1. Decide on your overall business priorities.
Marketing strategy planning is dictated by your organization’s top goals. A small business marketing consultant begins by asking what his or her client wants to achieve. Similarly, as a small business captain, you must first set the direction that your crew should sail. Your goals should be realistic and measurable.
2. Set specific marketing goals.
Once you’ve determined your chief priorities for the year, you can outline specific marketing goals to help you meet those larger targets. Again, your marketing goals should be quantifiable; for instance, you might track marketing investment vs. marketing returns (ROI). In general, a marketingteam should be held responsible for the top line sales figures, not overall profit. (Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t cut your marketing department’s budget if they’re not bringing in a good ROI.)
3. Define how your goals will be achieved.
This step requires marketing expertise and strong imaginations. Depending on the size of your firm, the entire company may be pulled out for a yearly retreat to brainstorm strategic marketing techniques. Or you may leave this task up to your marketing department; the bottom line is that you must have a clear plan of attack for how your marketing aspirations can be attained.
4. Establish a specific marketing budget.
Once you’ve established the “big picture” questions of what you want to achieve, how your marketing department can contribute, and how you’ll meet your marketing goals, it’s time to drill down to specifics. Outlining a detailed marketing budget is a first step.
5. Set timelines and assign responsibilities.
In addition to establishing a budget, you’ll need to assign responsibilities and set timelines for your strategic marketing goals.