What Is the Strategic Marketing Process?



November 8, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

Image of chalkboard with drawn illustrations of a question mark, gears, light bulb, target, and rocket. Concept for using the strategic marketing process.

As marketers, we know the challenges of creating an effective marketing plan to position products and services in front of the right audience. By following a strategic marketing process, you can overcome many of the challenges that can get in the way of launching a successful campaign. From planning to integration and even adjustment, the strategic marketing process provides the framework your business needs to craft a winning strategy. Today, we’re diving into this strategic process and how you can use it to plan, launch, and improve the success of your brand’s marketing campaigns with topics like:

What Is the Strategic Marketing Process?

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The strategic marketing process is a series of phases that your team can follow to improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Even the most well-known companies and brands use this process to streamline their marketing efforts. You should always strive for your content to be more intentional, timely, memorable, and relevant. But in the complex world of advertising, knowing where to start can be challenging. This is where the strategic process comes in. By following through with each phase of this process, you can boost the effectiveness of the tactics you use in your marketing plan.

Following this process can help you secure your market share and keep a competitive edge over your business rivals. No matter the content you provide, ensure your target audience can access the information they need when they need it. Customer satisfaction is the bedrock of any well-thought-out strategic marketing process. Meeting your audience’s needs can drive growth, increase the bottom line, and help your business become a leader in your industry. After all, who wouldn’t want their brand to become a household name?

Read more: 22 Types of Marketing Strategies for B2B Companies

Benefits of the Strategic Marketing Process

As a content provider, the strategic marketing process is your main playbook—a helpful guide detailing what you need to succeed. While no business approach is perfect, it can improve the outcome of your market strategy. Here are several reasons you should take full advantage of the strategic marketing process:

Better Assess the Current Market

Using the strategic marketing process shows you where your business stands in the current market. This information provides three major benefits: First, the data you collect through market research encourages a more efficient usage of valuable resources like money and skilled labor. Second, you can assess how your industry is changing and then adapt accordingly. Third, you need this data to flesh out your strategic marketing activities, ensuring you make marketing decisions that produce the best results.

Improve Coordination and Communication

There are many players involved in a successful strategic marketing process. From stakeholders to senior managers to employees, everyone has a vital role to play. The strategic process encourages a shared understanding of goals and plans and can help teams improve coordination and communication throughout the company. Your team can meet their deadlines once they understand their assigned duties and responsibilities. Management knows what critical decisions to make, employees can work toward a common goal, and clients and stakeholders are more informed about their investments.

Make It Easier to Define Goals

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As you develop your strategic marketing process, it can be easier to identify your marketing goals. The best way to define your objectives is by setting SMART goals. Creating meaningful SMART goals requires serious consideration. What’s the action you need to take? How will you measure the results? Is the goal even achievable? Does it make sense within the overall process? What’s your deadline? Once you’ve answered these questions and crafted your SMART goals, your marketing strategy is more likely to succeed.

Reaching your marketing goals is essential, no matter how big or small they are. Identify aspects of your business that make you stand out. What’s your unique selling point? How can you capitalize on your differences? Weave these answers into your marketing goals to ensure you’re better equipped to achieve them. You want your audience to view your business or brand as the “go-to” option for solving their problems, so your marketing goals should always help them make that connection.

Determine What Actions to Take

Once you’ve set your marketing goals, you can figure out what actions to take to complete them. While these actions will vary widely depending on your specific goals, it’s usually best to take a planned approach. This means moving from one step to the next until you’ve achieved results. An action plan as part of your strategy will help you adapt to an ever-changing market, ensuring you keep up with and beat the competition.

Increase Market Share

For a business to thrive, its profit gains must surpass its operating costs. This is easier said than done, but adopting the strategic marketing process can help get there. Not to mention, attracting more customers supports business growth. You can use your earnings to improve marketing approaches, invest in tools, and launch new initiatives. The marketing process bridges the gap between production and resource usage. If your advertising costs outweigh your profits, your marketing tactics may need adjustments to ensure they’re financially viable.

Gain Better Insights

A growing business requires additional insight to succeed. With the strategic marketing process guiding you every step of the way, many critical details can become more obvious. You can use the information you gather to answer questions about strengths and weaknesses, potential opportunities to capitalize on, and any problems teams need to solve.

