8 Steps to Start Strategic Marketing Planning for 2023
You usually don’t get impressive results from simply engaging in marketing activities. To see real results from your marketing efforts, you need to be led by strategic marketing planning.
Let’s look at what strategic marketing planning is, why it’s essential for growing businesses, and how you can take eight steps to create a strategic marketing plan of your own.
What Is Strategic Marketing Planning?
Strategic marketing planning is the process of analyzing your business, market, and customers and identifying the best ways to reach your goals. Strategic planning takes time to research, assess, and plan. Through the process, you lay out a marketing plan in a document that can be easily referenced and used to guide all involved stakeholders.
Strategic marketing planning typically happens once or twice a year. We recommend always ending your year with a planning session that allows you to get ready for the upcoming year.
How to Start Strategic Marketing Planning
As we approach the end of year, here are the steps you can take to start strategic marketing planning so you can get more out of 2023.
#1) Review Where You’ve Been
Before you make new plans, review your old plans. Reflect on past marketing goals and results and ask questions to review your progress.
- Did you reach previous goals? If not, why?
- What tactics did you try? What worked well? What didn’t work?
- Did you have all of the resources you needed? What might you need to produce better results?
#2) Set New Goals
Goals change as your business grows and evolves. Take time each year (or even more frequently) to reflect on changes and set new objectives. A key element of strategic marketing planning is knowing what you want to accomplish. Set one or two primary goals and a few secondary goals. Goals might be to:
- Launch new products
- Open new locations
- Increase sales
- Increase customer frequency
- Grow your brand visibility
- Improve customer experience
When you outline your new goals, don’t operate in a marketing vacuum. Bring together key stakeholders and department leads to discuss and set goals together so your whole organization is on the same page.
#3) Conduct an Audit
With your new set of goals, take time to assess your current marketing situation. Audit the marketing elements and assets you have to see if you need to update or add new items to your marketing arsenal.
- Marketing Assets: Do you have all essential digital and print marketing materials (such as brochures, web pages, business cards, signage, etc.)?
- Marketing Channels: Do you have profiles and accounts on all relevant marketing channels? Are you on channels you should delete or update?
- Customer Data: Do you have the right system for collecting customer data? If not, is it time to set up a customer data platform? If yes, is your data accurate and up-to-date?
- Partners & Team: Who is available to help with your marketing needs? Do you need to add people to your roster?
- Value Propositions: Are your value propositions and key differentiators still accurate and relevant?
- Buyer Personas: Are your buyer personas aligned with your current business goals and value propositions?
- Offerings: Which products and services are your primary focus this year? Are you adding new products or services?
- Pricing: Is your pricing strategy set in stone? Do you need to make adjustments?
#4) Conduct Market Research
Strategic marketing planning requires you to know what others in your industry are doing with their marketing too. Take time to research your industry and market.
- Who are your competitors? What are they doing well? What are they not doing well?
- What trends in your industry might impact your business?
- If you have a physical location, what trends in your area might impact your business?
- What are the average costs and benchmarks for marketing tactics in your industry (e.g., average cost-per-click, average open rate for emails, etc.).
#5) Assign KPIs to Goals
Once you have an idea about what you need to do to be competitive in your market, it’s time to go back to your goals and make them more clear. Add key performance indicators (KPIs) to all of your goals.
KPIs assign values to your goals so it will be possible to measure your performance. For more tips on KPIs, check out our guide The 7 Essential Marketing KPIs Every Brand Needs to Know and Monitor.
#6) Set a Budget
When you have clear goals in front of you, it will be easier to know how much money you need to reach those objectives. Use your marketing research (that shows how much others in your industry are spending) and goals, and consider what budget you will need to reach assigned KPIs.
Think about the investment you will need to create or purchase needed marketing assets, outspend competitors, and reach new growth goals. (Tip: If you want to grow your business, then your budget will need to grow too.)
#7) Choose Marketing Strategies & Set a Marketing Schedule
Now it’s time to start outlining your marketing plans. Choose the marketing strategies you believe will help you reach your goals, and begin to lay them out on a calendar.
Set dates for marketing campaigns, include campaigns that have produced good results in the past, and also set up campaigns to try and test. Use a calendar to both schedule launch dates as well as schedule the weeks leading up to each campaign. Include details on needed resources and deadlines so you are ready for each new campaign launch.
#8) Develop a Plan to Measure Your Success
You can’t create a strategic marketing plan if you don’t include plans to reflect on the steps you take.
As you create a new marketing plan, remember that you will need to be able to look back and assess your efforts. Set dates and deadlines to check in and review your work. Share data with key stakeholders, and set up data systems that make it possible for you to regularly check in and measure your success.
Do You Need Help Building Your Marketing Strategy for 2023?
The key to getting more out of your marketing is having a plan.
Taking time for strategic marketing planning is essential if you want to develop a path toward more growth. Follow these eight steps to create a strategic marketing plan for 2023. And, if you need help with laying out your plan, MyArea Network is here to help.
Our team specializes in working with hospitality and regional brands looking to reach more local customers. Talk to us about how we can support your strategic marketing plan and help you reach your goals for 2023. Request your free consultation with our team today.