If you don’t have a clear marketing strategy or is planning to change your strategy, the list of strategic planning tools below will help you narrow in on the most important decisions in a coherent manner so that your resulting plan is high-impact, well defined and realistic.
Defining your marketing strategy has multiple stages. We’ve grouped some of the most useful marketing strategy tools for each focus area for easy reference.
List of Marketing Strategy Planning Tools
1. Define Company Mission and Objectives
2. Analyze Current Position
d. Perceptual Map / Positioning Maps
e. BCG Matrix
3. Define marketing strategies
a. Segment Attractiveness and Resource Strength Framework by Hooley
d. Customer / Strategy / Resource Matrix by Hooley
e. Keller’s Brand Equity Pyramid
4. Implement and Control Marketing Execution
Objectives: Business Model Canvas
The business model canvas is a one-page document that lets you work through the fundamentals of your business ideas in a single snapshot. Populating this upfront will outline all relevant aspects that one will need to consider when defining a marketing strategy. Click on the following template to edit it online.
Business Model Canvas (Click the image to edit online)
Analyze: SWOT Analysis
SWOT can help you analyze your business from a strategic perspective. It will help you identify how to capitalize on your opportunities using your strengths and how to avoid the threats and eliminate weaknesses.
What is it
SWOT is an effective business planning tool used in businesses to form strategies. It helps analyze internal factors (Strengths & Weaknesses) that affect and external factors (Opportunities & Threats) that may have an effect on an organization.
How to use it
Check out this SWOT analysis tutorial to learn how to use it in strategic marketing planning
SWOT Analysis Template (Click on image to edit online)
Analyze: Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
Porter’s five forces analysis has proven a useful strategic planning tool in both business and market-based planning, especially when it comes to understanding the level of competitive intensity within the industry.
What is it
The Porter’s five forces analysis assesses levels of profitability, opportunity, and risk based on 5 key factors in an industry.
- Entry/Exit Barriers
- To analyze the attractiveness and profitability of an industry sector
- To observe the strength of a market position
How to use it
This model helps identify the competitive forces that exist within an industry. In turn, these forces help determine the attractiveness and the profitability of the industry.
This force looks at the power the supplier holds over businesses.
- Look into how many suppliers there are in the market
- How many suppliers do you have?
- Do your suppliers hold the power?
- What is the cost to you and them if you decide to switch suppliers?
- Are there a lot of suppliers who control the prices?
This force looks at the power the buyer holds over your business.
- How many buyers are there?
- How many buyers do you have?
- How price-sensitive are your buyers?
- What information do you have on them?
The threat of new entrants
This force examines how easy or difficult it is for new competitors to enter the market.
- How easy is it to start a business in your market?
- What are the rules and regulations you need to follow?
- How much money would a new startup have to spend?
- Are there any barriers that would give you greater power?
The threat of substitute products/ services
This force looks at how easy it is for a customer to switch from one business’s product to that of a competitor.
- How many substitutes to your product are out there?
- How easy it is for your buyer to switch to another product?
- Is there a cost to your buyer for switching?
This force studies the intensity of the competition in the current marketplace.
- What is the competition level in market sector?
- Who are your main competitors?
- Roughly how many competitors do you have?
- What is your competitive strategy?
Porter’s Five Forces Analysis Template (Click on the image to edit online)
Analyze: Customer Journey Map
Customer journey mapping is a great way to visualize the user experience that helps when creating future marketing strategies.
What is it
A customer journey map is basically a story of the customer experience. It maps the steps the customer takes when engaging with a company. The more touch points the interaction has the more complicated the map may become.
- To identify the key interactions the customer has with a company
- To understand the user’s feelings, motivations and expectations
- To create an overview of the customer experience
- To identify opportunities to enhance the customer experience
How to use it
Step 1: Get to know the user
If you already have created user personas, great! If you don’t, then get started! In order to map the journey of your user, you need to know who the person is first.
Step 2: Gather data
Whether yours is a brick and mortar store or an online shop, there are ways to identify the touchpoints your customers would go through before buying your product or service. Using the correct tools, collect all the necessary data.
Step 3: Map it out
There is no single right way to do a customer journey map. Your company can find something that works for you, even if it is a flowchart or a flow map like the one below.
Customer Journey Map Template (Click on the image to edit online)
Analyze: Perceptual Map/ Positioning Map
Marketers use perceptual maps to compare products and determine their positioning in the market based on how customers perceive them. During the product development process, a perceptual map can be used to identify new products.
What is it
A perceptual map is a marketing planning tool that shows how the average target market consumer understands and perceives the positioning of competing products in a marketplace. Picking the right dimensions to measure positions in the market is important. It is recommended that you draw multiple positioning maps for the same market to understand it fully.
- To understand what customers think of your product
- To identify how customers perceive your competitor’s products
- To assist with building competitive strategy, brand strategy and communication strategy
- Identify where a company can position a new brand
- Identifying market opportunities
How is it used
Step 1: Determine what you want to learn from it
Before you create a perceptual map, it helps to have decided what you want to learn from it eventually. Do you want to know where you stand against your competitors in the market? Or do you want to identify new opportunities for growth?
Step 2: Gather necessary data
To create a conceptual map you need data and data variables to display on the map. You can get this from a reliable source such as consumer reports, or from a research or survey that you’ve done yourself.
Step 3: Draw the map
Next is to display the data you’ve gathered on the map. There are multiple types of perceptual maps. You can edit the following perceptual map template online and enter your data by simply clicking on it.
Perceptual Map Template (Click on the image to edit online)
Analyze: BCG Matrix
The Boston Consulting group’s product portfolio matrix is designed to help with long-term strategic planning. It is usually an essential section of a strategic plan or a marketing plan.
What is it
The BCG matrix is a framework for analyzing products according to growth and market share. It helps companies gain insight into what products they should capitalize on to grow their market-share opportunities.
- To identify means by which companies can maximize their corporate performance
- To improve the desired distribution of resources
- To evaluate product lines to identify which are more profitable