Strategic frameworks are an integral part of any marketing strategy. They help us identify where we are, where we want to go, and what steps we need to take to get there as a business.

Marketers use dozens of different strategic frameworks. But how do you know which is the right one? We’ve collected the opinions of five marketers who’ve put their strategic framework of choice to the test.

What Is a Strategic Framework?

A strategic framework is a type of structuring method that details how a project or initiative will help reach important company objectives.

From a marketing perspective, it can be used to outline specific marketing projects or initiatives to make sure they’re always in line with the overarching business plan. For example, you can use strategic frameworks to guide new product or service offerings or determine how the marketing team can help increase revenue.

What Makes a Strategic Framework Successful?

Oren Greenberg, managing director at Kurve, says there are generally two key pieces every successful strategic framework should include: it needs to align with the overall business strategy, and it needs to be measurable.

Greenberg also says it’s important to provide people in the organization with the research and data they need to formulate their own thinking. He underlines the importance of aligning the goals of the framework with all people in the organization, specifically in reference to KPIs.

Which Strategic Frameworks Do Marketers Find Most Useful?

We’ve compiled opinions from five different marketing experts to find out what they think is the most useful strategic framework.

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

Hiba Amin, content marketing manager at SoapBox, says,OKRs are able to communicate the what and why super effectively across all teams, which leaves room for the experts to determine the how.”

“OKRs are able to communicate the what and why super effectively across all teams, which leaves room for the experts to determine the how.” Click To Tweet

Popularized by early Google investor John Doerr, OKRs are divided into two parts: objectives and key results. Think of the objective as the why, a clear goal for team members to follow. The what comes in the form of the key results — specific measurable ways to track the goal. Once you have those two pieces in place, it’s up to your team to determine how you’re going to reach that objective.

How to Use This Strategic Framework

OKRs are often set on a quarterly basis to sync up with current company priorities. Set a high-level objective (e.g., increase revenue, bolster employee engagement, etc.), and come up with one to three key results that can help you track the objective in a measurable way. If your objective is to increase revenue, for example, you would come up with one to three measurable ways your company could do that. That could mean anything from getting a certain number of new clients to reducing churn by a specific percentage.

Strategic Framework OKR

Using this strategic planning framework, each member of your team can contribute to these high-level objectives, and you can update them as needed. If you’re on the marketing team, for instance, you will be finding ways to support high-level objectives through different marketing initiatives.

Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures (OGSM)

James Story, senior content manager at Lead Tech, points to simplicity as being one of the biggest benefits of this strategic framework model and underlines that “you don’t need any special software or technical skills — you just need a single page.”

Like the name of this strategic framework states, OGSMs are divided into four parts: objectives, goals, strategies, and measures. Unlike some of the other strategic frameworks included on this list, OGSM is a relatively simple framework to implement. You can simply take your overarching objective and come up with goals, strategies, and measures to help achieve it.

How to Use This Strategic Framework

To understand how to use OGSMs, it’s best to break down each individual piece of the strategic framework to highlight what its function is:

  • Objectives: High-level company priorities.
  • Goals: Create measurable results that support the high-level priority.
  • Strategies: How to achieve your objectives and goals.
  • Measures: Determine if strategies are working.

Strategic Framework OGSM

As you can see, there are some general similarities between OGSMs and OKRs. Both strategic frameworks include high-level objectives at the top, but they differ in how to achieve that objective.

Balanced Scorecard

Tom Wright, cofounder and CEO of Cascade Strategy, says, “the benefit of implementing the Balanced Scorecard is that it forces your organization into a level of focus that spans leading KPI indicators as well as lagging ones.”

The Balanced Scorecard looks at goals and measures through four different perspectives: customer, internal, innovation and learning, and financial. It’s known as the Balanced Scorecard because of its well-rounded approach to goals and measures. It doesn’t just focus on objectives that are organizational priorities; it creates a balanced approach that considers different aspects of the company at all times. This allows you to stay on top of objectives that are already making good progress and focusing on others that may be behind.

How to Use This Strategic Framework

The Balanced Scorecard is, for lack of a better term, all about getting a more balanced view of your goals and measures. Create four separate scorecards that address each of the aforementioned perspectives:

  • Customer: Value, retention, churn, etc.
  • Internal: Quality, efficiency, productivity, etc.
  • Innovation and learning: Culture, technology, leadership, etc.
  • Financial: Revenue, ROI, cash flow, etc.

Once you’ve done that, create goals and measures for each perspective and you will create a holistic view of your company’s objectives:

Strategic Framework Balanced Scorecard

The Ansoff Matrix

Kim Moore, marketing strategist at KG Moore Limited, says the Ansoff Matrix should be used on an annual basis to “determine whether a business needs to improve or adjust existing offerings or venture into new markets.”

The Ansoff Matrix is centered on growth and innovation and divided into four parts: market development, market penetration, product development, and diversification. It can help guide the direction of a marketing strategy that is focused on improvement and expansion of product or service offerings. This is why it’s important to use the Ansoff Matrix every year. It helps you evaluate your current product or service offerings and adjust when needed.

How to Use This Strategic Framework

Similar to the OGSM strategic framework, the Ansoff Matrix also takes four different perspectives into consideration. These are focused specifically on marketing efforts for product and service growth versus broader objectives, such as increasing revenue:

  • Market penetration: Grow existing product or service offerings in existing markets.
  • Market development: Expand into new markets using existing product or service offerings.
  • Product development: Create new product or service offerings in existing markets.
  • Diversification: Grow market share through introduction of new product or service offerings in new markets.

Strategic Framework Ansoff Matrix

SMART Goals

Ryan Shelley, chief growth officer and founder of SMA Marketing, says to think of SMART Goals as “a map as you continue to go towards your destination, as you continue to build your business, as you continue to market your company, as you continue to grow your influence online.”

SMART is an acronym for smart, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — which is exactly what these goals need to be. Your goals will continually change as your company shifts priorities and grows; SMART Goals allow you to set goals that are always in line with your current business needs.

How to Use This Strategic Framework

To create a SMART Goal, you need to ensure that the goal you are setting takes all five elements of SMART into consideration. It’s important to note that there are a few different takes on SMART Goals, and the letters can represent slightly different qualities in some cases. Here is a common version used by many companies:

  • Smart: The goal is clear and concise.
  • Measurable: You can measure the goal in some quantitative way.
  • Attainable: The goal can be achieved; it is not impossible to accomplish.
  • Relevant: The goal is in line with the bigger company vision.
  • Time-Bound: The goal has a clearly defined timeline; test and pivot when needed.

Strategic Framework SMART Goals

Use Strategic Frameworks to Strengthen Your Marketing Strategy

Strategic frameworks map out business objectives and goals that can help inform your marketing strategy. They give you a clear path to success and need to be addressed and updated regularly.

Some companies evaluate company performance with these strategic frameworks quarterly, while others do so annually. The important piece is to have consistency. Strategic frameworks are meant to be revisited regularly. This is not a set-and-forget method.

Once you have your strategic framework in place, Alexa can help you measure your marketing metrics to ensure your marketing efforts are always aligned with business goals. Try our free 14-day trial today!

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