out from your competitors or what you will do exceptionally well. This can be highly qualified staff members too. Your weaknesses are all areas that have room for improvement internally within the company. Opportunities are external factors such as changes in technology, potential new products or services. Threats could be a change in the economy, new or potential competitors or other external factors that could affect the business in a negative way.
3. Write a mission statement & skeleton website content
Your mission statement should encompass what your business is all about, including your values, morals and any info that will target the type of audience you wish to attract. More preliminary content should also be written, addressing your potential clients and a brief description of your basic products and services. A few versions should be written and decided on by all members of your team and then proofread by a native speaker in whatever language your website will be in.
Your business now has a written set of values! Use these to guide you and ensure anyone who interacts with your company know about them! This is how you create a brand rather than just a business and this will make or break your clients’ trust overall.
4. Create a strict budget
Setting a budget for how much you’re willing to spend on marketing your company will show what you can and can’t afford from the beginning of the project. We would recommend selecting the most cost-effective options for maximum ROI from your marketing plan and strategy. By setting a maximum spending limit ensures that your profits aren’t eaten into. Pay-per-click options on all social media platforms are a really effective and easy way to ensure you don’t spend too much, and you can start receiving traffic to your website with as little as €5 EUR. (Of course, to see noticeable results, a sizable and realistic budget should be set. For start-ups it is recommended to use 12 – 19% of their gross or projected revenue over time).
5. Set a timeline with realistic key milestones
Your time is precious, especially when it comes to your marketing strategies. Based on the goals and objectives you’ve set for your business. Create a timeline that will determine what will be completed and when. Remember to allow extra time for unexpected events that may delay some of your goals.
The Eltoma Group are partners with a number of software products that are designed for time management. Read more about SPS here.
6. Assign clear roles to everyone in the team
Once you’ve set a clear timeline for the goals and actions and distribution of your marketing materials, assign these tasks to members of your staff. If your business is small and doesn’t have the staff required to carry out your plan; you may need to consider hiring a marketing agency or individual responsible for implementing the marketing plan effectively. Ultimately, your team’s expertise and size will determine who you select, however be transparent in your approach.
7. Establish how you will measure & track your efforts
Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing strategies will maintain maximum ROI on your current and future marketing efforts. Your website traffic, other data and social media channels are all great sources of information. Track your website traffic and rankings with the following free resources:
For how to understand more complex website data such as bounce rates and referral traffic, contact us. We have a team of specialists who can help you decipher the more intricate figures from your website.
8. A strategic marketing plan is always relevant
Your marketing objectives and business requirements will of course change over time. Preferably, your marketing plan should be revisited on an annual basis, making any suitable adjustments and written with growth in mind (ideally all companies want to expand eventually). Stay relevant by following the latest industry trends and any news to continually have the option to update your strategies in order to keep business goals focused and save your business valuable time and money.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you develop your Strategic Marketing Plan!