In the past several posts I have stressed the importance of strategic market planning and how it can serve up major benefits to any organization, regardless of the particular industry or business type. The primary drivers of these discussions centered on improving the planning process by making it simpler and more direct using the following guidelines:

  1. Organize by customer needs, not your organization’s needs;
  2. Organize your internal goals based on consensus of gathered market research;
  3. Analyze how to match your organization’s skills and services to your customer’s top needs;
  4. Create a value proposition that aligns with your customers’ needs in an unique and compelling way; and
  5. Drive your marketing based on one core idea.

In order to achieve all five of these directives it is very helpful to have a strategic planning guide you can use to achieve them. The Strategic Planning Wheel below provides you with the steps you can follow to effectively plan and execute your marketing program.

You might think that every business is different from any other business, and therefore a “planning process” would pigeon hole you into a system. Although there are particulars to each business the specific planning process can be used for every business assuming the system is solution-neutral. Meaning there is no preconceived notion of outcomes from using the system. Instead, finding a successful strategy almost always occurs from the following steps:

  1. Propose Mission
  2. Propose Goals
  3. Examine Internal Issues
  4. Examine External Issues
  5. Conduct SWOT Analysis
  6. Formulate Strategy and Execute Market Plan

Allowing these steps to guide you in your strategic market planning will bring to light the best strategies your organize can employ. It allows you to determine your best products and which ones to market heavily. This avoids the costly mistake of marketing everything to everyone – that rarely serves an organization well in the short- or long-run.