Marketing requires a huge investment in terms of money and creativity. But above all, it requires a strategy in order to make sure your company is a step ahead of the competition. And you can achieve this with a structured marketing process. Its standards simplify setting and achieving goals – in just 5 steps.
What is a strategic marketing process?
A marketing process is a kind of blueprint on which the sales promotions of a company are fundamentally based. This includes the setting of goals on the one hand, and on the other hand the design of content and structure. A marketing process can be leveraged both as a general basis for marketing as well as for concrete campaigns. This means it takes on a strategic role.
It enables the company to plan and carefully consider its sales promotions at an early stage. Without a strategic marketing process, this would hardly be possible to achieve. If you don’t have one, you are often just reacting instead of acting with foresight.
The 5 steps of a marketing process
What a successful marketing process looks like in detail always depends on the individual company. However, the development of the process frequently works according to a certain pattern that can be broken down into five essential parts, which are described in general as follows:
Step 1: Marketing analysis
Each marketing process should begin with a marketing analysis. This includes a close look at the company in terms of its portfolio. This is when you critically review your own offers and sound them out in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. This is followed by a comparison within the market and with competitors. Here is where you take a look at the future and estimate future sales potential. Based on the insights gained, the medium and long-term company goals are developed and formulated as a strategic guide.
Important: The analysis should not only cover the process of taking stock, it should also offer solution approaches when a company is experiencing sales difficulties. Potential causes could be a high price for a product or service, an outdated construction or lack of functions, as well as sales personal who are not adequately trained.
Step 2: Marketing goals
The marketing goals stem from the company goals defined. For instance, in terms of criteria that can be measured such as sales development, the number of customers or the position on the market.
Step 3: Marketing strategy
The marketing strategy must be based on the marketing goals. It focuses first and foremost on the conditions of the market. Depending on the industry, the marketing strategy can therefore be set up for the short or the long term. In any case is the competitive situation to be monitored on an ongoing basis, to allow for identifying changes early on and adapting the strategy accordingly.
Step 4: Marketing mix
Now it’s time to put the theoretical marketing process into practice. This includes the selection of the suitable marketing tools. They could, for instance, be leveraged for the price structuring, the communication or the sales. Together, they create the marketing mix with which the goals should be achieved.
Step 5: Marketing monitoring
Whether everything works as planned needs to be monitored by the company on an ongoing basis. If this control point is missing, then it is neither possible to measure successes or failures nor possible to discover points of weaknesses in the strategy and rectify these. If adjustments are required, it may be necessary to go back to Step 1 again, at least in part.
When it comes to realisation, digital means have proven to be very helpful. Project management tools, for instance, can support and coordinate the entire marketing process. In this way, responsibilities, tasks or dates can be transparent, understandable and documented. The required data, too, can be stored and shared digitally so that all the stakeholders are continually up to date.
The advantages of structured marketing
A strategic marketing process is built up in a holistic way. It enables a company to tackle its marketing with a structure, to plan it and monitor its impact. If it’s been set up solidly, the employees involved can largely handle it on their own and leverage it for various campaigns and formats. The most significant advantages of strategic marketing:
- It leads to standardised workflows and processes. This makes it easier to set goals, to plan, realise and monitor marketing measures both small and large.
- At the same time, the marketing costs sink, because the to-dos can be delegated according to a certain similar pattern at all time. And due to the clear guidelines, the efforts for communication are reduced.
- Individual tasks are not forgotten anymore, as they are integrated into a structured process.
- Various marketing measures can be harmonised better in terms of their content and form. This enables them to complement one another and are therefore more effective.