In the old days, marketing used to be simpler. A person needed something and you created it and created it in such a quantity that it fulfilled the needs of everyone and you get the profit. Be it shoes, rice, clothes, food, tools, or anything that satisfied the need of a person, there were people to create it and earn profit from this creation.
However, marketing these days has changed significantly. Not only do you have to keep track of all the variables, but you also need to be on the top of the list of the direct and potential competitors you have that fulfill the same need as your products do. The method with which you plan, organize, lead, and control the market in such a way that you are the best among your competitors all while keeping your profits at a maximum and the costs at a minimum is called strategic marketing or strategic marketing management.
Strategic marketing management is not just restricted to the above-mentioned four steps. You also have to keep track of your customers needs and demands at the same time while you focus on the planning phase. Marketing is not the name of selling an already made product, it is a way with which you identify the needs of the customer and fulfill that need profitably. Basically, a carefully planned marketing in the current era where you consider all possible factors affecting you and your customers can be covered under the name of ‘strategic marketing’.
Strategic Marketing Management Process:
The process of strategic marketing management includes four basic phases:
The planning phase includes the careful inspection of the factors that are affecting and could potentially affect your customer reach and sales or become a problem with your marketing strategy.
The most basic analysis techniques used in the planning phase are SWOT analysis and PEST analysis. The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis (abbreviation: SWOT) is a strategic process used to identify the named aspects of your business where the strengths and weaknesses are restricted to the environment found within the company while threats and opportunities are analyzed from the external environment. Once these are analyzed properly, a specific target market is selected from a number of segments and it is always wise to choose a target market where your business can flourish a lot more than others.
The next step in the planning phase is the PEST analysis which analyzes Political Forces, Environment, Social Values and Cultures, and Technological advancements and issues related to the type of your business.
After the PEST analysis comes the competitor analysis where a company analyzes its competitors to find out relevant information about them and knowing how they could tackle them and improve their product so it overpowers its competitors.
Then the most important step of the marketing plan arrives; the development of the marketing mix. Marketing Mix is, to put simply, integration of the 4 P’s (Price, Product, Place, Promotion) in such a way that all of them are correlated with each other and give off the same kind of message, for example, if the price is greater, the product, place, and promotion should also be of high-quality to avoid any kind of confusion or distrust among the customers.
When the marketing mix has been developed, a quick financial analysis should be done in order to ensure that the current marketing strategy or the marketing plan will be able to be accomplished with the current budget. If there are any problems, they are handled in the next step of reviewing your strategy.
The phase after the planning one is organizing one. The organizing phase develops a strategy to accomplish the plans and goals set in the planning phase. It basically organizes current data and cross-references it with the data which the analysis provided the company with and develops the best route through which the company could gain success in the shortest possible time with the lowest of the budgets.
The leading phase, or the implementation phase, is the actual operational phase of strategic marketing where a company strives hard according to their plan to achieve their goals. This phase’s conclusion results in the outcomes of the company, and if the company slacks off in this phase, it will automatically lead to the demise and if it works hard and better than what was planned in the planning phase, it will see a lot of profit in its hands. This phase focuses more on the operational part than the strategic part, so it is of little importance in the strategic marketing, however, a strict eye should be kept on the incoming data (e.g. sales records, etc.) to find out any problems.
If any problems arise in the leading or implementing phase, strategic marketing introduces the phase of controlling where the problems are handled in either of the two ways: either change the goals or redevelop the strategy to achieve the same goals. A goal set in the planning phase may fail due to a number of reasons, and with bad strategic marketing, it is bound to fail, however, even if the marketing is right and it is still difficult to the reach the goal, the best option is to change the goal to lower it than the previously set one and strive hard to achieve this one. An alternative could be to redevelop a strategy, i.e. use the data in the planning phase and re-organize it in such a way that it changes your strategy to a better one. All of this is done in the controlling phase while the leading phase is on-going. The controlling stage changes how the leading phase will be altered.
That’s a lot of information to swallow in one goal, but it is summarized and simplified to be as simple as possible. However, if it still feels like a bit too much, you should know that strategic marketing includes making decisions about a company like choosing a target market, developing a strategy to compete with its competitors, and when the time is right to implement this strategy.