What is Strategic Marketing?
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Strategic marketing is the ability to masterfully create an integrative process that is where everything you do advances, enhances a big outcome, a game plan that is purposely and predictably designed to out-perform, to out-impact, to out-contribute, to out-differentiate all of your competition, but it’s very integrative. Most people just throw a lot of mud on the wall. They do things that are episodic, erratic, astatic, and often with incongruity to superior priorities.
Why is Strategic Marketing Important?
Strategic marketing is marketing that is very masterfully reverse engineered from the beginning. Everything is designed to either flow together and advance and enhance and exponentially multiply each element’s effect. Each element is designed to access, impact and engage the prospective client or the buyer. The application of each element is in a masterful way that is implicit, because if it’s mine, it’s based on being preeminent.
If it’s mine, it’s based on being preemptive. If it’s mine, it’s based on being leadership-based and to add in this role if it’s mine, it has a persona to it, and it’s massively more engaging and impacting. But, it’s about really never doing anything that isn’t an integral part of a master game plan, and that master game plan is so well thought out (it’s reverse engineered). Everything you are doing is done with performance expectations that are carefully and continuously examined, measured and either modified, adjusted, improved, expanded or replaced depending on whether it conforms to your expectations or not.
What limitations do most people have in strategic marketing?
Most people never hit their goals, because they don’t have goals, they have dreams. But when we do marketing, we have expectations. Whether it’s allowable cost, whether it’s conversion, whether it’s response, we know what we’re trying to do.
Depending on how that intention conforms, confirms, or abnegates, then we adjust. If it does better, then we expand our expectation and we expand the application. If it under-performs, then we examine whether the under-performance is a non-success or whether there’s another factor.
You might, for example, run an ad or you do something online or a booth at a trade show, and your goal is to get 300 leads, and you might only get 112, but you might find that the 112 you got are three times more qualitative than the 300 you’re used to. In strategic marketing, you must have a game plan that you start with that is formulated to be preemptive, preeminent, higher differentiated and congruent throughout, and you could have many strategic marketing processes going concurrently.
Because maybe there are market segments you’re going after. But what happens now is many companies will run ads occasionally or they’ll run search occasionally, or I mean whether it’s occasional or it’s continuous, it doesn’t necessarily integrate, it’s not always congruent, or they don’t really know what they’re trying to accomplish.
It doesn’t mean that they don’t all measure it. But measuring something that you’re not really sure of its role is a pyrrhic victory. Should I give you an analogy? I used to be in the lead generating business big time. We did six million. It was another company I worked for. We did six million leads in one year.
Does strategic marketing help small companies compete with big companies? Why?
It’s sometimes the only way a small company can compete. Most of the big companies would predicate most of their decisions on what a lead costs them. They typically don’t differentiate it and say, “Well, the leads from this ad or this media or this proposition might cost….” And then, they might cost twice as much, but they might convert better than other leads. Leads from this ad might only cost you five dollars, but they might convert at such a pathetic level. Certainly, it might convert lower, but the kind of buyer they generated might have bought ten times more over a lifetime.
What type of thinking is required in strategic marketing & planning?
Strategic marketing is the ability to integrate all those kind of factors in your thinking and reverse engineer a very comprehensive understanding of how all that interrelates and be able to know what you’re trying to accomplish from the beginning; to be able to continuously and masterfully monitor how well you are achieving your respective objectives and goals.
Be able, in advance and on the fly, because you have the dynamics to adjust, expand, replace, and also to constantly uncover your hidden meaning in correlations, implications and capitalize continuously on all you continually discover good or bad. And, I’ll comment on that event, because that’s really going to be the key to your advantage and it’s really always having everything be integrated. It’s, it’s as if you said I was going to build a house, and I want to have a room here, a room there, and I don’t really care about having plumbing or bathrooms or a kitchen, I just want a couple of really cool rooms. But if you just want a place to shelter you from the elements, you at least want to put a heater and air conditioner in, I guess that’s okay. But it’s not really very smart.
Do you need specific data about a company, the market, services & customers, before conducting a strategic marketing plan?
Absolutely. I look at all kinds of things. I’m not big data-based, but I look at their buyer base, what the buyers buy, correlations they don’t look at, average sale, average frequency of sale, where they come from (meaning sources), marketing, selling, products. I look at media, how media performs, how many ways the media could be made to perform better. I look at how the competitors are doing things. I look at allowable cost. I look at how one product or one lead-generating activity source or process affects everything else. I look at what it would look like if you had a different front end or back end, meaning an easier way to start a relationship and a more lucrative way to continue the relationship. I look at the lifetime value. I look at compensation and whether compensation is in alignment with performance. I look at allowable cost. I look at how to move cost from fixed to variable. I mean, I can go on and on, but is that a good start?
What’s the difference between a prescriptive or custom-strategic marketing plan vs a general marketing plan?
The first thing I try to do is figure out what we’re trying to accomplish for the business. What’s the meaning of our business like? Do we even know? Do we need to establish it, or do we need to expand it, adjust it, replace it, or articulate it better? Then I ask how we’re going to achieve it better with the resources we’ve already got in play, people, money, media, messaging, or vehicles. It’s different for different businesses.
Many years ago, I ran Entrepreneur Magazine, the marketing, not the business. And they had two distinctly different goals. They had a business that was broken into two parts. One part was a member-based organization that created specialty research reports, but it didn’t make any money. It needed to keep generating members because membership would expire and not renew, and we had to keep working on better renewal, adding more members cost effectively because it wasn’t an exciting proposition in the beginning.
But then we took the research we did, and we had another side that just sold research reports, and they made a lot of money, but they could only make money if we kept creating research reports, and research reports cost us a $1000 or $100,000 a month, and, when we sold a $1,000,000 a month of them on the other side it was great, but if we didn’t have the offset of the membership organization to break even on the creation, it would have been a far less profitable business, so I had to keep both sides going with different agendas if that makes sense.
Is there a typical anatomy of a strategic marketing plan?
I am greatly troubled by any expert or purported expert who purports that one size fits all, because I don’t believe that. I believe every scenario is different but that there are generalities. I mean, I stand for everything. If you study my work, I have Three Ways to Grow a Business; three advanced ways to grow a business that are immutable. The Power Parthenon, Preeminence, and The Twenty Marketing Mistakes and Multipliers. Then there are the X-Factors, which are exponential growth, and the Twenty-one Power Principles. And of course, the Nine Drivers of Exponential Growth, and they are all universal.
But it’s still like saying, “Here’s a color palette, and here are four universal colors: purple, red, gray, orange.” How you weave them together in the fabric of your strategic marketing plan, your competitive positioning, your value proposition, your preemptive position, your risk reversal, your accessing the market, that could differ monumentally from business to business and even from market sub-segment to market sub-segment.
You’ll also greatly benefit from these strategic resources.