Businesses need to be strategic! There are too many businesses that have failed to recognize the value of being strategic in their thinking and planning and have limited themselves to less than optimum results. Today, I want to present some thoughts about strategic marketing plans. I continue to be amazed at how many businesses have no marketing plan at all, let alone a strategic marketing plan. The truth is that the only marketing plan some businesses have is one on "the seat of their pants."
Over the many years of working with business owners, their management teams and employees, there have been many opportunities to experience and capture the "lessons learned" from heir endeavors. In this article I want to share some of the "lessons learned" from strategic marketing. Here are ten (10) lessons learned from your strategic thinking business coach.
1. BE STRATEGIC! Engage in strategic thinking and planning when developing your strategic marketing plan. Make sure your plan is based on the right actions and programs to met your specific goals and achieve your vision and mission.
2. Know your customer / client. Create a list of your most desired clients / customers that is based on a profile of what you consider your ideal client / customer.
3. Know your competition. Competitor research, if done strategically, may have provided insight as to how you can work with competitors by partnering and cross marketing by sending business to one another.
4. Develop a market position based upon identified opportunities. Clearly define the market position and focus on providing different benefits than your competition.
5. Develop a positioning statement for your business. This can be used as a tag line that will help build brand loyalty and communicate benefits and features that your target market can relate to. One example would be: Glenn Ebersole, "Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach" or another example would be: The Renaissance Group (TM), "A Strategic Thinking Consultancy"
6. Create and live by a strong code of ethics and company core values. Demonstrate in all that you do each day in your business that these core values and ethics are how you conduct your business.
7. Commit to a continuous improvement philosophy in your marketing efforts. And commit to finding the "lessons learned" in the mistakes and failures and then taking action in the future based upon the "lessons learned."
8. Commit to a "continuous marketing" mentality. Your marketing efforts need to be continuous and not a "one shot deal" or a "occasional" activity. It is al "all the time" activity.
9. Create an evaluation process for your strategic marketing plan. Commit to monitoring your plan and to review your plan to measure the results.
10. Develop an effective customer contact management system with a goal of achieving Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA) with your clients, prospects and stakeholders.