Your 2021 marketing strategic plan is more than a static document, an internal memo, or a spreadsheet.

Your 2021 marketing strategic plan is an action that gives structure and direction to your company’s marketing activities throughout the specified time period. Your strategic plan in marketing consists of more than just marketing campaigns and budgets. Your strategic marketing planning process must be agile enough to meet the market dynamics in your industry.

So you’ve been asked to create a strategic marketing plan but don’t where to start. Start with what you want to accomplish. This is your goals, objectives, how many leads do you need, what is the marketing funnel conversion rate? What are your sales pipeline conversion rates?

Do you want to see results like this?

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A strategic marketing planner can help you with your strategic marketing plan.

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This post will help you on how to write a strategic marketing plan and strategic marketing plan process.

Your strategic marketing plan is critical for any marketing effort. Do you know what is wasted every year due to poor planning? Maybe you are going through your company business budgeting and you are digging into marketing figures that make no sense.

Or you’ve been asked to justify all your marketing efforts for the past year? And further you’ve been asked to do it in the next board meeting. Ready?

Guess what, you are not alone. It amazes me how many marketing teams have no way of telling if what they spent on marketing move the needle for sales revenue.

You must know how to write a strategic marketing plan that will produce the results to support your sales forecast and marketing goals.

In 2020, it was the year of mobile and website speed. In 2021, bounce rate is the rage. Sure you want people to read you content, sign-up, buy and tell everyone. But be careful of chasing vanity metrics.

What is a strategic marketing plan?

Strategic Marketing Planning is the process of creating a plan that facilitates a common understanding among all stakeholders in an organization.

The marketing plan informs management decisions, the behavior of the employees towards institutional goals, and also the response among current and potential clients.

Marketing strategy plans are the north star for the marketing organization. The marketing department creates a plan for a marketing strategy.

Planning a marketing strategy involves both hard numbers and creativity to make it all work. Some companies have a marketing strategy planner to help generate marketing strategic plans.

Your marketing strategy plan is a schedule that helps you keep your day-to-day management of all marketing projects on track. It helps you plan, execute, and manage the marketing projects that must be executed immediately, and, by providing a view toward the future.

It helps you anticipate and plan for marketing activities just over the horizon. So you can take an important early step necessary to ensure the smooth execution of future marketing activities.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Antoine de Saint Click To Tweet

By helping you to determine which of your companies paid ad goes into Facebook ads and Google ads, which email list must be developed and dropped to support an upcoming sales promotion.

And two months from now, and what trade shows must be planned for six months in advance. Your marketing plan gives you a clear view of all marketing activities both near and further down the road.

Your marketing strategic plan is more than a static document, an internal memo, or a spreadsheet. Click To Tweet

Your strategies of a marketing plan help you stay organized and on track. You want to be able to have time for ad hoc programs and eliminate last-minute fire drill. Still need help with writing a marketing plan check out this Denver, digital marketing agency.

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Every marketing plan should contain the following key components:

  • The schedule of marketing projects, by activity, of the company’s marketing program, for a time period
  • A description of the marketing tools and marketing media. The marketing mix that will be used to execute these marketing programs
  • The marketing budget of this program, detailed by each activity in the marketing plan

Developing Your Company’s Marketing Strategic Plan

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To the chief marketing officer, planning is a means, not an end to meeting your business objectives.  Your marketing efforts are handicapped without a plan. But marketing execution that generates sales response, not planning, is your job as a marketing leader.

Planning is no substitute for marketing execution. Since it is often the best-laid plans that must be abandoned in the face of a sales downturn, a competitor’s new product launch, or other unexpected economic and business events.

The former structure of your marketing plan is relatively unimportant. Your marketing plan must be written narrative, like a business plan, or it may be as simple as a large spreadsheet which is often the most useful form.

One of Matrix Marketing Group’s goals for this quarter was to rank #1 for this keyword. You know the keyword that led you to this article. Here is its progress.

