How to write a marketing strategy plan?
What is a marketing strategy plan?
The marketing strategy plan translates the overall business goals into marketing-related choices and actions. It focusses on what has to be done. The how is detailed in the underlying marketing plans. Often there is a considerable overlap with actions already taken within the business strategy process. Sometimes certain analyses (especially the customer and competitor analysis) are repeated in more detail to answer specific questions like:
- What are our customers actually doing with our products?
- Why is customer segment X not buying our products?
- Where do our customers prefer to buy our products?
- Why has competitor X grown so strong? What are their USPs?
The aim of marketing is not to “make advertisements” or “do promotions”, as is often thought. Increasingly many companies believe that if a company services its customers excellently, promotion itself becomes less and less needed. In that regard, American writer and Professor Peter Drucker hit the nail on the head. Understanding the customer and adopting the company’s offering towards the customer’s need should be the primary focus of any marketing department.
The primary focus of the marketing strategy plan should therefore be to determine what the overall proposition of the company should be and how to get there. A possible table of content of a marketing strategy plan can therefore be:
- Market research: An analysis of the current situation, which often means a deep dive into the analysis of work already done when the company’s strategy was written (see How to write a company strategy plan).
- Proposition: describes the desired new/adopted proposition of the company in detail. Of course, the desired changes should be made as SMART as possible.
- Marketing strategy: The overall direction needed to move from the current to the desired situation.
- Action plan: An overview of the key marketing programs, campaigns and action ncluding who is responsible for which action and when which action should be completed.
- Financial plan: Describes what resources are needed. Primarily this is a financial plan, as a financial plan also describes what human resources need to be “covered”. However, the plan should also more and more include what special skills/people are needed as especially online marketing skills are scarce at the moment.