Strategic Marketing Planning Made Simple

Strategic Marketing Planning Made Simple

An effective strategic marketing planning framework is a must-have element for any exiguous business that wants to become an enormous business “when it grows up”. Unfortunately, many exiguous business owners have as considerable interest in strategic marketing planning as a turkey has for thanksgiving. They avoid it.

Fraction of the reason why they avoid this very considerable process is because consultants and MBAs have conspired to create it a topic that only egg heads could fancy.

In working with my consulting clients, I have developed a simple framework for helping the every day business owner boom a thought for strategic engagement with the marketplace. I call it the 4P Business Thinking framework.

The 4P Business Thinking Framework is a robust system for matching your solution to the needs of a marketplace, and then communicating that match in a diagram that results in sales and profits. Here is a brief overview of the 4Ps of the 4P framework.

1. People (or Profile)

For you or your business to exploit a market opportunity or overcome an industry challenge, you must have a very determined definition of the target customer. In the B2B (business-to-business) plot that customer may be an organization, but the near must mild be crafted with individual decision makers in mind. In a B2C (business-to-consumer) context, you may have to interpret the demographic, psychographic or geographic profiles of your target prospects.

2. Problem

You must clearly account for the pickle your marketplace is desperate to solve for which you have an respond. In business, many ships have crashed on the rocks of market indifference because a company manufactured a solution for which the market had no plight. The time proven arrive to value innovation in business is to deeply put a question to the clearly identified challenges of the customer.

3. Process (or Product)

What is your particular map of solving the market’s challenge that differentiates you from every other competitor?

This 3rd P in the framework is where you have a chance to stand out from the crowd of competitors for solving the scrape of your chosen target market. Your process or product must be meaningfully different.

4. Passion (or Personality) and Proof

This last element is often flubbed badly by tiny businesses who blindly emulate the sanitized and often colorless communications of considerable larger firms. One of the embedded advantages a limited business has is the ability to be “personal” and to communicate passion to the marketplace.

One sizable company that successfully communicates passion and personality in marketing is Southwest airlines. As a result of their commitment to personality in business, they continue to be rewarded with some of the highest customer approval ratings in the domestic airline industry.

If you manage a manufacturer of colorless widgets, or a buttoned-down professional service firm, you cannot afford to pass up the power of personality, passion and social proof in your marketing.

Some simple things you can do include digging through early stories of your company for narratives that may resonate, or capturing the experiences of your staff, clients and managers for your marketing campaigns.


Whether you’re planning for a modern product or service, approaching a fresh target market or writing a announce mail sales letter, the 4P framework can be obsolete to get great value in your marketing planning process.

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