← Back to Blog

Creating a successful strategic marketing plan: steps, examples, and how to write one

minute read
Start your free trial of Bonsai management tool today!
Start your free trial of Bonsai management tool today!
Try it free
Updated on:
May 31, 2024
May 31, 2024
Table of contents
Start your free trial of Bonsai management tool today!
Discover Bonsai all-in-one business management software.

Creating a successful strategic marketing plan starts with understanding target customer demographics and key brand messaging that forms your value proposition. It involves knowing your product and determining the right price, finding the best place to sell, and deciding on promotion techniques. Some of the steps that should be followed to come up with a strategic marketing plan include:

  • Carrying out market research in order to understand the needs of customers.
  • Identifying the competitive advantage over competitors.
  • Designing marketing activities such as advertising, outreach, and public relations campaigns with tailored messaging.

Understanding the importance of a strategic marketing plan

In order to come up with a strategic marketing plan, one is supposed to list down all the marketing activities that will be moving forward to pave a way to fulfill a business's set goals. This is central to target customer demographics. In addition to helping tailor the key brand messaging and your value proposition, it outlines the 4 Ps. Market research will help in the formulation of such a plan, and it will guide or inform all aspects of advertising and public relations campaigns. In a nutshell, a well-thought-out strategic marketing plan ensures the effective use of resources tailored to maximize outreach and customer engagement.

Defining strategic marketing plan

A strategic marketing plan is, therefore, a complete and organized approach outlining the overall marketing strategy of a company. It should have key elements that are like the value proposition, product, price, place, promotion as well as the marketing activities. Moreover, the plan has identified the target. A thoughtfully developed strategic marketing plan supports the progression from conceptual thinking to granular, detailed plans of action to accomplish the business goals.

Why your agency needs a strategic marketing plan

A strategic marketing plan is a critical need. It aligns all the marketing activities an agency has to undertake. It defines the target customer demographics and the key messaging of the brand. It also clearly defines the product, price, place, and promotion, which is consistent with the agency's value proposition. This will ensure that all advertising, outreach, and public relations campaigns are on-brand and yet, effectively used to implement customized messaging. Therefore, through this plan, agencies not only undertake better and more market research but also secure a competitive advantage in the formulation of their marketing strategy. The final product is a unified plan that allows your agency to develop successful initiatives, gain visibility and target focused business results.

Importance of project management for agency

Effective project management becomes a part of the agency's culture, leading to better overall performance. Good project management ensures regular check-ins with clients, leading to work that meets their approval and increases client satisfaction.

Bonsai is a comprehensive tool that revolutionizes team task management by providing a suite of features designed to streamline project workflows and enhance collaboration. It acts as a bridge between the agency and the client, ensuring that both are aligned and informed throughout the project's lifecycle.

Get paid faster with Bonsai

Manage your agency operations smoothly with Bonsai

Start Free

Key elements of a strategic marketing plan


A strategic marketing plan is primarily a marketing strategy that is worked to identify target customer demographics. It is a strategic marketing plan, and it includes all marketing key messaging that resonates with the target audience to differentiate the product or service and communicate the USP of the same. Other than that the strategic marketing plan includes product, price, place, and promotion that are called the 4 p's of marketing. This plan also includes regular marketing that is market research, advertising, outreach, and public relations campaigns. All of these work together to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace for the business.

Market research and analysis

A deep-seated marketing strategy has been formulated based on market research. The strategy focuses on the USP and key messaging of the brand that will entice the target audience. The key elements of this plan are the product, price, place, and promotion, also referred to as the 4 Ps of marketing. All manner of marketing activities such as advertising, outreach, public relations campaigns, and the use of customized messaging will serve to uphold the product and promote brand familiarity amongst the target audience. These strategic measures, coupled with our product's competitive advantage, must ensure successful market penetration and sustained growth.

Defining marketing goals and objectives

It is a prerequisite for any business to set out clear and workable marketing goals and objectives if the business is to survive and succeed. It can be linked with the overall company targets, including upward growth in terms of market share, product awareness, and ultimately securing a competitive advantage. One of the major goals should be to be able to communicate various key brand messaging to the target customer demographics. The strategic plan of action should incorporate effective marketing activities like outreach, advertising, and public relations campaigns. The elements that need to be taken into account for this purpose include the product, price, place, promotion, and research within the market as well. Customized messaging is developed to prove the unique value of the brand to the consumer.

