A strong marketing department is crucial to business development and success. Your team should make it a priority to be equipped with the right skills that can help stride in today’s modern marketing, but also with a good marketing plan.
Businesses need to plot their marketing tactics and strategies throughout the year. A plan lays down the structure of how their strategic marketing campaigns will function and allows them to look back to see what worked and what did not the previous year.
There are many how-to’s that other marketers swear by when it comes to creating a marketing plan, but it’s hard to determine which one to use for what kind of organization, especially for start-ups, because there’s not one marketing plan that fits all business concerns. The way to come up with a good one is to use the right tools and take the right steps.
With a marketing plan, there is a sure way for your business to capture the audience and customer for whom it’s intended. Gain insights about your prospects—what do they look like or what are their habits, strengths, and weaknesses? Creating a persona requires trial and error as well as knowing the trends and fluctuation of your demographic.
Aside from having the necessary advertising platform to reach your customers and spread your brand’s message, creating a plan also allows you learn precisely define your business and help differentiate it against the competition, and even improve the risk management caused by this competition.
An effective brand is one that has a story that consumers can relate to; emotions need to be attached to your product or service.
These elements should be present in your marketing plan for it to be more successful.
Through your brand, customers would know what products and services to expect from you. A strong personal brand cannot be earned overnight; it needs to be worked on every day through interactions, decisions, follow-throughs, and work quality. It will translate into more clients and customers and higher income.
Market analysis refers to narrowing down and appropriately defining your target audience. Remember that your product is only suited to a specific section of the market, so it’s more profitable and productive to focus on them. In addition, market behavior can be used when deciding where to focus your future marketing efforts. Look at their perception, attitude, satisfaction, and how your product meets their desires.
The strategy statement is how you will grow your bottom line through sales and profits using proper statistical data.
Based on the strategies set, these are the steps to take to achieve your objectives, grouped by area and type.
Marketing campaigns need a budget for it to be carried out, but more important is the numbers that specific opportunities and activities stemming from campaigns can provide. This includes market share, sales projections, returns, etc.
Since a marketing plan should only last for a year, assigning tasks and giving deadlines to each member of your team is necessary. These can also improve productivity and avoid confusion.
Carry out the right marketing plan for your business with these steps.
1. Know your business and your competitors.
Provide an overview of your business’ current operations and the internal and external environment—how long have you been running your campaigns? What’s your business structure, and what are the products and services you offer? Performing a SWOT analysis is imperative to know your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats that could deter progress.
Competitor benchmarking is part of a marketing audit and is done to understand what your competitors are offering and predict their next move. Start by describing in detail what you offer, then how it measures up to existing competition. What makes you different? When other companies are like yours, you’ll need to work harder to stand out.
2. Determine your target market.
Information about your ideal customers such as their gender and age, behaviors, and purchase decisions, will help you in identifying the marketing tactics and strategies you need to do.
3. List down specific and realistic objectives.
What do you want to achieve marketing-wise within the year? What do you want the promotion efforts to do for your business? Make sure that all goals are realistic. An achievable marketing objective is needed to motivate your team and serves as a good benchmark for your success.
4. Create an action plan.
Each objective should have as many specific activities as possible, which will help achieve the objective. This allows you to see what really needs to be accomplished and is a way to know whether or not the goal is realistic or not. Choose the ones that fit with your marketing objectives.
5. Create a schedule and budget.
Once you’ve narrowed down the activities, it’s time to schedule them, either by month or by quarter. As for the budget, plan out how much you must spend on marketing and promotions throughout the year and how much the planned activities will cost. More importantly, determine how you will finance your campaign.
6. Monitor, manage, and improve.
What did you do today that helped you achieve the objectives you’ve set? Take time to review your goals and specific activities every day so you can stay focused or get back on track in marketing your products or services effectively.
A unique selling proposition from which you can base your campaigns will help set you apart from other similar businesses.
Strategy means focusing on your targets and knowing the exact time they’ll need your product or service the most. A good approach will yield similarly good results for your marketing plan. Tactics, meanwhile, is taking specific action steps to achieve your goal. It is the implementation of what you have planned while strategizing.
A solid goal is one that is specific, down to the date when you’re expected to hit it. Your objectives are essential in analyzing the results of the plan, so it also needs to be measurable.
The first try will be a challenge — revise and readjust your goals if required or take it out if something’s not working for you. Some simple tweaking like your target audience will make a world of difference when done right.
Nowadays, digital media is being utilized to fulfill marketing campaigns due to a need for both a functional website and an interactive online presentation to serve many purposes. But many marketers, while well-versed in digital and social media, is frustrated with the lack of foundation about the entire marketing process.
New media are just parts of a bigger picture but can be a stepping stone to understanding the entirety of it. There is a way for digital marketers to do their jobs better. This lack of know-how when it comes to the groundwork of marketing and its related plans can easily be remedied by encouraging your team to train and learn about the importance of strategic marketing continuously.