Marketing planning helps to reduce clutter and wastage.

This last year we’ve been able to help a range of clients undertake strategic marketing planning exercises and develop a structured approach to defining and implementing their marketing objectives.

We really enjoy this part of what we do because we provide real value to our clients through strategic insights and expertise that translate into practical, outcomes-based action plans.

The purpose of strategic marketing planning is to determine a focused pathway backed up by a clear methodology. The key is to clearly identify your product or service’s major benefit and competitive point of difference, and define the supporting fundamental messages.

You may be managing a successful commercial business and wanting to help it evolve and grow more quickly by harnessing effective strategic marketing techniques. Or you may be a not-for-profit launching a new service to develop ongoing sustainability within a rapidly changing landscape.

One thing our clients have in common is the need to remain competitive and respond to a changing environment. Whether commercial or not-for-profit, all organisations must be constantly alert to the positioning of their services in the marketplace and the broader competitive environment. The first step is to acknowledge their internal strengths and weaknesses against the backdrop of external threats and opportunities.

Most often, we help clients define a clear strategic pathway supported by a detailed tactical roadmap. But clients have also sought our advice to gain consensus and support among internal stakeholders and simultaneously employ an efficient, focused process through a facilitated workshop. After reviewing our client’s needs in detail, we enjoy the opportunity to sit down and run through this robust planning exercise.

Once you have clarified your strategic marketing imperatives and prioritised your target audiences and channels, it’s easy to make decisions regarding which mix of marketing communications tools and techniques to employ.

A defined budget also helps to ensure focus. While we work with a range of different sized organisations, it’s essential to maximise bang for buck: to identify and deliver efficient, credible routes and touchpoints that direct target audiences to take action.

In the lead up to the G20, I was encouraged to read this BBC account of Brisbane and its offering. “Queensland has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the country, at 4.1%, creating more jobs than any other Australian state in 2013 … By 2031, the city’s economy is expected to grow by more than 60% and its population is projected to double to 3 million.”

The final leg of an effective strategic marketing planning process is to develop detailed action plans that outline timeframes, budget, key responsibilities and performance indicators for ongoing implementation and regular evaluation.

It’s important to seize opportunities as they arise — but more important still to understand how each fresh opportunity benefits your organisation and where it sits within the broader environment.

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