Read more: Which Businesses Benefit the Most From Content Marketing?

How Does the Strategic Marketing Process Work?

A marketing strategy is your best tool for engaging customers, driving traffic, improving your SERP rankings, fixing unexpected marketing problems, and maximizing profits. But before you can take advantage of these benefits, it’s important to understand each step of the strategic marketing process:

1. The Planning Phase

In the planning phase, you design the marketing strategy from start to finish, making it the most crucial step. Define every aspect of your processes, such as the business purpose, customer needs, goals, and actionable methods for achieving them. While the exact details of this step vary based on your business, the foundation of a sound marketing plan and strategy remains the same. With a system to help guide your efforts, it can be easier to make significant long-term progress.

Don’t feel you have to rush through this phase—take your time. Even creating a simple content plan can help you better understand where your business operates, what it does, and who it targets. There’s one other important aspect of the planning phase you should consider:

The Marketing Program

Any strategic process must have a marketing program. Also called the marketing mix, the approach represents the five Ps of planning: product, price, place, promotion, and people. This mix defines your strategy by bringing equal focus to the five Ps and the marketing budget teams need for each part:

  • Product: This refers to functionality, appearance, potential warranties, quality, and packaging. Your target audience should be able to determine the product’s features, advantages, disadvantages, and benefits.
  • Price: The price is the selling price, payment options, discounts, price matching, and credit terms. Your company’s business within the current market may influence your pricing strategy and how it affects your customers.
  • Place: This refers to logistics, distribution channels, location (physical or digital), market coverage, and service levels. The chosen location should reflect your target audience’s preferences, whether you provide content through an e-commerce site or social media platform.
  • Promotion: Promotion is how you enter the market, focusing on essential elements like advertising, public relations, media leveraging, messaging, and sponsorships. If you want your business to achieve greater recognition within the industry, then suitable promotional campaigns are necessary.
  • People: This refers to the employees who work for your business, such as staff, salespeople, contractors, and anyone else who contributes to customer service. How your audience perceives your employees is also important for fostering a positive business image.

Read more: Guide to Online Marketing: Types of Online Marketing and Examples

2. The Analysis Phase

During the analysis phase, you identify where your business gets the most engagement, what the industry looks like, what your market share is, and what current trends are going down. You should use this data to inform your objectives and help you follow through on realistic goals.

One way to achieve this is by separating your target audience into different groups, allowing you to pinpoint which marketing technique works best for each demographic. From there, it’s a matter of getting your product into the right hands. Review each group’s response to your marketing strategy and adjust how you market your product to them.

A SWOT analysis is also an excellent approach when reviewing metrics. It reveals key details about your business’s strengths, weaknesses, competitors, opportunities, and current market position. This in-depth analysis of your competitors can show you how you can surpass them while also identifying threats you may need to handle along the way. Conduct research on current and prospective customers to better appeal to their interests.

Various data can help you tailor your content to meet your audience’s expectations, like customer testimonials and surveys. Leverage this invaluable information to build buyer personas. These personas can help your team predict the wants and needs of your target market. Once you have these results, you can generate the basic layout of your marketing strategy.

This stage of the strategic marketing process can be simple. CopyPress can help you focus your content marketing resources with a free content marketing analysis. You’ll see where your content is lacking compared to your competitors and how you can improve it. Plus, this data provides valuable insights into the topics your audience wants to see, along with the keywords they’re using to search for them. Using this insight, your team can plan a content marketing strategy that supports business goals and gets results.

3. The Development Phase

The development stage is where your strategy takes form. With a keen understanding of your industry and a data-driven marketing plan, you can start developing it concretely.

Following the marketing mix, you should have already defined what product you’re selling, how much it’ll cost, where you’ll sell it from, how you’ll promote it, and who you’re selling it to. The more in-depth the development phase, the easier it’ll be for you to make more informed business decisions and overcome any obstacles.

4. The Implementation Phase

After fully developing the strategic marketing process, you’re ready to launch your product or content. While external factors can sometimes influence this phase—like disruptions to the campaign or even market changes—try to follow your strategy and market research as closely as possible. You can adjust your strategy as you go along when necessary. In an ideal scenario, your marketing efforts will engage with the audience and bring in enough sales to produce a positive return on investment (ROI). Sophisticated marketing tactics can be costly, so ensuring that your marketing strategy succeeds is central to the financial health of your business.

