Strategic marketing is something that is often talked about but rarely implemented. It can be seen to be very clear cut and simple as a process but the challenges and choices offer huge and exciting opportunities and introduce great complexity.
Strategic marketing is the long term view of the organisation and where it wants to be seen by its customers. That is only part of the picture. Customers are central, but other stakeholders such as suppliers, funding bodies, banks and indeed competitors all want a piece of the action.
The process of strategic marketing is structured and includes clear elements of order and content. At least , when it is presented as the direction of the business. Achieving that is a much more complex process. The strategy is like the swan gliding on the lake, yet below the water working furiously against the tide.
The process of strategic marketing will be outlined to provide a clear guideline for a range of organisations. It will show the essential components from the analysis of the current situation to the strategic choices. The current trends in the environment, such as the economic situation, the development of social media all offer new challenges. The issue is to determine the difference between a trend and a fad.
There are also new ways of conducting business. No longer is a customer always a customer, they maybe a supplier, a partner and in some cases a competitor. In times of higher risk and more restricted resources collaborations and networks are popular.
The strategic choices will be to examine the opportunities and match with the resources of the organisation. Then, for the organisation to position and differentiate itself to build competitive advantage and offer value to the consumer.
Tese complexities must be explored to show how they can offer small organisations the opportunity to build a solid platform for the future and create a sustainable business.
For SMEs there are huge challenges but also great opportunities. Resources for all organisations are tight but those smaller businesses can respond more quickly and be innovative in the ways, in which it goes to market. It can test and try, work with others and collaborate. A key message is to be clear about who your customer is and where you compete. Don’t try to be everything but be the very best in your market, make your customers the happiest, offer superb value, do something special.
The strategic marketing process is a coat hanger, but it is the clothes and accessories that make it this season and next and that is the challenge and the fun.