Marketing is one of the best investments you can make for your business. The best way to think of your marketing plan is to consider the one thing that will ensure business success, that is a part of your overall business plan. That one thing is to have a marketing plan to give you a master blueprint of marketing activity. Your marketing plan will help to decide what, when and how to engage your target audience a period of time, today, tomorrow and beyond. One of the main for business failure is the lack of adequate planning. Having a comprehensive strategic perspective for social media marketing, event marketing, digital marketing, email marketing and beyond, is a step in the right direction. The Holy Grail of marketing for your business should be outlined as:
1) marketing plan is the backbone of your business planning process and should be followed by
2) implementation and
3) evaluation, with no steps being overlooked.
Setting desired outcomes, as the focal point of decision-making is key. One basic truth about business is the need to have “profitable customers” to stay in business. How you get to your target customers is determined in your marketing plan and requires a deep dive. By outlining a goal with KPI’s, including where your marketing campaigns will start and how you would like them to finish with a set timeline. By measuring your campaign results often with a review of success and failure you are able to development a positive process that you can repeat for continued success. One important note to understand when creating your marketing plan is include storytelling is your messaging. By creating stories you share a personality of your brand that you are able to create memorable engagements with your target audience. As you development consistency in your messaging, by sharing how your brand will fill a need that your audience has, you are building a connection that will be sustainable. Remember, building and growing your business requires realistic long-range planning with a range of traditional and digital strategies that you are able to test over time.
Steps to Strategic Marketing Planning
- Conduct a situation analysis
- Develop marketing objectives
- Determine positioning and differential advantage
- Select target markets and measure market demand
- Design a strategic marketing mix
As we consider the basics of the many moving parts of running a business, we must consider the impact of each specific marketing action that has the opportunity to support growth. The usual suspect to get started is a range of digital advertising, branded collateral materials, public relations, and a sales funnel that is aligned with your website. You should condor the full impact of all actions to identify if the return on investment makes sense for the resources that will need to be allocated. For example if you spend $20,000 per month on digital advertising you should set your threshold for new business to meet or exceed that amount. To fully understand the impact of every marketing action, testing and monitoring is necessary. The best asset to having a marketing plan in place is to keep all team members aligned for success. your customer service efforts, sales efforts and marketing efforts should always run simultaneously. This consistent operational flow will exponentially advance your revenue growth. While keeping in mind the need to stay competitive and profitable, each review of marketing activities should be an opportunity to learn and continue to build a cohesive process.
Creating a targeted and realistic marketing plan that considers the company’s strategic business plan outlined with specific business goals monthly, quarterly, and annually gives you a solid foundation to grow your business.
Consider this…You have the greatest innovative product equipped with the best technology in the marketplace. Your products finally hit the market, you hire a team of outside sales representatives and your products are moving off the shelves quickly. A problem arises within 3 months that requires a huge investment of capital to sustain progression. Without creating a marketing plan that outlines corrective actions your business will be in reactive move and likely heading in a less than favorable position. To avoid mishaps such as this, the appropriate planning is required. All businesses have a desire to grow so by understanding the important of having a marketing plan should never go overlooked. The full benefits include a range of segmenting your audiences, understanding your competitive landscape, market condition analysis, price positing and strategy, and most importably brand strategy. Without a review of these elements your business will likely fall into limited growth mode. To scale your business successfully, adequate systems and processes have to be in place. This includes, team members, technology and marketing planning. The end result of this exercise forces a narrative and a planning model that will guide your business to success year over year.
By authentically including and sharing compelling storytelling as a content initiative in your marketing plan, who you are, what you do, how you do it and why you do it will connect your brand with your target audience, isolate competitors and elevate your unique brand position.
Marketing 4 Real Results offers strategic consulting sessions to help you identify find your target audience, create a vision for your brand and build brand authenticity.
What Your Marketing Plan Should Include?
What are you going to sell and to who and how?
- Who are you trying to reach with your marketing activities?
- Where does your ideal customers live? Income?
- How much will they buy and how often?
- What advertising methods will gain the attention of your target customer?
- How will you price your products?
- What makes your business different from your competition?
- Who are your competitors and what position do they hold in the market and why?
- What does your business offer that is unique to your target customers?
- How much should you pay for packaging, manufacturing and inventory?
- How will your ideal customers find out about your product or service?
When building your marketing plan remember that people buy benefits not features, so focusing on the impact that your product will have on your target audience is the best way to think about your marketing message. A famous habit 7 outlined by Steven Covey is relevant in marketing planning, to begin with the end in mind. By understanding this concept you are able thoughtfully create a step-by-step approach put together the necessary pieces of your marketing activities. Every strategic action taken to improve the success of your business is a proactive step to enticing prospects and customers to buy your product or service.
There are a number of creative strategies to promote every business. Depending on the industry there are likely a subset of very specific marketing activities that have the ability to reach your desired audience. At Marketing 4 Real Results, we focus our clients on building customer centric marketing business models which we highly recommend with accolades. This concept is often neglected although our clients have experienced fruitful growth from adopting this concept to their overall marketing process. The best results are customer loyalty and positive customer reviews which both impact the bottom line significantly. Just like word of mouth marketing, a customer centric marketing plan is a guaranteed way to increase total revenues per customer.
Creating a marketing plan requires a strategic look at where your business is and where you want it to go including timelines and key metrics. Get Started Today. Need Some Help? Marketing 4 Real Results can make sure you reach your goals. Our team of marketing experts can help transform your business.