Strategic Marketing Plan

Learn How to Structure a Summary Strategic Marketing Plan

Before we make space to understand how to structure a Summary Strategic Marketing Plan, I’d like to share some essential points.

Introduction

First, this is a Strategic Plan that summarises the strategic marketing direction of your organisation. It will, and should, neatly lead to your Tactical Marketing Plan (i.e. the Marketing doing) and make creating your Tactical Marketing Plan much easier. 

Second, a LOT of work goes into creating a Summary Strategic Marketing Plan. This document should be the culmination of work that involves:

Like any good Strategic Plan, it needs to refer to a greater body of work that has already been done.

How much time do I need?

So, how long does it take to create a Summary Strategic Marketing Plan? It depends on what you have/know already and who it is for. 

When I create one for the clients I have in my consultancy business, we do it in 3 to 5 Phases. For each Phase, I work between 2 to 4 days. So, creating a Summary Strategic Marketing Plan that people are prepared to pay for takes between 6 to 20 days for someone who does this for a living.

Some reassurance

I’ve given you these timescales because I promised to be realistic with you but also because my advice is: you can do this. You probably have a lot of the information already. Just make sure you allow a good chunk of time for it.

The overall structure of a Summary Strategic Marketing Plan

This is the structure that I use again and again for my clients and my businesses. The January 2022 seminar covers this structure and highlights crucial information and mistakes people make when putting it together. 

For now, let’s look at what’s in this Summary Strategic Marketing Plan. I’ve put links to other marketing insights videos and articles where available so that you can get more information. 

  1. Mission
  2. Vision
  3. Culture / Values
  4. Desired Brand positioning
  5. Business Objectives
  6. Market and Sectors 
  7. Marketing Resources
    • People – skills, time
    • Budget – amount
    • Materials etc. – marketing collateral, specialist machinery/software etc.
  8. Products
    • Overview of your Products / Services Matrix
    • High-level descriptions of each Product / Service
  9. Growth Strategies 
    • The Ansoff Strategies for Growth and which you are considering
  10. Strategic Marketing Objectives
    • Which products/services to which markets/segments to achieve your Business Objectives
  11. KPIs
    • The Key Performance Indicators (metrics) you are going to use to check your Strategic Marketing outcomes have been met
  12. Key Marketing Strategies
    • Which marketing strategies are you going to use? E.g. Known Expert strategy, Content Marketing Strategy, Positioning Strategy
    • Overview of each strategy
  13. User Journey – Map
    • High level, how you are going to take each segment through their Buyers Journey
  14. Key Messages
    • What are your top-level messages about your organisation, product lines, people?

How to get started

I recommend you just go for it, starting with the information you have.

My preference is to do this as a slide deck, so I begin by creating a slide for each area. Then I start populating it. As I go through it, I know there will be gaps in my knowledge or things that need updating. So I make a note of these. 

If they are critical, such as needing to do Market and Sector research to determine who the segments are, then I stop and do that research. However, if it is more about updating the Segments and the Customer Personas, I might move on and return to it.

If you are in an organisation or have a team, it is crucial to bring in the right people at the right time. Who needs to agree on each area? Who could turn round and disagree and bring the whole process to a halt?

So when I work with clients, we create the Strategic Marketing Plan in stages so that the right people have the opportunity to contribute, think about things, come back to us with feedback. 

You will inevitably have to put things in that aren’t thoroughly researched or are based on assumptions. This is fine. But put a note saying, ‘This needs to be researched / this is an assumption’. This means that if something doesn’t quite work when you place your Tactical Marketing Plan into action, you can go back and say, ‘We did this based on an assumption – was this assumption wrong?’

Write it for your audience

Always have in mind who this is for. If you work in an organisation or are writing this to get funding, this means knowing who will see this. 

  • What do they need to know? 
  • Can you present them with an even shorter version? 
  • How much detail will they want? 
  • How can you signpost them to the other work showing your research, calculations, marketplace audit etc.?

If this is for you in your business, you are a lot freer with what you put in.

How to use a Summary Strategic Marketing Plan

This is THE document that guides how you create and structure your Tactical Marketing Plan. 

If the Strategic Marketing Plan says you are targeting the CEOs of IT Companies in the North of England, then your Tactical Marketing Plan is about reaching them and taking them through their Buyers Journey

Elements of the Summary Strategic Marketing Plan can also be used to brief team members and external marketing suppliers.

For example, you’re redesigning your website or creating a piece of essential marketing collateral. You could take the ‘Mission, Vision, Values, Desired Brand Positioning and Persona Profiles’ give them to the website design agency, graphic designer or a copywriter and say:

“These are the type of people what you are creating has to appeal to, but it has to be in line with our mission, vision, values and brand positioning”.

Done well, the Summary Strategic Marketing Plan can be cut up and used, again and again, to ensure your organisation brings everyone along with you and keeps you on track.

Conclusion

Yes. It is a lot of work.

Yes, you can take some shortcuts but come back to them later.

No, I can’t offer you something shorter.

Yes, you can get away in a business without doing one but accept that it means you are adopting a more fun and opportunistic approach to business (which is perfectly fine, as long as you know that’s what you’re doing!).

And yes, you can do this. It’s just about following a structure and getting the right information into it. Do it step by step, and it will all come together. 

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