Strategic Marketing Plans: Elements & Development

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  • 0:04 Making a Strategic…
  • 0:35 Defining Objectives & Metrics
  • 1:20 Identifying Audience &…
  • 3:07 Understanding Features…
  • 3:53 Creating a Positioning…
  • 5:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lynn Doerr

Lynn has worked in various aspects of marketing for many years and has a Master's degree in Marketing Communication.

This course describes key elements for developing a strong marketing strategy: defining an objective and metrics, identifying the customer, understanding the competition, highlighting features and benefits, and developing a positioning statement.

Making a Strategic Marketing Plan

You've developed a great new product, Agent X, the best cleaning solution in the world! It's safe for people and animals, and you're excited to launch it to the market. Now you'll need a solid and strategic marketing plan so you can maximize sales. But what do we mean when we say 'strategy'? Strategy refers to the overall plan you develop to reach your objectives. Marketing plans have very consistent components that apply to many types of products, from cleaning solutions to life-saving medications.

Defining Objectives & Metrics

First, you'll want to define your overall objective. The objective is what you hope to accomplish with your marketing plan. For instance, are you introducing your product to the market and hoping to sell more than your competition? Maybe your product is already on the market but you want to reach a new audience or increase sales. Perhaps you'd like to communicate a new use for your product.

Your objective should be clearly defined as a first step in the process. Defining your objective also will help you set your measures for success. You'll need to set specific metrics, which can be qualitative, or a measurement of quality, such as brand awareness, or quantitative, or a measurement of quantity, such as total market share, market share increase, or overall sales.

Identifying Audience & Competitors

Second, you'll need to identify your audience or customer. Are you selling to men or women? Perhaps your product is for children, so you're selling to parents. Maybe it's a medication and you need to sell to physicians or nurses. Even within these broad categories, you will probably define a more specific customer.

You might want to reach women in a certain age group, such as 25 to 35 years old, or maybe women over 50 or a certain type of physician, such as a pediatrician versus a cardiologist. Defining customer profiles can take some time and research, but better understanding your customers' needs will allow you to present your product in a more favorable way to meet your sales objectives.

This isn't the only thing you need to know about your customer, though. It's also important to understand the buying process. Why, how, and where do customers buy your product? Is it something that might be sold in a grocery store or a high-end boutique? Or will you need a special sales force to explain the product? This will help you determine where to sell your product. Most products are sold in a variety of venues: online, in different types of stores (such as drug stores, grocery stores, and big box stores), catalogs, and even through social media.

Third, you'll want to understand your competition. Is your product the first in the market? The second? Or maybe the fifth? How is your product different? What needs does it fulfill that other existing products cannot? How will you compare your product to other similar products on the market?

Think about an item like soda. How does Coke differentiate its product from Pepsi? Let's go back to your product, Agent X. You know it's unique versus the competition because it's the safest cleaning product ever developed. This is something you will want to highlight versus the other cleaning products on the market.

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