Target audience identification

The primary target of the marketing plan is to be those firms that are seeking to improve their outreach initiatives and public relations campaigns. Our competitive advantage is that we are able to perform deeper market research, customized advertising, and provide personalized messaging to fall in line with a variety of key brand messaging. Additionally, we actively target the variety of target customer demographics, ensuring that our product, price, place, and promotion activities are all at the competitive advantage within the market. There are times, though, we seek to help those start-up businesses who have lost focus on marketing; thus, our first marketing activities will be targeted at those organizations. Our full range of services provides them with everything from strategizing to a competitive advantage within their individual markets.

Competitor analysis


The competitor analysis is a crucial part of our marketing strategy. By employing market research, we can understand the product, price, place, and promotion used by our competitors. This is essential for our competitive advantage as it allows us to identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as understand their key brand messaging and value proposition.

Furthermore, understanding our competitors' marketing activities, such as their advertising initiatives, outreach, and public relations campaigns, helps us develop tailored messaging for our target customer demographics. Consequently, this knowledge allows us to solidify our positioning in the market and craft unique, compelling offerings for our customers.

Unique selling proposition (USP)

Our email series offers a foolproof marketing strategy that offers an impressive value proposition. Combined with the key brand messaging that is specifically created for your target customer demographics, our product offers a substantial rate of return. The low price our services are offered ensures that the entire range of product, price, place, and promotion is fully covered. Our marketing activities are built on a solid base of market research that aids in providing you a competitive advantage. This includes outreach and public relations campaigns that are fully coordinated with other advertising to reach your desired audience. This USP means you are still a step ahead of the others.

Budget allocation

To adequately back the marketing strategy, a careful budget has to be allocated. It must primarily be allocated to the key brand messaging to create a value proposition and focus on the target customer demographics. These are the backbone of the marketing activities and lead to a competitive advantage. Also, it has to be set aside for market research, advertising campaigns, and outreach. Finally, it must be allocated to strong public relations campaigns and personalized messaging, hence extending the reach of the product. Budget management ensures that careful attempts are made into product, price, place, and promotion in order to ensure maximum returns.

Steps to create a strategic marketing plan

To create a strategic marketing plan, starting with comprehensive market research is essential. This helps to better understand your target customer demographics, competitors, and the overall market scenario to shape your marketing strategy. The next step involves defining a value proposition and competitive advantage, which will fuel your key brand messaging and advertising.

The four p's (product, price, place, promotion) are then taken into consideration to decide on marketing activities such as outreach and public relations campaigns. Lastly, the focus should be on creating tailored messaging centered around the needs of your target market.

Conducting a swot analysis

A swot analysis can highlight our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The strengths might arise from our unique value proposition, key brand messaging or our marketing strategy catering precisely to target customer demographics. The weaknesses could be in terms of our product, price, place or promotion strategies, requiring a review of our marketing activities.

Market research and advertising will reveal opportunities to expand our outreach and develop public relations campaigns. Threats could include competition, which can be countered by building a competitive advantage, or changes in market trends necessitating tailored messaging.

Setting measurable marketing goals


Setting measurable marketing goals is a pivotal part of marketing strategy. It adds value proposition to the product by integrating target customer demographics, key brand messaging, and competitive advantage through various marketing activities. These activities may include advertising, outreach and public relations campaigns.

A well-structured marketing goal should be influenced by market research and tailored messaging; considering the product's price and place of promotion. Clear, quantifiable goals facilitate the measurement of success and guide necessary adjustments to optimize results.

Identifying your target market

Our marketing strategy begins with identifying our target customer demographics. Through extensive market research, we've determined that our product largely appeals to working professionals aged 30-50. Our key brand messaging and tailored messaging are thus aimed at this group, promoting the product's value proposition that emphasizes the convenience and efficiency it provides.

Our competitive advantage exists in our value-oriented pricing and strategic placement. We also plan for sustained advertising and marketing activities, including public relations campaigns and broad outreach. This will further solidify our hold in the market and reach out to potential customers with our brand message.

