Most marketing departments work in a silo because sales and marketing stakeholders often work on separate OKRs, funnels and buyer’s journeys. This can create a misalignment in the overall business strategy, which results in performance gaps in the long run. That’s why companies—whether new or established—need a marketing process to maximize their marketing results.
This article details the core components of a marketing process and an example to inspire your own.
What is the marketing process?
The marketing process describes a series of actions a company takes to identify customer needs, study market trends and opportunities, and create marketing materials to reach and sell to its target audience.
The marketing process is generally an umbrella framework covering all company activities and strategies. It typically includes everything from the mission statement, market analysis, research, marketing planning, strategy formulation, allocation, and budgeting to monitoring and auditing.
6 crucial steps to nail your marketing process
Here are the different steps a marketer must follow to establish an effective marketing process.
Step 1: Be clear on your mission and objectives
Marketing processes work best when marketing team members understand how their work is connected with the company’s overall success. That’s why the first step in designing a successful marketing process is to ensure that the company’s mission and goals are clearly stated.
Here are a few examples from leading companies to show you what a good mission statement looks like.
- Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
- JetBlue: “To inspire humanity—both in the air and on the ground.”
- Lego: “To inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.”
Identifying your core mission and making a clear mission statement gives your entire company a common outcome to work toward. All the departments and teams involved can now create marketing campaigns and processes that push the company towards attaining its objectives and fulfilling the mission.
Step 2: Conduct a situation analysis for industry positioning
A good marketing process also requires that you and your marketing team have a clear idea of where your company stands in relation to your market and competitors. For this, you will need to conduct:
- Market analysis to obtain information about your total addressable market, potential growth, and evolving trends.
- Competitive analysis to discover the products already available to your customers, your competitors’ offerings, the strengths, and weaknesses of existing products, etc.
Doing this will provide real insights into your market, and you can determine how to position your marketing endeavors to ensure success. Here are two ways you can run a situational analysis effectively.
Method 1: SWOT Analysis
The SWOT framework reveals your company’s internal strengths and weaknesses as well as its external opportunities and threats. This highlights the internal and external factors influencing your current process and how you can use these insights to set up a seamless marketing process.
Here’s how a SWOT analysis works.
✅ Strengths: Find out what your company does well and take notice of the process that enables you to do it so well.
✅ Weaknesses: Find out what your company struggles with the most. What are the biggest barriers to growth? What could be improved to ensure a better marketing process?
✅ Opportunities: What are the things in your industry that can help you create an effective marketing process? In other words, what market trends or events can you take advantage of?
✅ Threats: Which things outside of your control (politically, economically, or socially) can potentially hurt your marketing? How do you stack up against other companies in the industry market?
You can use one of these templates to run a SWOT analysis for your business.
Method 2: 5C’s Analysis
The 5Cs stand for company, collaborators, competitors, climate, and customers. This system is an alternative to conducting a SWOT analysis. Here’s how it works.
Conduct an internal audit of your company to determine your goals, missions, and visions.
Based on your audit, identify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, what strategies are helping you achieve your goals and vision? Are there any obstacles to your success?
Find companies with whom you are moving in the same direction. Essentially, companies with whom you share visions, goals, and interests. Here are a few questions you can answer to figure this out.
Which companies (new and established) can you work with to ensure a win-win for both parties? Which partner companies are making valuable contributions to your current marketing strategy?
Determine who your competitors are and how they are currently performing? Who are your most significant competitors? What are their recent wins, and what keeps them from growing?
This will be helpful in defining KPIs and benchmark metrics to evaluate your current marketing strategy. Above all, you will discover how to engage your target audience and better appeal to them.
Analyze the external factors that can impact your company. These may be cultural, political, social, or technological factors. With this analysis, you will be able to make projections on your company’s future and potentially discover best practices to improve your marketing strategy.
Finally, you must clearly understand your target market’s value expectations. To do this, your analysis needs to pinpoint what your customers want from you, what practices and processes are best suited to them, and essentially how to win their hearts.
Step 3: Develop a marketing strategy
So far, the situation analysis has given you a clear idea of your company’s position in the industry. Now it’s time to use these insights to develop a customer-driven marketing strategy.
- Define your target audience
Defining your target audience is the first step in creating a solid marketing strategy. Knowing your target demographic and what their pain points are helps you better understand how to assist them. More importantly, it enables you to craft a marketing strategy that resonates with them.
Here are a few elements to consider when defining your target audience.
- Demographics let you categorize your buyers based on common patterns and traits. This is important because no two buyers are the same. Are you targeting Gen Z’s, Millennials, or Boomers? Are your buyers C-level executives or individual contributors? How much do they earn per year?
- Behaviors teach you how your customers act. What are their buying and spending habits, and how do they interact with products like yours?