5. The Evaluation Phase

The evaluation phase is the last step in the strategic marketing process. You review the results of your marketing strategy to see if you achieved your goals and milestones. If you uncover any roadblocks that kept your team from achieving those goals, this phase is when you plan for improvements. However, not all challenges are bad, and you can often stand to benefit from the positive ones.

For example, you might discover during the marketing process that your product performs better within one demographic than another. You can exploit this little roadblock to expand your marketing efforts toward that specific audience.

Read more: How To Create a Content Plan [With Free Templates]

Common Problems in the Strategic Marketing Process

In strategic marketing, sometimes problems can arise and disrupt your process. Realistically, no “foolproof” solution guarantees total immunity from encountering issues. What matters is that you’re aware of these problems so you can plan for improvements to address them on time. Planning, quick thinking, and problem-solving are keys to overcoming even the most critical business challenges. With that in mind, here are some common strategic marketing issues you should prepare for:

Organizational Problems

Issues can arise throughout all levels of an organization, from poor leadership decisions to a lack of resources to follow the strategic marketing process. Simply assuming your customers’ needs without confirming them can cause significant setbacks and lead to neglecting their needs and preferences. When there are disruptions in your approach, the resources you put toward those marketing efforts can go to waste. To avoid organizational issues, be sure all involved team members are updated on each phase of the process.

Marketing Department Problems

In many organizations, the marketing department often handles the strategic marketing process. However, it’s common for this department to encounter problems of its own, such as an inability to keep up with current trends or performance assessment roadblocks. There are also information management, departmental, technological, and human relations issues that the marketing department can sometimes face. This situation makes it more difficult for them to accomplish their time-sensitive goals. To overcome this challenge, encourage collaborative effort between the marketing department and other involved teams.

General Problems

Even with the most streamlined backup plan, general strategic marketing problems can come up at no fault of your own. Sometimes you have an unresponsive audience, which makes gathering critical marketing feedback a challenge.

Financing your marketing initiatives can also be very costly, especially over an extended period. The costs can quickly increase, from paid ads on social media to direct mail campaigns. Depending on the scale of your business, you might sink more money into the marketing strategy than you earn back in profits. The key to beating these challenges is to assess your plan regularly and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Tips for Using the Strategic Marketing Process

As you navigate the strategic marketing process, remember that there are many types of marketing strategies for you to consider. Some are more suitable than others, depending on the needs of your business. Whatever you decide, here are some tips to follow:

  • Plan ahead: Analyze current trends, buyer behaviors, and competitors to inform your planning. The more you plan your marketing implementation strategy, the easier it will be for you to tackle unforeseen setbacks.
  • Focus on your audience: Your customers should be at the forefront of your mind when using the strategic marketing process. From product development to the entire customer journey, account for their wants and needs throughout every initiative.
  • Pay attention to every aspect: It’s easy to focus solely on the bottom line, as that is where the money comes in. However, if you genuinely want to run a successful strategic marketing campaign, you must focus on every part of the process.
  • Balance distribution and messaging: While finding the best distribution channel for your marketing efforts and content is essential, the messaging of that content is just as important. Creating a content distribution plan ensures that your content is authentic, relevant, user-tested, and distinctive from competitors.
  • Remain flexible: Always remain flexible. Without warning, problems or changes can interfere with your marketing efforts (i.e., shifting market conditions or a new market competitor). You must remain diligent and willing to adapt to even the most unexpected circumstances.
  • Get feedback: Even for a well-crafted marketing strategy, you must gather feedback from internal teams, like managers and employees. These individuals can provide insight and identify problems you may have missed during the process.

Team Up with CopyPress to Create Your Content Strategy

Are you planning your content marketing strategy for the upcoming year? CopyPress has the tools and expertise your business needs to develop a winning content plan for your marketing campaign. Using in-depth analysis, we help you identify content gaps—or the topics your competitors are ranking for that your business isn’t. Using these insights, we work with your team to create a plan that gets the results you want. Schedule a strategy call and find out how to improve your content marketing.

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