6 Steps to Successful Strategic Marketing Planning

strategic marketing planning process

The strategic marketing planning process involves creating a marketing strategy that outlines what your objectives are, what programs you’ll use to achieve those objectives, who is responsible for those metrics, and by when you’ll be achieving those goals. In short, developing and managing a strategic marketing plan is crucial in reaching business objectives.

What is the marketing planning process?

Step 1: Liaise with other departments

While marketing does proactively drive demand and new business, they need to do so in the framework of supporting the larger business objectives. That’s why when it comes to the planning process, start by looking at other departments. Here’s what to ask yourself before developing and managing a strategic marketing plan: 

  • What are the executive team’s top priorities for the year?
  • What pipeline and revenue numbers are we aiming for this fiscal year?
  • Are any adoption rates or implementation goals being set for the product? 

Step 2: Create marketing goals that align with the business

Now that you’ve understood the business goals, you’re more informed on how to plan marketing strategy.

For example, if the business has a goal to generate $5 million in new business from Jan. 1 to June 1, you have to ask yourself how marketing can drive new business. For instance, let’s say in your business, each new client would be purchasing an average of $500,000. That means sales needs to close 10 new clients in order to meet their $5 million goal. 

Then you need to figure out how many qualified accounts you need to tee up for sales, in order to close 10 new clients. For example, a good way to start is: how many accounts today engage with our marketing content, get passed to sales, are qualified, have a demo, and then book? If the percentage is 10%, then you need 100 contacts to get transferred to sales in order to close about 10 new clients. 

That is to say, starting with a focus on your goals, you ensure that you are actually building a marketing strategy vs. plan (a list of tactics). 

Step 3: Determine which campaign planning will achieve that marketing goal 

In order to generate 100 engaged contacts for sales, you want to look at your existing programs and determine the success of each at driving engagement. For example, let’s say you ran four webinars last quarter. Each had 100 registrants, and 30 people attended. Of those 30 people, 10 requested a demo and five were from qualified accounts. Once passed over, sales closed one lead. 

If that’s the average data, then you now know that you can expect a webinar to result in five contacts and one deal.

Marketing programNumber engagedNumber of leads
Webinars100 register, 30 attend5

After that, replicate the process across your campaigns to plan out which activities will actually support your company growth goals.


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Step 4: Create a marketing campaign calendar that aligns with your goals 

Now that you have focused goals that are strategically aligned with business objectives, you can create a calendar of activities, from content marketing to events. The best part? You won’t have someone asking “why is marketing running that webinar again” because you’d know the answer—it’s to drive X number of leads to sales.

Then, in your marketing campaign planning calendar, you’d want to include this information:

Period: Q1
Goal: Support sales in generating $5 million in new business, from Jan. 1 to June 1, by generating 100 engaged contacts.

TacticAnticipated resultsCadenceExisting assetsAssets neededTimeline
Webinar5 contactsMonthly4 event presentations we can repurpose6 new presentationsComplete webinar schedule by Jan. 15. Promote 2 weeks in advance.

Step 5: Establish your investments

After that, it’s time to align investments to your planned campaigns. The good news is that marketers who conduct the marketing strategy process from the get go can easily justify and secure budget for their activities—because they can directly tie that dollar into how it will impact the business goal. That’s one of the reasons why Uptempo’s process of marketing strategy planning encourages marketers to directly tie their spend to specific company goals.

Step 6: Let it run!

Finally, it’s time to execute on your plan—and start achieving business impact. While you execute on your strategic marketing plan, keep in mind that you should revisit the business goals quarterly. That keeps you on the right track to ensure the marketing organization continues to drive toward overarching corporate goals.

Knowing how to strategize marketing plans is a critical part of the marketing process. Now that you’ve completed the six steps of strategic marketing planning, you’ve set yourself and your team up for success. 

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