Developing marketing strategies

Creating an effective marketing strategy begins with a clear understanding of your target customer demographics. This information provides the basis for tailored messaging that aligns with your key brand messaging and value proposition. Knowing your product’s competitive advantages allows for effective marketing activities, such as advertising or public relations campaigns.

These activities should align with the '4 p's' of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. A well-rounded strategy uses market research not only to identify opportunities for outreach but to continuously measure and improve.

Implementing the marketing plan

The implementation of the marketing strategy commences with carving out a robust value proposition and key brand messaging that align with our product offerings and target customer demographics. This is achieved by conducting comprehensive market research and understanding our competitive advantage.

We then move on to designing tailored messaging for advertising, outreach, and public relations campaigns. The 4 p's (product, price, place, promotion) are integral to this step and guide our marketing activities.

By optimizing each aspect, we ensure that our marketing plan successfully reaches our target audience while maximizing the potential for sales and customer engagement.

Monitoring and adjusting the plan

The effectiveness of the marketing strategy and outreach activities need to be regularly evaluated and adjusted accordingly, based on market research insights. Monitoring the impact of advertising and tailored messaging on our target customer demographics allows us to better understand the value proposition of our product and enhance our competitive advantage. It is equally important to analyze the four cardinal points of marketing - product, price, place, and promotion. Timely revisitation and adjustment of these elements will ensure the alignment of our key brand messaging and ultimately increase the efficiency of public relations campaigns.

Examples of successful strategic marketing plans


The secret of their success has been their value proposition and key brand messaging. They have been able to make their product stand out in a crowded space as a high-end and advanced product, meaning they can justify the high price one has to pay for it. The target market segment, of course, is customers who are passionate about aesthetics and appreciate functionality to be willing to pay for it. Furthermore, Apple's marketing, including but not limited to public relations campaigns, has placed the iPhone as an admiration product.

Nike used a brilliant marketing strategy in motivating their target demographic. From Nike's market report, it showed that its target customers valued drive and the motivation bar being set high in their athletic activities. So the branded message "Just Do It" was to inspire the customers to push beyond their potential. They encrusted the brand and competitive advantage with the help of a certain message through smart and proper promotion and outreach.

Realizing the importance of place, McDonald's localized their product across different geographies, gaining one-up in the geographically and ethnically diverse world markets. Their permanent promotions and advertisements have, in the long run, effectively cemented a leader position around the world.

Apple's product differentiation strategy

Apple's product differentiation strategy is hinged on its unique brand value proposition. The company defines its brand strategy by quality, high innovation, and perfect integration of its products. These products must define a target market segment of the high-end and career-oriented clientele who are technologically informed. The brand sustains a competitive advantage through marketing activities that include tailored messaging in advertising, elaborate public relations campaigns, and strategic outreach efforts. In the marketing mix, Apple highlights product, price, place, and promotion while stressing the need to build a premium brand.

Nike's customer-centric approach

Nike somewhat leans on an approach to Nike marketing, focusing keenly on viewers and the target customer demographic. They realize success in market research since they allow the customer to identify with their needs and preferences. The value chain is derived from products of high quality with an innovative design Nike has placed its product attributes such that a better product essentially equals a better brand. This data-driven and tailored messaging enhances competitive advantage. Nike sets the price, place, and promotion activities in line with their core beliefs in relation to the customer; this makes their marketing activities more fruitful. Nike has, through advertising and public relations campaigns, continued to build a better global brand name and audience reach.

Starbucks' branding strategy

Starbucks marketing is based on its value proposition of creating a unique 'Starbucks Experience,' a combination of product, service, and atmosphere. The key brand messaging highlights high-quality coffee, customer service, and a sense of a community connection. It targets the message to customer demographics using careful advertising and public relations. The promotion strategy includes several marketing activities like loyalty programs and offers for a particular season and type of clients. Starbucks always conducts a thorough market study related to customer preferences, which is how it derives customer loyalty.

