In this article, industry tutor Dr Ian Grimes discusses the importance of strategic marketing management to SME’s.

Some SME’s fail to see the importance of ‘Strategic Marketing Management’.
Because many think that marketing is all about producing some product brochures or doing some ‘tweets’ on twitter.

Strategic marketing management is much more than ‘just doing some marketing’.

It is about integrating marketing communications, social media, digital and traditional marketing. Creating direction for the short, medium and long-term direction of your company.

Internal & External forces.

Before all of this takes place the strategic marketer needs to fully understand the external & internal environment and the forces that are in place which can impact on a company’s success.

Such forces might include:

• Legal constraints,
• Innovation or new technology,
• Competitors,
• The culture of your organisation,
• The resources at your disposal.

Cross functional working is key to making any business a success – meaning that different departments across the business work cohesively towards aligned goals. This concept is more relevant for the marketing department as its job is to not only make sure its product/services are marketed externally but also internally.

Porters Five Forces model.

Keeping an eye on your competitors can help you to understand the dynamics of the market that you operate in and the forces that are at play. Porters (1985) ‘five forces’ model is a useful way for companies to look at the market they operate in, the model prompts the organisation to consider a variety of questions.

See below –
• Can your products be easily substituted by different offerings?
• Can new entrants easily get into the market?
• Are there many or few suppliers and what is their power?
• Do customers have high or low bargaining power and is your product subject to price sensitivity?

All these forces come together to help SME’s form an understanding of the competitive rivalry in their industry, their point of differentiation and their unique selling point (USP).

Having this understanding of your environment will give you useful insights about the key factors that are at play. When you understand the key factors you are enabled to form a useful point of differentiation to delight your customers with.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Marketing & Marketing Management, keep your eyes on the look out for more of Ian’s blog posts!

Dr Ian Grime

Associate tutor of in>Professional Development