What is strategic marketing?
Strategic marketing is primarily about creating and sustaining a profitable position in the market place.
Strategic marketing will ensure that your business can sustain its competitive advantage. Ultimately, businesses want to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage through selling unique products and services.
So what does strategic marketing involve?
Traditionally an STP (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning) approach should be utilised in the following steps:
- Situation analysis, current position, capabilities, objectives and constraints.
- Evaluate the potential attractiveness of each segment and select the target markets.
- Identify the position within each target segment, select and develop the appropriate positioning concepts.
Coordinating a marketing mix strategy.
Philip Kotler defines segmentation as ‘the act of dividing the marketing into specific groups of consumers/buyers who share common needs and who might require separate products and/or marketing mixes.’
Market segmentation is an essential part of the successful implementation of the competitive strategy because it can lengthen the product life cycle, increase sales and profits, achieve strategic marketing planning, manage effective resource allocation and capture some of the competitor’s share of the market.
In order to choose the correct segments, extensive analysis must be carried out on industry sectors, size and customer profitability as key variables. Historical purchasing behaviour is also of high importance as this determines which particular customer groups to target.
When selecting an appropriate marketing strategy the following must be taken into consideration:
- Company capability.
- Economies of scale – production and marketing.
- Customer needs, wants, expectations.
- Product market – size and structure.
- Competitive rivalry.
- Brand strength and market share.
The market place is extremely diverse with a range of mixes needing to be used in order to reflect the needs of the customer. It is important that target groups are selected carefully so that the marketing efforts can be analysed and tailored to meet the customer requirements effectively.
Positioning is not what is done to the product but what is created in the mind of the consumer and therefore elements of the process are outside the control of the organisation. Inevitably, every business will position themselves differently in the market place but here are some key areas of focus which will ensure a robust strategy is adopted:
- Selecting niche markets/industries where customer profitability is high.
- Collaborating with potential businesses that have the same shared innovations and vision.
Ensure that the following key positioning prompts are the main driving forces behind the strategy:
- Feature Driven.
- Problem Solution.
- Target Driven.
- Benefit Driven.