- Psychographics teach about your target audience’s beliefs, interests and lifestyles. This information makes it easy for you to create marketing messaging that your audience can relate to.
- Geographic lets categorize the target audience by the places they live, frequent, and their economics.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. marketing goals
Your marketing goals should be tied to your company’s overall goal. Also, each of these objectives should be guided by the insights gained from your situation analysis. That’s why your goals have to be:
- Specific. You should have a clear idea of what it takes and what you need to do to achieve that goal.
- Measurable. You need to be able to measure the return on investment of each marketing activity you undertake. How does each task contribute to hitting your target?
- Attainable. Are your goals realistic?
- Relevant. Are your goals relevant to your company’s overall goal? Do these goals tie to your business’ growth?
- Time-bound. Make sure they are achievable over a specified period of time. Can you achieve these goals within the time frame of your marketing strategy?
- Define channels for marketing strategy
Decide which marketing channel(s) can help you achieve the company’s goals?
The information you gathered about your target audience can help you easily determine which channel is more appropriate to target them. For example, if your audience is young, you can leverage social media marketing to connect with them. If it’s an older audience, direct mail might be more appropriate.
4. Develop a marketing mix for decision-making using the 4Ps
After developing a strategy, decide which tactics will be most effective in achieving the strategy’s goals. To do this, you need to rely on four elements—namely, product, price, place, and promotion—to understand the best customer approach to achieve your goals.
The 4Ps will guide how you communicate the value of your product to your audience.
Product: Decide which feature of your product to prioritize. You have to know what problem your product solves and why your solution is unique.
Here are some questions that will help:
- What is the product or service?
- What features does the customer care most about this product?
- What type of needs does it satisfy? Is it a perception need or a subsistence need?
- In what context will the customer use your product?
- What is the difference between your solution and the competition’s?
Price: The price is the sum your target market is willing to pay for your product. The value of this money is not necessarily related to the manufacturing or marketing costs. It can be influenced by such subjective elements as the perceived value of your product. For example, this is part of what makes the difference between a $10,000 car and a luxury car costing several hundred thousand dollars.
Promotion: How will you get your product in front of customers? When is the best time to advertise, and how do you beat the competition in marketing?
Place: Where is your product/service produced, and how will customers find it? Where is it stored? Where and how is it transported? What are your distribution channels? What are the outlet locations? Where are your competitors reaching customers? You’ll need to figure these out for this part of the mix.
5. Implement your marketing process (Across your different marketing strategies)
The next step is to put everything you’ve built up to use. Reach out to your prospects or potential customers with your marketing materials to try and convert them.
Here are a few things you need to be doing:
- Setting up the necessary staff and budget to market your product
- Designing a marketing calendar
- Assigning work to the right people
- Setting up KPIs to measure progress
6. Analyze the results, Improve, Repeat
After implementing your marketing strategy, you need to analyze the results, take note of the progress, and make changes where necessary. Understand that it is nearly impossible to establish the best process for your business the first time around. Instead, be aggressive about regularly measuring and evaluating the results of your process.
Based on your goal and marketing strategy, you can track marketing KPIs and metrics such as revenue, sales, shares, comments, customer satisfaction, click-through rates, website views, email opens, engagement rates, conversions, or other data to measure your success.
A marketing process example to learn from
Here’s an example of a fictitious marketing process to get inspired by.
Mission: Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Situation Analysis: Tesla’s competitive advantage lies in its commitment to understanding our world’s environmental problems, focusing on products central to its mission, and fostering a sustainable world.
Marketing Strategy: Tesla is typically the first to market with new products, and the company relies on the brand loyalty of existing customers as a strategy for launching new products. On the side, they also leverage the influence of Elon Musk, founder of Tesla.
Marketing Mix: Although Tesla offers a range of products, it focuses on high-end pricing and relies on seamless, fast-food-style distribution.
Implementation: Tesla’s products operate within the same ecosystem. You can manage them using your phone or your car’s dashboard—all interconnected.
Develop your marketing process today!
This is, in a nutshell, everything you need to create or update your marketing processes. The steps listed will ensure an efficient marketing process.
That said, to plan, manage and measure the impact of your marketing efforts, you need access to the best tools. At AppSumo, we offer you not only the best tools but also the most affordable ones. Here are a few:
- WorxQ: This tool is designed to help businesses and their different teams be more effective and get more done. WorxQ allows companies to plan, capture, manage, automate, and report on work across the organization, enabling them to progress more quickly and achieve more results. Companies get to manage all sides of the business on the platform, going from marketing and H.R. activities to customer support.
- GoFlow: This tool empowers companies to automate their routine business processes with a few clicks and boost productivity. It is a tool that simplifies and streamlines your processes by allowing you to automate and manage leads, clients, employees, and more all in one place. The tool also provides advanced fields and filters for tracking performance metrics.