Strategic Marketing A successful strategic marketing process must be thoroughly developed prior to implementation. A strategic marketing plan according to Vega & Rojas (2010) is “to assign and to coordinate effectively the marketing activities and resources in order to achieve the company’s goals or strategic mission” (p. 3). The strategic plan must include target goals consistent with the company’s mission statement, a plan for implementation, and a process for controlling and correcting deviations.
Target goals are met by identifying marketing segmentation, which is targeting a specific market for a particular service or line of products (Weinstein, 2004). Quality and customer satisfaction are built into the program. “Quality – the best guarantee of consumer loyalty, the strongest measure for defense and competitiveness, the only way that helps to hold the continuous economic growth and high income” (Sliziene ; Vaitkenen, 2003). Decentralizing management control will engage the employees, empowering them to take accountability and control over individual, team, and organizational goals (Daft, 2009).
Decentralization leads to a customer-driven organizational culture that provides high quality goods and services. Company Mission The mission statement guides the actions of the organization and spells out to customers its overall goal. The strategic mission determines the firm’s external focus in terms of what will be produced and marketed (Gomez-Mejia, Baklin, & Cardy, 2008). It is the decision-making guide for the employees. A company should analyze its current procedures and areas for improvement and include these in their mission statement (Daft, 2002). Planning The planning process for the marketing strategy includes many factors.
Companies should consider a market audit to give the plan direction. Any analysis should include competitors, components of risk, cost-benefit analysis, and cultural factors of the target market (Kelz & Block, 1993). Additionally the audit should be performed by an outside agency to minimize bias, maximize objectivity, and include the c marketing health, strengths and weaknesses of the company (Weinstein, 2004). Both long-term and short-term strategies should be developed. The company branding strategy must be aligned with and include, to some degree, the marketing mix of product, price, distribution and communication (Kelz & Block, 1993).
Once the desired market is identified, targets are set that are aligned with the company’s mission. The market analysis will bear out what segments of the market should be targeted. Once the segmentation target is identified then plans are developed and implemented to provide customized services and products for each unique segment (Weinstein, 2004). Through training, studies, and company experiences including the employees sharing their knowledge with the right people, the complex needs of specific markets can by tackled (Conover, 2007). Resources allocation must be outlined and presented for approval.
If the marketing program is not adequately funded it may fall short of the strategic goals and targets. In addition, managers must receive education and develop skills sets on effective decentralized control management. “While this process may take considerable time, resources and effort, a segmentation-led company builds on will-conceived research and plans differentiated strategies to strive for market dominance in specialized markets” (Weinstein, 2004 p. 156). Implementation The implementation of the marketing strategies starts with communication.
The managers of all divisions or departments must be included and educated to the marketing plan. All targets, both short term and long term, should be presented because it is the managers that develop the control systems of measuring the outcomes of production and quality and adjust employee activity as necessary. Managers are essential in articulating the plan and its relationship to the company mission to the employees. Once the specific marketing tools are identified and the target audience is set the marketing department can implement the plan. Where and to whom the company message should reach is outlined in the plan.
Whether though print media, television advertising, or social media, the message must remain consistent with the mission of the company. Both long term and short-term strategies should be rolled out by utilizing a marketing timeline set for maximum effectiveness. Controlling Marketing control refers to the systematic process of regulating organization activities to meet the expectations established in the mission, plans, and targets of the strategic plan (Sliziene ; Vaitkenen, 2003). Companies should utilize decentralized control because people work best when they are fully committed to the organization (Daft, 2009 p. 49). Accurate information is required so corrective action can by taken for any deviations from the targets, measures and outcome. Leaders must regulate the organization’s activities to ensure their plans match the set target. These targets include quality standards, which are essential for customer satisfaction and loyalty (Sliziene & Vaitkenen, 2003). The realizations of marketing control require not only control, but also auditing and monitoring the competition in marketing and evaluate management processes and their possibilities (Sliziene & Vaitkenen, 2003). Conclusion
Developing a well thought out marketing plan begins with internal and external marketing audits. Decentralizing management control will foster employee empowerment that leads to the production of quality goods and services. With an eye on the market mix, marketing strategies can identify desired market segments that will provide the highest growth for a company. Tracking success by utilizing relevant and effective measuring outcomes must be part of any marketing strategy. Companies must adjust their strategies according to the outcomes of the target-measuring finding.
Quality control measures must also be tracked and adjustments made for products and services not meeting set standards. Quality products and services lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty, ensuring repeat business and grow market share through word of mouth. Consistent and clear messaging through the media and other marketing tools provide consumers with an obvious understanding of the company’s purpose and the services and products it provides. Successful marketing is ongoing and ever changing and includes every employee in the organization.
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