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Marketing strategy has the fundamental goal of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Marketing strategy includes all basic, short-term, and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies and therefore contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives.
The distinction between “strategic” and “managerial” marketing is commonly used to distinguish "two phases having different goals and based on different conceptual tools. Strategic marketing concerns the choice of policies aiming at improving the competitive position of the firm, taking account of challenges and opportunities proposed by the competitive environment. On the other hand, managerial marketing is focused on the implementation of specific targets."
Strategic planning typically begins with a scan of the business environment, both internal and external, which includes understanding strategic constraints. It is generally necessary to try to grasp many aspects of the external environment, including technological, economic, cultural, political and legal aspects. Goals are chosen. Then, a marketing strategy or marketing plan is an explanation of what specific actions will be taken over time to achieve the objectives. Plans can be extended to cover many years, with sub-plans for each year, although as the speed of change in the merchandising environment quickens, time horizons are becoming shorter. Ideally, strategies are both dynamic and interactive, partially planned and partially unplanned, to enable a firm to react to unforeseen developments while trying to keep focused on a specific pathway; generally, a longer time frame is preferred. There are simulations such as customer lifetime value models which can help marketers conduct "what-if" analyses to forecast what might happen based on possible actions, and gauge how specific actions might affect such variables as the revenue-per-customer and the churn rate. Strategies often specify how to adjust the marketing mix; firms can use tools such as Marketing Mix Modeling to help them decide how to allocate scarce resources for different media, as well as how to allocate funds across a portfolio of brands. In addition, firms can conduct analyses of performance, customer analysis, competitor analysis, and target market analysis. A key aspect of marketing strategy is often to keep marketing consistent with a company's overarching mission statement.
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