What Are The Three Phases Of The Strategic Marketing Process?

The strategic marketing process involves three key phases: research and analysis, strategy development, and implementation and evaluation. During the research phase, companies analyze their target markets, competitors, and the broader business environment.

In the strategy development phase, companies define strategic objectives and develop marketing plans. The final implementation phase involves executing marketing campaigns and continuously monitoring results to refine strategies.

Phase 1: Research and Analysis

The first phase of the strategic marketing process focuses on in-depth research and analysis. This phase involves analyzing both internal and external factors that will influence marketing strategies.

Companies conduct a thorough PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological) analysis to understand macro environmental factors. They analyze demographic trends, economic conditions, technological changes, cultural shifts, and regulatory changes that provide opportunities or pose threats.

Companies also perform an internal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to better understand their own capabilities and competitive positioning. They evaluate their core competencies, resources, production processes, and other strengths and weaknesses.

Market research methods like surveys, focus groups, and data analysis are used to thoroughly understand the target market. Companies seek to define customer segments, analyze buying behaviors and motivations, understand industry trends, and identify unmet needs. Competitive intelligence also helps companies benchmark themselves against rivals.

The research phase results in comprehensive reports documenting key insights about the target market, competition, and environmental factors. This knowledge forms the foundation for developing effective marketing strategies.

Phase 2: Strategy Development

During the strategy development phase, companies define specific, measurable strategic objectives based on insights from research. Objectives are targeted milestones for metrics like sales, market share, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.

Companies also conduct an in-depth target market analysis to segment the market and closely examine the most attractive, relevant, and achievable customer segments to target. Demographic, psychographic and behavioral attributes of each segment are analyzed.

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Phase 3: Implementation and Evaluation

With clear objectives and target segments defined, companies begin implementing specific marketing tactics and campaigns. Detailed marketing plans are created outlining budget, timeline, activities, responsibilities and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Campaigns integrate tactics like advertising, public relations, direct marketing, social media, partnerships, and more. Careful branding and messaging ensure all communications consistently position the company to customers. Promotions, pricing strategies, and sales initiatives work in tandem to achieve objectives.

Continuous monitoring and measuring campaign effectiveness against KPIs allows companies to assess progress real-time. Web and social analytics provide insight into areas like website traffic and engagement. Sales data reveals purchasing behaviors and ROI. Customer surveys track brand perceptions and satisfaction.

Regular evaluations help identify underperforming tactics for adjustment or discontinuation. Successes are expanded while opportunities for improvement are addressed. Deep analysis reveals unforeseen factors influencing results to further refine strategies. The ultimate goal is optimizing campaigns until objectives are met or surpassed.

Phase 4: Target Market Identification

Phase 4: Target Market Identification

Effective strategic marketing begins with thorough research to identify the ideal target market. Several factors must be analyzed to develop a deep understanding of the most attractive customer segments:

Demographics like age, gender, income, location, family status

Psychographics such as values, attitudes, interests, lifestyles

Purchase motivators and pain points

Usage occasions and settings

Budgets, willingness to pay

Industry attributes and trends

Competitors serving similar segments

Phase 5: Competitive Analysis

A competitive analysis evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of rival brands and companies. Key areas of examination include:

Product/service offerings and positioning

Promotional efforts across channels

Pricing and packaging strategies

Distribution channels and partnerships

Brand awareness and perceptions

Relative market share and sales velocity

Comparing strategies and performances against competitors reveals opportunities for differentiation and competitive advantages. It also informs tactics to defend against threats.

Phase 6: Marketing Plan Creation

Once research is complete, a comprehensive marketing plan is assembled. An effective plan includes:

A budget outlining allocated funds for each tactic

Specific, measurable objectives aligned to company goals

A timeline scheduling activities quarterly or annually

A SWOT analysis of internal strengths and weaknesses

Marketing strategies for each target segment

Tactical plans for paid media, PR, loyalty programs, etc.

Key performance indicators for tracking and measurement

Contingency plans for optimizing underperforming efforts

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities

Regularly reviewing and updating the marketing plan keeps strategies evolving as the market changes.

Phase 7: Campaign Execution and Monitoring

With tactics approved, campaigns are rolled out as the plan dictates. Continual monitoring provides insights to improve performance in real-time:

Digital analytics track website traffic and engagement

Sales figures reveal purchasing behaviors over time

Customer feedback via surveys assesses brand perception

Key performance indicators are measured against objectives

Evaluating results enables immediate course corrections, like adjusting messaging or doubling down on top-performing channels. Regular analyses reveal subtle patterns guiding longer-term strategic decisions. The goal is optimizing campaigns until objectives are either achieved or surpassed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Each Phase of the Strategic Marketing Process Typically Take?

While timelines vary, research and analysis typically takes 3-6 months. Strategy development is 2-4 months. Implementation and evaluation are ongoing but initial campaigns last 6-12 months. Monitoring continues long-term.

What Are the Key Components of a Marketing Plan?

The main components include objectives, strategies, tactics, budget, timeline, roles and KPIs as outlined above. An effective plan integrates all strategic marketing research insights.

How Can a Company Identify Its Target Market Effectively?

Thorough primary and secondary research examining demographics, firmographics, behaviors and pain points is key. Surveys, focus groups and analytics help reveal the most attractive and feasible segments.

What Are Some Common Challenges in Implementing a Marketing Campaign?

Budgeting issues, unclear objectives, inflexible timelines, inadequate testing, ineffective measurements and lack of team alignment can all undermine implementation.

How Can a Company Effectively Monitor the Success of a Marketing Campaign?

Close tracking of sales figures, website analytics, survey feedback and strategic KPIs against objectives provides actionable insights for continuous optimization.


The strategic marketing process consists of three main phases – research and analysis, strategy development, and implementation with evaluation. Thoroughly understanding the market, customers, competition and business environment through research lays the groundwork for setting clear objectives and defining strategies.

Careful planning and ongoing monitoring of campaign execution allows companies to continually refine their approaches based on performance. With each phase informing the next, the strategic marketing process becomes a cycle that helps drive growth when done comprehensively and with a long-term perspective. Following this tried-and-tested model helps marketers make the most impact from their efforts.

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