Strategic marketing is an approach an organisation effectively segregates itself from its competitors by exploiting on its strengths to provide a better value continuously to the customers than its competitors. This means a lot more than working with the marketing mix.
The goal of strategic marketing is to increase an organisation’s segregation over competitors with a thorough understanding the market and the competition along with the capabilities and desires of the organisation in the eyes of its target market. It could be done by answering three fundamental questions; where, how and when the organisation should strive. By understanding this, a strategic marketing plan will lay a foundation for a significant change in the direction an organisation performs and how the organisation engages in its markets.
Marketing can be considered as a management process as many organisations concern it as a critical set of coordinated actions that must be focused at the strategic level of the company. It is essential for a strategic marketing plan to be put in place and implemented, constant with the goals and objectives set out in the business plan.
Philip Kotler defines marketing is a science and art of exploring, making and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and wants. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It identifies which segments the company can serve the best and it creates and promotes the suitable products and services.
The American Marketing Association describes marketing as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
CIM UK agrees marketing as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.
Based on various definitions, marketing can be defined as identifying customers’ needs and wants and satisfying these needs and wants through an appropriate marketing mix profitability. The difference of the points of views amongst marketing specialists further strengthens the point that what begins as a simple response to the question of what marketing is can quickly unfold into a heated discussion about the complex nature, scope, and meaning of marketing. The widely used definition of marketing has remained unchanged and does not do justice to the vital role of strategic marketing in modern business. The popular definition, which describes marketing as a management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements at a profit and later added the phrase in a socially responsible manner.
The definition of marketing confirms that the scope of marketing spreads far beyond selling alone despite a widely held perception that marketing is synonymous with selling. Without adequate consideration to other important marketing activities, a strategy built on selling can have significant shortcomings such as the organisation has overlooked the customer’s needs, sells goods and services that aren’t needed by the customer, or purchase the wrong ones though the customer has needs for the product and services of the organisation.
Identifying, anticipating and satisfying – the words that are identified as the core of marketing. These denote a process through which the organisation should find out what customers want or investigate what customers are likely to want in the future and then fulfil these needs by appropriately deploying organisation’s resources. As needs and likings change over time, producing goods and services that don’t meet their needs, or even obsolete, this process must be dynamic. There are examples of products that have fulfilled genuine needs in the past even for an extended period, however, have ultimately been supplanted by choices due to changes in needs or because the products have become unnecessary for customers.
Therefore, concerning marketing as a constant process of successful organisations, through which customer needs and wants are analysed continuously and observed to fulfil these needs to the scope that the organisation’s resources and capabilities tolerate.
In conclusion, the role of strategic marketing is to choose;
- Which markets to compete in
- What the basis of the organisation’s competitive advantage is going to be
- When and how the organisation will enter each market. It is only when there three questions have been answered can the marketing planning being