This doesn’t happen by luck. It’s hard work, experience, and application of that knowledge. You want to win you need a strategic marketing plan and a method to track progress. Do it and you will win.

marketing strategic plan
Matrix Marketing Group

Here’s another keyword. But these are not a single keyword. They are long-tail keywords. Some are buyers intend words while others are not. You can find a marketing plan sample for small business all over but use these as guides not your market plan because there are too many variables that may or may not apply. Be careful.

organic keyword search
Matrix Marketing Group

As a marketing strategic planner, your strategic marketing plan is essential to keep your brand on track.

The most important background elements that underlie the content of any marketing plan are:

  • Marketing assessment:  the thinking and evaluation that goes into your plan before it is written, and serves as the underlying rationale for your plan
  • Marketing mix: the array of marketing tools like search engine optimization, blog posts, marketing material, social media, and content marketing
  • Planning beyond your plan:  potential customers, targets of opportunity, and other unexpected events that occur outside of your plan

To develop your company’s marketing plan, you must first assess your company. You must assess your products and/or services, target markets, current marketing activities, and your competition.

Use the marketing assessment to shape your choice of the marketing activities required to meet your sales objectives. And then allow for the unexpected events and opportunities that invariably occur while you’re executing your plan.

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Preparing the Marketing Strategic Plan

The major parts of the plan are outlined in Exhibit 1.

Source: Matrix Marketing Group

This exhibit shows the nature and scope of the planning process. The review of this content is helpful before you began preparing the marketing strategic plan.

1. Executive Summary

marketing plan forecast
Source: Pixabay

The planning document should open with a short summary of the main goals and recommendations to be found in the body of the plan.

The executive summary permits top management and board of directors to grasp the major thesis of the plan. And the table of contents should follow the executive summary.

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2. Strategic Situation Summary

This portion of the plan includes the market definition, and it is an important characteristic, size estimates, and growth projections. Market segmentation identifies the segments considered for targeting by management.

The marketing situation analysis is an important step in the design of a new strategy and marketing plan. This analysis will include a SWOT analysis as well.

Situation analysis is also conducted on a regular basis after a strategy is implemented to determine necessary strategy changes. The situation assessment includes market definition and analysis, market segmentation, and competitor analysis.

This section should contain a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).

The competitor summary indicates the key competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, future actions, and the company’s competitive advantage in your target market. Supporting information for the summer he may be placed in an appendix or separate analysis.

3. Market Target Description

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The planning information includes a clear definition of each target, size and growth rate, description of end-users, positioning strategy guidelines, and other useful information. Marketing targeting priority should also be indicated by management to aid in resource allocation.

4.  Objectives for the Target Market

This part of the plan spells out what the plan is expected to accomplish during the time period. Sometimes objectives may extend beyond one year into the future.

If so, they should also be shown in the annual marketing plan. The objective should be stated for each target market.

These may be financial, market share, increasing sales, or customer satisfaction for the customer base. Where possible the objective should be quantified. The objective should also be included in each component of the marketing program.

These are usually included in the positioning strategy portion of the plan. The marketing mix objectives often indicate immediate results that move the strategy toward the target market objectives.

Objectives form a hierarchy ranging from very broad corporate objectives to the specific objectives of a salesperson.

5. Marketing Program Positioning Strategy

strategic marketing plan
Source: Pixabay

The positioning statement indicates how the company would like to be perceived in the eyes and minds of the target customers and prospects. The positioning concept may be functional, symbolic, or experiential.

Specific strategies for the product, distribution, price, and promotion are detailed in this part of the plan. Actions to be taken, responsibilities, time schedules, and other implementation information should be included.

If your conversion rates are low and your sales message is resonating with your target audience you need to do something different.

Your marketing communication architecture is critical. Especially if you are in the digital space. How are you’re working?

You want to use something like a positioning canvas (or like the one below, value proposition canvas) to guide you through the positing and messaging project.

Don’t take this lightly. It will take you about 4 – 12 weeks to complete the exercise for a simple product or organization.

positioning canvas

When more than one target market is involved, the positioning strategy discussion can be divided into two parts.

These two parts include:

  1. The marketing mix actions that apply to all targets
  2. Those marketing mix actions that are unique to a specific segment.

For example, paid advertising may be targeted to the broad market and two specific segments.

Planning and implementation responsibilities often involve more than one person or department. An executive or team should be assigned responsibility for each target market and each marketing mix component.

