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What is strategic marketing, how do you use it?

Strategic marketing is a marketing tactic that is highly personalized and must be aligned with long term business objectives.Strategic marketing emphasizes the importance of the big picture.Perspective is vital in this type of marketing and to do so correctly the marketing team must be able to take themselves away from the day-to-day activities of the business and the marketing portions of the business in order to re-evaluate the total marketing strategy.

Strategic marketing basically starts by looking at some large and general marketing related data and then the strategy is developed more deeply, so as to address small details unique to the operation.A good starting point for a strategic marketing team would be to understand the scope of what their strategic marketing plan will cover.Strategic marketing includes looking at all the products and services that your company has and the corresponding markets for each.Also, environmental issues and internal variables need to be analyzed.Lastly, production, research, finance, and other elements specific to that organization need to be evaluated from a strategic stand point.

With strategic planning there is little concern with immediate consequences to actions taken, because the goal is to take steps now that will ultimately get your business where you would like for it to be in the future.

Starting the strategic marketing process for your business is important for the following reasons:
1. Marketing expertise is required to implement a corporate strategy that may be new, different and possibly difficult to grasp.
2. Those developing the business strategy need to work closely with marketing managers as key marketing decisions are directly related with that business strategy.Without cooperation, no one would know which market niches to address, what product distribution channels to use, etc.
3. Strategic marketing plans are based on management philosophy.Foundations from the top authorities in the business provide the foundation for the strategic marketing plan.

The next part of strategic marketing is to identify the unit or sector of the business that needs specific marketing help.This could be a division, a particular product line, or even the entire company.The unit to be assessed need only be large enough to be able to break down into units (also called strategic business units (SBU)).

Once the strategic business unit is identified, four elements are addressed.These four elements are the identification of the business, situation analysis, selection of strategies, and establishment of controls.Uncovering the exact needs of your customers is no easy task.The strategic marketing process is usually broken down into even more specific steps.Eventually, strategic marketing yields highly specific marketing goals that are directly aligned with most of the other workings of the business itself.

More benefits to using strategic marketing include improvement and innovation in the following categories:

- Customer service
- Marketing strategy (implementing the strategic marketing plan)
- Profits and pricing
- Competitor analysis
- Differentiation
- Branding
- Customer relationships/ understanding customer's needs
- Distribution channels
- Marketing planning
- Market sizing, growth and forecasting

Strategic marketing is used by companies that may not have been experiencing success with their previously implemented marketing plans.Strategic marketing forces business leaders to have a clear plan of where they would like to see their company in future years.That plan for success is then aligned with marketing tactics that lead to more efficiency, higher profits and improved management directives. Using strategic marketing is beneficial to almost any company with a desire to improve.However, because of the time and resource commitment that strategic marketing demands, many companies do not make the investment or are not focused enough to follow through with new implementation.

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