There is generally a clear sequence of steps to follow when developing marketing strategy. Marketing strategy should be highly interrelated to the firm’s overall corporate strategy.
Start with vision and mission
At the starting point of a corporate strategy is the firm’s vision and mission. The mission statement is the firm’s reason for being. It is what the organization is all about – why does exist? What value does it add? What is its scope and purpose?
Some organizations also have a vision statement – a vision statement is a loftier goal/direction for the organization could be one day – it’s like a personal dream or ambition.
Please note that the firm’s vision and mission is set at a corporate level – and is not the responsibility of the marketing area (although the marketing area may be involved in crafting the actual words that are used in the vision and mission statements).
The next step in the strategic planning process is to identify goals for the organization overall – what is the organization want to achieve over the next 3 to 5 years? Corporate goals typically structured around high level competitive positions – such as, become the market leader, increase market shares, enhanced technology, greater profitability, product range, expand the operations, and so on.
In order to achieve the defined corporate goals, the overall organization will need to contribute. For example, if we take the goal of having advanced/enhanced technology – then that would need to be executed through the appropriate IT/manufacturing areas, as well as implemented through operations, and even human resources would have a role to play in training and skilling the organization’s staff to effectively develop and implement the technology improvements.
Allocation to functional areas
As suggested above, the overall corporate strategy needs to be allocated to functional areas. Each functional area would then develop its own plan to assist the organization in executing and achieving the strategy, which in turns delivers the corporate goals, which in turn allows the firm to “live” is mission and progress towards its long-term vision.
The role of marketing in corporate strategy
Marketing strategy development will take its structure and guidance from the overall corporate plan. What are the corporate goals and what are marketing’s responsibilities to help deliver them. These are typically top level goals often centered around product range, product innovation, brand equity, market expansion, and competitive strengths.