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Product and geographical responsibilities are also assigned to some companies. Responsibilities and coordination needs should be indicated for marketing units and other business functions.

Moreover, the planning process should indicate people from all the areas responsible for implementing the plan

Contingency plans must be included in the positioning section of the annual plan or in a separate section. The contingencies consider possible actions if the anticipated planning environment is different from what actually occurs.

The turbulent business environment makes it difficult to forecast future events. The marketing planner should evaluate how the marketing strategy will be changed if the future is different from anticipated. Actions for major contingencies should be included in the plan.

marketing plan template

6. Forecasting and Budgeting

Marketing financial planning consists of forecasting revenues and profits and estimating the expenses to carry out the marketing plan to meet the marketing goals.

The marketing executive is responsible for the market target, product, geographical area, or other units that may prepare the forecast. Comparative data on sales, profits, and expenses for prior years provides a useful length to previous results.

If the marketing strategic plans are developed for several similar organizational units such as products, budgets may be rolled up and consolidated.

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I suggest a strategic marketing budgeting model that identifies each organizational level in the company.

The quantitative amount of task performance required from subordinate resource units to achieve a specific objective. Objectives and tasks are determined that each organizational level and delegated for implementation to the level below.

The approach encourages involvement in the planning and budgeting process by the entire marketing team. Evaluation and control are aided by statements of objective and task performance.

Marketing Plan Template

For purposes of this outline, a product refers to product, service, or brand. The framework can be adapted to any industry and does not include all possible categories (there is no one size fits all). In terms of length, think quality over quantity. I have seen good one-page marketing plans as well as good 50+ page plans.

Keep in mind that it is a tool and shared across the company. It should not require so much effort that it is avoided and not implemented. Lastly, it should be agile and updated as feedback is received.

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TrackVia also saw the potential inbound marketing offered to attract visitors, convert leads, and close more deals.

7. How many leads do you need to reach your sales goals?

Your demand waterfall is a map of your buyer journey aligned with your internal sales funnel. Be sure that you understand the metrics at each stage. This will help with your lead generation objectives. This is important for strategies in marketing plans.

Wrap Up on Strategic Marketing Plan

Marketing strategy is the approach and continued efforts the marketing team will take to achieve its goals. The marketing strategy revolves around how the team is planning to hit its targets while keeping marketing priorities in mind and remaining aligned to the business objectives.

marketing plan is a strategic roadmap that businesses use to organize, execute, and track their marketing strategy over a given time period. Marketing plans can include separate marketing strategies for the various marketing teams across the company, but all of them work toward the same business goals.

A marketing plan supports the business strategy and business objectives. It must also align with company values. For example, L.L. Bean believes in selling good merchandise at a reasonable profit and treating customers like human beings. If one of the business objectives was to increase profitability by 2%, the marketing strategies put forth in the marketing plan should not recommend significant price hikes or cut back on customer support.

When planning a marketing strategy managers have control over metrics and marketing performance results. Give us your top tip for developing a strategic marketing plan.

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General FAQ’s

What is strategic marketing planning?

Strategic Marketing Planning is the process of creating a plan that facilitates a common understanding among all stakeholders in an organization. The marketing plan informs your management decisions, the behavior of the employees towards institutional goals, and also the response among current and potential clients.

What is a strategic marketing plan?

Strategic Marketing Plan is the method of designing a marketing plan that promotes a shared understanding among all stakeholders in an organization. The strategic marketing plan informs marketing management choices, the role of the employees towards institutional goals, and also the response among current and potential clients.

How do I start creating a marketing plan?

Use these steps to create a marketing plan.
Step 1: Start with an audit of your current situation.
Step 2. Do your primary and secondary research.
Step 3: Define your target audience.
Step 4: Make a list of your marketing goals.
Step 5: Research your marketing tactics.
Step 6: Set your marketing budget.
Step 7: Monitor and adjust.

What is the role of a marketing plan?

The strategic marketing plan identifies the marketing objectives and explains how marketing activities will help the organization achieve its broader goals and objectives. The marketing plan also focuses on the company’s resources on reaching target customers and driving them to act.

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