Strategic Marketing Process involves the analysis of the logical steps in planning with a view to optimal adaptation to opportunities. What the organization does is to use marketing process to convert unfulfilled market need into profitable business opportunities, e.g. a particular brand of toothpaste which was not selling before could sell now because the prices of other brands have gone up. In addition, some companies produce half-quality, half-quantity products and sell at equally high prices. These producers are capitalizing on the market situation to make excess profits.
We know that marketing is involved right from the conception of product idea up to the end of its life. A marketer, therefore does a lot of things which include:
- Identification of needs and desires.
- Developing products to satisfy identified needs.
- Testing the validity of the product concept.
- Designing product features.
- Developing packaging and brand name.
- Pricing the product to achieve reasonable returns on investment.
- Arranging regional, national, and international distribution where necessary.
- Creating effective marketing communication to let the public know about the product.
- Purchasing the most effective media for commercial messages.
- Auditing sales.
- Monitoring customers’ satisfaction (before and after sales).
- Revising marketing plans in the light of results.
All the above activities indicate that the marketer is a researcher, communicator, economist, inventor, psychologist, and the rest of all qualities found in the profession of human knowledge. Marketing, therefore, plays a role in each level of the organization. Marketing is very vital at corporate level, and at top management level. It helps to identify the opportunities, to draw up growth strategy and product portfolio.
At the divisional level, marketing helps to use corporate policies to formulate appropriate strategies. At each of these levels, management and marketing processes take place.
Steps in Strategic Marketing Process
The steps involved in the strategic marketing process include the following.
Marketing Opportunity Analysis
In any business environment, there are two sets of opportunities namely:
A company should be able to select company opportunities from the many environmental opportunities. A company has to do this because it does not have the necessary human, material, and financial resources to take advantage of all the environmental opportunities.
Here is a detailed guide on how to carry out an effective and succesful marketing campaign.
A company should isolate the environmental opportunities with a view to identifying marketing opportunities. According to Kotler, a company marketing opportunity is an attractive arena of relevant marketing action in which a particular company is likely to enjoy a differential advantage.
In analyzing any market or company marketing opportunity, focus is usually on the consistency between the company’s goals, purpose, growth, strategies, investment portfolio, and the opportunity so identified. It is important to note that for any company to succeed in the market, it must have success-requirement, competence and differential advantage over the competitors
Company marketing opportunity may be too large for the company to exploit profitably, at least initially. Given this background, the company should be able to examine the marketing opportunity more closely with a view to identifying market segments. The company can now analyze the segments using the criteria of profitability, accessibility, reliability/stability and measurability. This analysis will enable the company to select a viable market segment(s).
What is Competitive Positioning?
There are many firms in any given industry and these firms compete among themselves. Competitors are always trying to establish a need gap which they would want to fill profitably.
In the marketing strategic process, a company seeks to produce goods and/or services which will meet the needs of the consumers at a reasonable profit margin. Assuming there are hundred shoe companies in a country’s shoe industry, out of which 40 companies produce male shoes; 15 companies produce both male and female shoes, while 20 companies produce baby shoes. Given the high birth rate in the country, the baby shoes market offers a marketing opportunity. A new company can therefore, position itself in the babies shoes market.
Market System Development
Marketing is an organized system, and therefore, requires planning and coordination. Any company wishing to take advantage of the identified market segment should have goals and how to achieve the set goals.