Tools to help you write a strategic marketing plan

Implement a strategic marketing plan by developing your target customer demographics, creating a clear message about the value of your proposition, and consistently messaging your core brand drives. These are processes that can be helped by different tools. Whether it be pricing tools, market research tools, or promotional tools–coordinated marketing, be it advertising, outreach, public relations campaigns, and tools. In the end, your tools help you in adjusting your messaging to the audience and offering your product in such a way that it will meet the needs of your audience.

Google analytics for market research

Google Analytics is best placed to assist in market research, given that marketing actions have turned to a strategy that is led and driven by data. In this respect, it makes it possible to establish the demographics of the target customers so that businesses create messages that will meet the set needs. Herein, the research will also be able to be used to track the effectiveness of the advertisements as well as public relations campaigns, through the outcome in real-time. In having adequate analysis of the data, businesses are also in a position to develop their critical brand messaging, evaluate their product performance, as well as identify points of competitive advantage. In this sense, Google Analytics significantly contribute to building a broad-based marketing strategy.

Conclusion - therefore, through product, price, place, and promotion metrics, Google Analytics is without a doubt a tool necessary in market research, as they assist in the decision-making process.

Hubspot for content marketing

Having a Hubspot for content marketing would allow you to come up with a robust marketing strategy that effectively targets the customer. In its ability to create a value proposition that has deployed tailored messaging, therefore, reinforcing key brand messaging. The tool provides much-needed market research data and is ideal for decision-making concerning product, price, place, and promotion. If that is not enough, HubSpot helps develop and execute marketing activities. The aspect is in the form of advertising, outreach programs, and public relation campaigns, which all serve to give you a much-needed competitive advantage in your industry.

Semrush for competitor analysis

Semrush is an all-needed tool that you might need to conduct an effective and efficient competitor analysis. It is needed much in the fine-tuning of your marketing strategy, knowing the target customer demographic, or the possible key message of the brand. In addition, it enables firms to gauge the product pricing of the competitor, methods it employs in promotion, and place in the market. In addition, Semrush will provide a company with the possible competitor's marketing activities through advertising, public relation campaigns, and outreach programs. By doing this, Semrush helps unlock the possible competitor's value proposition and decode the enemy's competitive advantage in the marketplace as a way of manipulating the messaging to earn leverage.

Common mistakes to avoid when creating a strategic marketing plan


A strong strategic marketing plan should not forget target customer demographics; this can water down tailored messaging. This waters down your key brand messaging. Failure to do market research before executing any form of advertisement or public relations campaign. Doing the marketing or public relations campaigns you organize without market research is equivalent to wasting time and resources.

Ignoring market trends

Ignoring market trends could damage the possibility of your marketing strategy being useful, as well as any public relations campaign you organize. When companies ignore these trends, they lose their competitive advantage, and the value proposition of their product becomes seemingly irrelevant. This goes across all the areas of the 'four ps': product, price, place, and promotion. Key brand messaging will not resonate with your target customer demographics if trends are not listened to, and those messages that will be tailor-made can be outdated way too fast. Again, without up-to-date market research, marketing activities like advertising and outreach will be ineffective.

Setting unrealistic goals

Unrealistic goals in any marketing strategy or campaign bring about a feeling of disappointment and result in time and resource wastage. For example, without comprehensive market research or understanding your target customer demographics, you might fail to come up with a convincing value proposition or key brand messaging that resonates with customers. A desire, however great, to enhance your competitive edge or market reach should not lead to a product launch, pricing, promotion, or outreach strategy that is overambitious. There will be precision in the setting of appropriate milestones, resulting in results from your marketing activities and public relations campaigns.

Underestimating the importance of budgeting

This could be one error in forgetting to budget well, which could be very significant, as indeed it can change the whole marketing strategy and position of the product. Not having any budget defined makes it possible that the misallocation of such resources, critical to setting the price, outreach to promos, and the crafting of message points, will be directed to the specific marketing segment. Central to the execution of public relations campaigns, market research, and the like marketing efforts that build on the value proposition of the product is greatly captured in how proper budgeting is well executed. Careful planning and adherence to the budget line can ensure that the business maintains an over-the-edge advantage over the rest of the competitors in the industry and is sure of the value of the whole marketing campaign.

Start your free trial of Bonsai management tool today!
Related Articles