Strategic marketing planning – basics
In the search for more effectiveness and efficiency for marketing, many companies quickly look into the details. Processes are analysed, interfaces checked, etc. However, the greatest potential for more effectiveness in marketing lies in the basic work. Through strategic marketing planning, all marketing measures are consistently aligned with the strategic goals of the company. This creates the best conditions for maximum effect. This is especially true for marketing in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Strategic marketing planning in practice
But how does one arrive at such an approach? First of all, the strategic goals for the company must be clearly defined. Especially important here: concrete objectives, with which products in which markets which goals are to be achieved. These can be very different objectives. From the development of a completely new market to growth targets with a certain product to the introduction of a new service. And precisely because each target has its own characteristics, only an individually tailored strategic marketing plan can support the goals in the best possible way.
From strategy to action
If this strategic planning is done consistently, goal cascades result in many cases. These in turn are the best approach for planning the appropriate marketing activities. An example:
- The strategic goal is to increase turnover in Europe by 1 million EUR.
- Half of this is to be generated in Germany.
- 70 % of this target turnover – i.e. 350,000 EUR – is to be generated by a new product.
- This is aimed at existing customers but also at a sector that has not yet been addressed.
Marketing can and must support this goal in the best possible way. Accordingly, marketing planning should prioritise those measures that work best in the German market and with the target groups.
Have the courage to focus
You may think that this is perfectly logical and clear. It is – but in many companies we have worked with over the years, this is not the reality. Rather, the marketing plans are dominated by time-honoured and recurring measures. New activities often fall short, both in terms of budget and the attention given to them. The frequent result: marketing and service providers have been busy, but real effects for a better achievement of goals are missing.
So the real success factor is the courage to prioritise those measures that support the biggest and most important goals. With all consistency.
Other activities are put on hold or cancelled.
After all, what is the point of the trade fair in Italy, which has always been attended, if the most important targets in Germany and the USA have to be reached? What is the work on a catalogue worth if there are too few leads to send it to? Better and more effective would be in our example:
- Put budget into targeted lead generation in the new target industry in Germany.
- To develop first-class materials for the product
- To work on the new leads in close cooperation with the sales department and to “feed” them further (nothing else is lead nurturing).
In other words, it is about focusing on measures that support the sales department in the best possible way in achieving the big goal (remember: 350,000 EUR of 1,000,000 EUR turnover growth is to be achieved here).
The bottom line: plan intensively, achieve more
Our experience from numerous long-term client relationships shows: The better the link between strategic planning and marketing measures works, the higher the effectiveness. This is how marketing in SMEs works better without you needing more resources.