An introduction to strategic marketing
Strategic marketing is the process of aligning the marketing activities of an organization in such a way that they help organizations meet their strategic objectives (Klein, 2007). To add to this, Blythe, Coxhead, Lashwood, Partridge, Reed and Simms (2005, p 23) have described that strategic marketing consists of putting together a plan for the best use of the resources of an organization and improving tactics to meet its corporate objectives. To do this an organization must understand the segments of market or market which they tend to aim and recognize the most proper mix of marketing to satisfy those people in each of the market segments of target markets (Proctor, 2000). Parry (2004, p 1) has defined that strategic marketing management could be achieved by a means-end approach. He argues that it is a framework driven by 2 major decisions related to positioning and targeting. To make these decisions organizations must find answers to two queries:
- What might matter and what does matter to essential customers?
- Which of the things should they focus that matter to customers?
The answer for the first query recognizes the set of possible strategies of positioning that should be followed by the organization. The answer for the second query determines both set of target customers and the way the organization should position its product to the customers.
Strategic marketing from various author’s perspective
According to Nijssen and Frambach (2000, p 9) over several decades academics and managers have tried to recognize what it is that compares successful from unsuccessful companies. The answer depends on the ability of the organization to deliver superior value to the customer thus outperforming the competitors in customer’s eyes. The issue is how to recognize and define the value of the customer for a specific market and how to make one’s organization customer driven. Strategic marketing is the answer. Within the boundaries of business and corporate strategy, it is the component to make options based on the value of a customer for a target audience. Using positioning and segmentation, strategic marketing supports to target the marketing instruments of a company to reach the market and formulate the marketing objectives. In Conley (2009, p 2)’s point of view, several people use the term marketing to define to a wide set of outreach and promotional tasks targeted at communicating a proposition of business to necessary audiences and other customers. These tasks often consist of media relations, advertising, online promotions, direct mail, marketing tactics, promotional offers and sales materials. These take combine together in making an organization attain its strategies and the process that defines the way in which these tasks should be done is strategic marketing. Brown (2006, p 61) has mentioned that it is a complete system that configures business tasks to cost, delivers and promotes services and products to business to consumer and business markets in order to satisfy them in a competitive environment thereby increasing profit to the company. Finally, Ranchhod (2004, p 3) has described that the emphasis of strategic marketing is to contribute to the development of value and competitive customer strategy. As such it is practised in bigger and customer-focused organizations. In diversified or big organizations it may also be responsible for the coordination of marketing tasks or departments in separate business units.
While several researchers have given several definitions, it can be understood that it is the process that helps organizations reach their long-term objectives. It can also be concluded that strategic marketing is indispensable in the current dynamic business environment for all kinds of business to stay successful in the market.
- Ranchhod A (2004), CIM Coursebook 04/05 Marketing in Practice, Elsevier Limited, UK, p 3.
- Conley C and Fishman E F (2009), Marketing That Matters: 10 Practices to Profit Your Business and Change the World, Berrett Koehler Publishers, California, p 2.
- Nijssen E J and Frambach R T (2001), Creating customer value through strategic marketing planning: a management approach, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston.
- Parry M E (2004,), Marketing management: a means-end approach, Tata McGraw Hill, USA, p 1.
- Proctor T (2000) Marketing: An Introduction, Routledge, New York.
- Blythe J, Coxhead H, Lashwood M, Partridge L, Reed P and Simms H (2005), Marketing, Select knowledge Limited, UK, p 23.