One of the most integral parts of having successful marketing for your business is having a well-thought-out marketing plan. If your business already has a marketing plan, maybe it is time to update it. It’s a good rule of thumb to have a marketing plan that is updated annually. If your business does not have a marketing plan yet, follow our outline below to help you craft a strategy that works for your business.
What Is A Marketing Strategy/Plan?
To start, let’s define what a marketing plan actually is. It seems like a very straightforward concept; a plan that outlines a strategy for marketing. But it is more complex than that. A marketing plan details many very important aspects of the business as well as reflects your marketing goals and tactics being used to achieve those goals.
How Will A Marketing Strategy Benefit Your Business?
There are many ways that a marketing plan can be beneficial to your business. A marketing plan keeps you organized and keeps all of your goals in check. It will also help you spend your budget in the right places rather than putting all into things that are not aligned with your goals. A marketing strategy will keep your marketing consistent and will also give you a measurable outcome. Most importantly, marketing plans serve as a guide. Utilize this tool to its full ability and let it help guide you down a successful marketing path.
How Do You Create A Marketing Strategy/Plan?
We wanted to put together a quick marketing plan outline to serve as a guide. This outline includes all of the major steps in a marketing strategy that would need to be completed before implementing the plan.
- Conduct A Situation Analysis
The first step in creating your marketing plan is to determine where you stand before starting anything. A great way to see exactly where your business is at is to conduct a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a tool used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business. Create a four-square diagram with the main points in each square. This way you have a visual representation of all the most important aspects to consider.
During the situation analysis portion of the marketing plan process, you will also want to consider your current competitors. Conduct a competitor analysis to achieve this portion of the step. This can be achieved by simply Googling the main businesses in your area that provide a good or service similar to your business’s.
- Define Your Target Market
Once you more fully understand where your company stands, you need to determine who you are marketing to. When creating a marketing plan you should always know who your target audience is. Does your company already have a buyer persona? If not, now is the time to create one. A buyer persona describes what your ideal customers are. Conducting market research is the best way to define your buyer persona. It should include important demographic information like age, location, and income. It is also important to include psychographic information like values, opinions, and pain points. If your business already has a buyer persona use this step to refine your buyer persona.
- Write SMART Goals
It is important to remember that you cannot get anywhere unless you know where you’re going. The only way to improve is by knowing what your goals are. In a marketing plan, it is always important to have SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. When creating your marketing goals, it is a good idea to keep this model in mind.
Specific: This word in the acronym means that all of your goals should be clear and well-defined. You should not have any vague or undefined goals within your marketing plan.
Measurable: This details the specific criteria by which you will measure your progress. You should have a set of standards that will help you to measure how close you are to achieving your defined goal.
Achievable: This one means that your goals should be attainable and not impossible to actually achieve. In other words, your goals should be realistic. If you set a goal that is not practical for you and your business then you are just setting yourself up for failure.
Relevant: Any goals created in your marketing plan should be relevant to your business. For example, if you own a dog grooming business, having a goal to expand marketing efforts to reach people without a dog would not be relevant.
Time-Bound: You should have a specific timeline for all goals you create for your marketing plan. The goals should all have a start date and a target date for when you want to achieve the goal. The point of this term is to create some urgency for your goals.
- Consider Which Channels And Content You Want To Use
Before putting any marketing efforts in place, it is important to consider which marketing channels you would like to utilize. Think about which social media platforms you would like to employ. Use your target audience information to help you determine which social media platforms will work best for you. For example, if your target demographic is a younger audience you may want to utilize Instagram or Twitter.
Another very important consideration to have when crafting your marketing plan is what kind of content you would like to produce. This content can be anything from Youtube videos to Instagram pictures and videos to blog posts. The content you create should of course be relevant to your business, but try to have fun with it. Jump on any current trends that could be relevant to your business to help increase engagement.
- Set Your Budget
It is incredibly important to set a budget for your marketing efforts. Without a budget, you will end up spending way more than needed on marketing. Create an outline with all the most important expenses needed to achieve your marketing goals to help keep your marketing plan organized. This budget outline should include things like the cost associated with outsourcing marketing to an agency if you are not running marketing in-house. It should also include paid promotions, any events you want to host or attend, marketing software, the amount needed to produce your desired content, and how much it’ll cost to distribute it.
- Determine Your Tactics
One of the last steps in crafting your marketing plan should be determining which tactics will help you to achieve your set goals. Much like figuring out which social media platforms will help with your marketing plan, this step should be used to redefine which channels are going to best fit your marketing plan. What actions are needed? Keep your set budget in mind when deciding on the tactics you would like to employ. Also, be sure to include the time needed to achieve each tactic.
Whether you are revising an already existing marketing plan, or you are creating a brand new one for your business, we hope our outline will help. If you are looking for more in-depth advice on your marketing strategy, get in touch with us today. Here at Click Control Marketing, we are prepared to help you craft a marketing strategy that is perfect for your business. Our dedicated team is always devoted to helping our clients reach their goals. Call today for more information on how to get started!