The Strategic Marketing Planning Process
The Strategic Marketing Planning Process requires developing a plan or objective that specifies a targeted demographic (income over $40,000, approaching 65 years of age), identifying and acknowledging competitors that are offering similar products to your targeted demographic. The target customer group must be exposed to the core strategy, that is the value proposition which is the key reason why the product/service is different and why it should be purchased rather than the competitors offer. Therefore you must ensure concentration is on communicating the reason why your target market should purchase your products/services.
Who is my market?
First, marketers must define their specific targeted markets, since that determines the context of the marketing battle and suggest which factors will attract or repel customers. The largest targeted efforts usually occur in consumer marketing. The next critical segment is industrial marketing, which offers goods and services to selected audiences. It is also known as business-to-business marketing.
People tend to refer to markets as monolithic entities, but they are usually comprised of many different segments. Each segment of men, women, teenage girls, veterans, retirees is a distinct population which has its own needs and responds best to its own preferred method of communication. Segmentation, a part of mass marketing, is used to fine-tune campaigns.
Strategic Marketing requires that we get in the minds of our targeted customer group through product positioning whereby planning the timing and the placement of your product becomes as important as the product or service itself.
The Strategic Marketing Process
Accordingly, in developing a strategic marketing plan marketers must:
1. First identify that a problem, need, or a desire exists so they can provide a solution. For instance, the packaging of comfortable shoes for spring and summer with new colors, the latest fashions, and the influence of the right price, motivates or encourages a consumer to subconsciously realize they have a need to be satisfied by purchasing shoes.
2. Secondly, the consumer searches for other alternatives and is faced with selecting between the different styles of shoes, sandals, boots, sneakers, etc. Which of these alternatives will satisfy the need?
3. At this stage, there are several brand possibilities to choose from which possibly none or a few will or can be chosen. Consumers begin to categorize purchasing by forming options. This is called the evoked or consideration and purchase set. Now the consumer gets to compare various brands that could also satisfy the need.
4. The break down occurs when considering a choice. The choices are categorized by brand, the quality of the shoe, and price, and how the shoe makes you feel or look. At this point, the consumer is faced with evaluating his or her options in this consideration set.
5. The fifth stage is the post-purchase behavior. The consumer has formed prior expectations about how they will look or feel after they have purchased these shoes. A look in the mirror or a compliment from a friend or family member confirms the expectation of the purchase.
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