All too often, business leaders with the best of intentions to grow their business fall short when it comes to understanding the function of a strategic marketing plan. A well-crafted strategic marketing plan provides an organization with the focus and direction to pursue growth opportunities.

There are five essential steps you need to build an effective strategic marketing plan:

Step 1: Determine your marketing philosophy

Companies that are successfully building brand awareness, driving more leads and securing new business as a result of their marketing efforts all share a common philosophy — they view marketing as an investment, not an expense. Once you have determined that marketing is vital to your company’s growth plan, your next step is to define some measurable goals.

Step 2: Determine goals and objectives

To help you determine the right goals, spend meaningful time with your team evaluating your growth levels to date and your current position in your market space. After making your list of marketing goals, prioritize the list and then select the top three to five, focusing on the ones that will most meaningfully move your business forward. Make sure the goals you set are measurable. Setting measurable goals also brings with it accountability, which is an essential part to ensuring that your plan is actually executed.

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