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Winning the Game Your Strategic Marketing Plan

Winning the Game: Your Strategic Marketing Plan   by Merle

If you want your small business to compete with the "big boys"
you should have a "strategic marketing plan." A strategic
marketing plan basically spells out how you will use your
available resources to meet your company's stated goals
and objectives. (You do have goals right? If not that's a topic
for another article.) Here's what you need:

1) State your Objectives:

Companies usually set objectives in terms of desired profit,
total sales, or market share. Profit tends to be the most popular
company focus. Market share refers to how much of the market
you snag compared to your competitors. Other objectives can
be your total sales, number of loyal customers, or customer
satisfaction. Company objectives always provide a time frame
and are verifiable which is why objectives are usually stated
in percentages and dollar signs.

2) Situation Analysis:

Looks at the current business environment and can be
elaborate or very simple. The components examined are
competition, the size of the market, types of customers,
channels of distribution, and economic conditions. By
taking an overview of the whole picture and stating
your strengths and weaknesses, you'll have
a clearer understanding of how well your company will

3) Target Market:

Who are your customers? Your company can't sell to everyone,
so you need to decide what part of the market segment you're
going to serve. A thorough understanding of who your
customers are and how to find them are imperative to your
company's success. Look at demographics such as how much
money they make, where they live, how much
education they have, etc.

4) Positioning:

The picture created in your customer's eyes about your
company's products/services. When you think of positioning,
think of "image." Positioning is very important in today's
competitive world. Corporate marketing teams will often
use positioning strategies when trying to target different
target markets.

5) Marketing Mix:

The final step is to develop plans for each aspect of
the marketing mix and integrate them into your
company's overall strategy. So, what's in the marketing
mix you ask? They consist of the "Four P's":


You must use all four elements of the mix in your strategy
plan and devise a plan is needed for each. When you're
developing plans for each element, ask
yourself the following types of questions.

A) Product/ What new products can we introduce?
What type of service do our customers expect?
What should our return policy be?

B) Place/ What types of places should carry our
products? How will we get our products to our
customers? How will we handle complaints?

C) Promotion/ What am I trying to accomplish through
my promotion objectives? Branding? More sales? something
else? What types of media should we use to advertise
radio, TV, print, ect.

D) Price/ How will my product/service be priced in
comparison to my competitors? Can I make a profit
at this price level?

By keeping all of the above in mind you'll design
a strategic marketing plan that allows you to win
the game and compete with your competitors.

Running a business, just like a game, relies on
good strategy........It's your move....

About Author Merle :

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