Strategic planning in marketing

In the strategic business planning cycle, there comes a stage where you need to create a marketing strategy. This includes your corporate objectives, the programs you use to achieve them, the assessment criteria, and the time frame in which you will achieve these objectives. By nature, it is a managerial process that creates and maintains a viable fit between the rapidly changing market trends and corporate resources, skills, and objectives.

What is Strategic Planning in Marketing?

At its core, strategic planning in marketing aims to refine and transform the product and/or service offerings of your company. This helps a business achieve its profit and growth targets. Strategic business planning occurs at four levels in any company:

1. Corporate Level: At this level, a corporate strategic plan gets designed to be sent as a guide to the entire company, it outlines the division of resources to each division, what new businesses need to be started, and which ones need to be closed down.

2. Division Level: Every business division needs to allocate funds and resources to the business unit it is heading. Strategic business planning helps here.

3. Business Unit Level: Every business unit develops a strategic plan that helps it make profits in the future.

4. Product Level: At every brand or product level, a marketing plan needs to be created to achieve specific marketing objectives.
specific marketing objectives. Incorporating strategic planning in marketing really goes a long way. It helps you see how the competitive landscape is evolving. A strategic marketing plan gives a clear picture of the company’s current position, assisting in conducting a situation analysis. It involves thorough market research, and the data gathered at this stage helps clarify where the business stands.

If you understand the market in which your company is doing business, it will help you develop better insight into the different forces that influence your operations. This will help you improve your strategic business planning in the future. Ensuring that your marketing decisions have the right reasons driving them, strategic business planning will make your efforts effective.

The Key to Successful Strategic Business Planning

Successful strategic planning for small businesses can be ensured only through a team effort. This needs to have a contribution from your employees as well in order to bear an effective outcome. Strategic business planning also needs to be adjustable. Outlining corporate goals and objectives is essential, but so is the option to be able to change them as and when needed. For example, around 44% of small businesses that were operating without having any website decided to make one in 2021 to cater to the online market, specifically after Covid-19-related worldwide lockdowns.outcome. A sign of successful strategic planning for small businesses is that all your stakeholders, including employees, business owners, investors, and corporate executives, are on the same page regarding the corporate goals and preceding direction. They all understand what drives strength to their business and the areas they need to work harder on. This motivates them to want to contribute to the success and growth of the business.

Common Strategic Planning Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Strategic planning for small businesses is not an easy thing to do. Many small business owners neglect strategic business planning at all. Others that don’t are prone to overdoing it as they follow a textbook approach designed for larger companies. Overplanning reflects in a number of interrelated and identifiable ways:

Strategic Business Planning Example: Strategic Goals and Themes

While tactics, strategies, and objectives make up the key components of any strategic business planning example, they are not the only items. Several plans include more levels in the hierarchy, being more robust in nature. Typically referred to as strategic goals and themes, these goals take precedence over corporate objectives. A fully developed strategic business plan appears like the strategic business planning example below:

1. Trying to Perfect Everything:

In a bid to get everything right, you spend a lot of time trying to get the perfect strategic plan. However, there is no such thing as the perfect plan. A large company can hire experts to write a strategic plan for them, but small businesses don’t generally do that. Instead of trying to perfect everything, you should focus on getting it done right.

2. Making a Document to Market:

A strategic plan for a small business needs substance in it. Using technical jargon or fancy language won’t help if the substance doesn’t exist. While your plan will go to shareholders, that doesn’t mean it’s an attempt to impress them.

3. Doing Long Term Strategic Business Planning:

would match that timeline. However, for a small business, that big a timeline becomes impractical. They don’t have the information they need, for starters, to look that far ahead. Frequent adjustments will have to be made by small business owners when things need to be changed. So, a small business owner would be better off making a strategic business plan for a 6-month period. That would make it more manageable and realistic.

To sum it up, you can do everything you can to get the strategic business planning process right as a small business owner. There are still some common mistakes, such as following a process meant for a large company or avoiding the planning altogether.

It isn’t sufficient to just make the plan without knowing its purpose. When you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”, the answer will give you a direction to follow. Once you know where to go, you need to figure out how to get there. Then there is a crucial role that people in your company play in the strategic business planning process.