Strategy Document
How to Develop a Marketing Strategy, Set Targets and Plan to Achieve Them...

When preparing your marketing strategy, focusing on the objectives and organising the necessary actions are the essentials to success.

A good marketing strategy document will be the foundations of your activities. It must be easily accessible, used, reviewed and updated regularly.

To make this happen, here are the 9 key elements of a useful document, outlined and explained in detail.

To help you get started, you can download a template document that uses these elements. Download Marketing Strategy Document Template here.

1) Executive Summary

This section should be on a single page if possible. The intention behind this section is to give a clear, non technical overview.

The key points it should cover are:

  • conclusions,
  • recommendations,
  • actions,
  • financial returns on investment.

2) Strategy Overview, Purpose, Targets and Business Objectives

The intention behind this section is to align your strategy with your business objectives. This will allow you to focus on closing the gap between current performance and desired performance.

Imagine that the strategy is your map of the territory you want to cross, the target is the destination, then the route is the plan you intend to use. Using this analogy, your strategy and target remains consistent, but the plan may change many times.

The strategy overview will be a statement of intention of the type of strategy this will be. Examples of strategy overviews are:

  • visibility and market penetration for new products / services,
  • lead generation for new business,
  • customer nurturing for business growth.

The purpose should outline the activities of the business and the reason for preparing the marketing strategy.

The business objectives should include what has been achieved to date and the planned objectives. The planned objectives will detail the targets you want to achieve.

3) The Customer

This section should outline your target markets in detail. For each target market, describe the typical demographics (age range, locality, disposable income, education, pet relationship, etc) of the typical customer type.

For each customer type, describe the qualities of the perfect customer, the qualities of the typical customer, and the derived quality issues (the difference between the two).

4) Market Research

The section should outline any market research undertaken, stating the reasons why this was done. The findings should be summarized, highlighting any interesting statistics found.

The conclusions drawn from the research should be used to substantiate your argument behind the purpose of your marketing strategy.

5) Competitor Analysis

This section should build detailed profiles on your competitors by performing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to identify relative strengths and weaknesses.

The important attributes of your competitors will depend on your business type, but will generally be one or more of the following:

  • market / finance / operational / r&d / hr
  • product quality / packaging / advertising / service
  • shareholders / inventory / financial resources
  • costs / productivity / technology

6) Products and Services

This section should list your products and services. Describe the key features and benefits for each one in turn.

Highlight your systems and processes you have put in place to support the products and services. As part of the systems and processes, include your delivery process and the levels of support you offer.

7) Marketing Plan

The intention behind this section is to describe in detail how you plan to meet your business objectives and when you will deliver the results.

Describe each of the results you are looking to achieve in detail, including SMART (specific , measurable, agreed, realistic, timeframe) attributes.

Include each of the marketing channels you will be using (website, advertising, PR, etc). For each channel outline the costings and any costing options.

8) Sales Plan

This intention behind this section is to forecast the level of sales from each activity. These figures should be based on historic information.

These forecasts should include ongoing 'actual' figures, and include any adjustments made during the execution of the marketing strategy.

9) Schedule

The intention behind this section is to outline all the activities undertaken as part of the marketing plan

This should include a general milestone chart to log major achievements, your key performance indicators and a list of all your campaigns.

For each campaign, create a table to include all the activities and associated action dates that need to be completed.

The results should be apparent when measuring the key performance indicators.

The information obtained from the schedule will be used to generate weekly or monthly reports. These reports will assist in making business decisions as to whether the marketing plan needs to be adjusted.

With a completed marketing strategy document that includes realistic targets, clear achievable goals and a schedule of actions to implement, your business will start moving in the right direction.

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