Preparing your Marketing Plan – Phase 2: Marketing Strategy


Phase 2: Creating a Marketing Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy is vital for any business. Without one, your efforts to attract customers are likely to be haphazard and inefficient.

The thought of creating a marketing strategy may seem daunting, where to start I hear you say? By following our step by step guide below you’ll be able to produce a Marketing Strategy that makes a real difference to you and your business.

The focus of your strategy should be making sure that your products, services and experience meet your ideal customers’ needs to allow you to develop long-term and profitable relationships with those customers.

Following on from our previous article Phase 1: Preparing your Marketing Plan, we highly recommend PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Plan.

PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning Method is used by professionals across the world and was voted in The Top 3 Business Models worldwide by the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Centenary Poll.

Let’s start by looking at what you have to say and who you want to say it to…

Messaging & Targeting

What is your positioning?

Positioning is a marketing concept that outlines what a business should do to market its product or service to its customers.

The aim is to increase your margin and strengthen your number one market position, keep customers, expand market share and invest in your defensive position.

You should consider the following:

  • Cascades into USPs
  • Propositions
  • Message strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Segmentation
  • Which markets are you addressing to meet your objectives?
  • What new needs do they have?
  • Who are you targeting?
  • Who are your partners?

Once your ideal market position is identified the goal is to create a unique impression in the mind of customers that associates something specific and desirable about your brand that is distinct from the other competitors in the space

Example of SMART Strategies

You should now start to think about your SMART strategies and note down any that you feel are important to you and your business.

  • Launch new web portal for by June 2018.
  • Generate 10 new web enquiries per month for our new product
  • Achieve 1 news story in the industry per quarter
  • Develop 1 new content page for the website each month
  • Generate 6 new referrals from existing customers this year
  • Attend 10 industry exhibitions this year and gain 150 new leads at each

Example of an online strategy

A digital marketing strategy is an important part of the overall marketing strategy of a business. We’ve provided an example of some of the key metrics to monitor to gain insights on how your digital marketing is performing.

Micro Conversion Visitor Type by Segment No. of unique and new visitors % Bounce rate Return visitors Time on page Impact of pages Website registration Customer intent Response Blog Subscription Email sign up Forum participation
Macro Conversion % Share of audience % Share of search Segmented conversion Downloads & content consumed Videos watched No. of active prospects, active social, return visits
Customer-Centric/KPIs Cost per click Brand awareness Visitor experience Page depth Visitor touch points Place in sales funnel
Business Value KPIs % Audience share % Segment share Goal per visit, channel & segment Goal conversion Cost per lead Return on investment

Tactics and Action

  • What needs to happen, how does this relate to your objective and your strategy?
  • The granular detail of campaigns, marketing communications for example
  • Who is involved?
  • By when do you need to carry out your actions?
  • Often helpful to plot in a chart with specific actions, dates, responsibilities


It’s very important to control your marketing activity to ensure you get the results you need to run a successful business.

  • Measure results against targets
  • Look at what’s working – and what’s not
  • Keep an action plan  – in a shared location, each person is responsible for updating their actions and printing out their own copy to bring to meetings
  • General rules – If you can’t come to the meeting, prepare a quick summary, recorded on web cam and we shall play at the meeting

Marketing Performance Analysis Example

By monitoring and analyzing your marketing performance metrics, you can increase your competitive intelligence, assess your market strengths and weaknesses, and make calculated budgetary decisions across the marketing mix.

Marketing Result
Market Share
Profit / ROI
Number of Web Visitors
Number of enquiries
Number of leads
Distributor performance
Level of engagement
Communications results
% Target Market Brand Awareness
Sentiment Score

Resources needed to execute your plan – Men, Minutes and Money

The 3Ms are key resources to implement into your Marketing Strategy:

  • Men meaning men and women, expertise and abilities to do different jobs
  • Do we need additional expertise to execute some of the strategies/tactics, e.g. digital
  • What training might be needed
  • Money means budgets – have you the money?
  • How will budget be allocated?
  • Minutes mean time – what are the time scales, schedules or deadlines? Is there enough time?
  • Break down into gantt charts to analyse time requirements

We hope you’ve found this guide useful and it sets you on your way to creating an effective Marketing Strategy.

If you’d like to put your Marketing Strategy to the test or would help like us to guide you through it, please let us know by getting in touch.


PR Smith
Smith, PR (2017) SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan
Smith, PR (2017) How Trump Won
SOSTAC® Analysis

SOSTAC® is a registered trade mark of PR Smith. For more information on SOSTAC® Planning &
becoming a SOSTAC® Certified Planner visit

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