Think HBR

Strategic market plans

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Maria Charlton
Map Marketing
A well designed market plan articulates the nature of your products, how these products benefit your target market, your strategic branding and competitive position.
An effective market plan needs to identify all actions that need to be performed to create viable customer relationships by capturing their mindshare and creating long term business relationships. It also needs to persuade and motivate staff that your products are market worthy and value creating, and that your business is a great place to work for.
About 60% of services providers are renowned for their lack of market planning, mainly because it is viewed as the domain of product provides. But, in this fragile economic and financial environment these firms are the main beneficiaries of market planning especially if longevity is a priority.
Benefits of a Market Plan
· Pinpoints current business position and future market direction
· Designs and implements strategic branding to differentiate your business
· Outlines how you intend to deliver a unique experience for your customers so as to capture their mindshare
· Provides a plan of how to attract new prospects and how to convert prospects to profitable customers
· Identifies business resources and staff skills that need to be created and developed to support market focus
· Keeps you focused, conserves time and effort for reaching your goals
· Clarifies your business priorities and evaluates marketing action plans against goals
· Identifies strategic partners and referrers who can help you achieve goals
· Determines your competitive advantages and disadvantages
· Identifies the trends affecting your target market
· Clarifies how to generate cash and profitable business creation
· Indicates how promotional initiatives can help you achieve your business goals
· Sets priorities and deadlines so that staff are working towards the same end game
· Increases business productivity by at least 30%
How do You Complete a Strategic Market Plan
· Complete client, supplier, and prospect research
· Undertake environmental research including risks, opportunities, & competitor
· Involve & get key staff involved
· Use an external marketing specialist to facilitate the process
· Draw up a written strategic marketing plan for the next year
· Assign responsibility for the implementation & evaluation
· Reduce the contents to 1-2 pages & have these as a screensaver on every staff’s computer
For further information contact Maria Charlton on (02) 4929 7766, email or visit
Maria Charlton Maria Charlton
For the last 26 years Maria Charlton has owned and operated MAP Marketing, a business to business marketing enterprise that focuses on strategic advertising campaigns; market research, market strategies and contract marketing. She is a Certified Practising Marketer and Fellow with the Australian Marketing Institute. Maria has completed a B.Com (Accountancy) and MBA (Marketing and Management) through the University of Newcastle and numerous online technology and social media courses through Universal Class.