Let’s get this out of the way – without marketing, your business will not survive. Therefore, you will need a comprehensive marketing plan to help you stay afloat.
It is an all-inclusive plan with goals and targets towards a projected growth without which business is destined for rocky operation.
Lest we forget, the definition.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for the coming year, quarter, or month.
There is n absolute limit to the length of one. Some companies have hundreds of pages, while others opt for a few sheets to outline the marketing plan.
For a startup, 90% of your success is going to fall on the shoulders of your marketing. That applies even if you are doing no big paid marketing or display campaigns.
From large corporations tasked with developing a marketing plan, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a plan from scratch. The steps herein are irrespective of your business size.
It’s important to note that your marketing plan should span one year. This is enough time to reach those big, long-term objectives, and short enough to remain flexible when your circumstances and goals change over time.
How To Create A Marketing Plan
Dependent on the goals of the company and whether departments will have decentralized and personalized strategies or bundle everything together. It is prudent to separate aspects like SEO Marketing, Content Marketing, Email, Social Media.
Step 1: Know Your Business
Because no one can interpret the business like you, you have to be able to break down most easily for your potential customers.
You could choose to do a SWOT analysis—which details your strengths and weaknesses as an organization, as well as any opportunities for growth, and threats that could hinder that progress, standard to any business or marketing plan.
Step 2: Know Your Target Audience
After getting a good understanding of your company, the target audience is the next pertinent issue.
If your company already has the buyers personas, this step might just mean you have to refine your current personas. Your Buyer Personas will include the demographics of the buyers you are targeting as well as include any personas you want to avoid.
And if you have no personas, market research will help you solve this. Knowing exactly who your best customers are will enable you to pinpoint and nail your marketing better out of the gate. You’ll waste a lot less, and convert a lot more using targeted campaigns and the right messaging.
Understanding what sets your apart will help you to make the goals of your plans to satisfy the buyers, which brings up to step 3.
Step 3: List Your Goals
Goals are the roadmap to satisfying the wants of the buyers. You can begin to define your SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This means that all your goals should be specific and include a time frame for which you want to complete it.
These can go from increasing following on Facebook, increasing website traffic, and ranking with Search Engine Optimization to reducing email unsubscribe.
Step 4: Identify Your Marketing Channels And Tactics
Here, you need to appreciate that the tactics used to achieve the different goals differ.
For example, if your goal is to increase your Facebook followers by 15% in three months, your tactics might include hosting a giveaway, responding to every comment, and posting three times on Facebook per week and running a promotion for the page.
What’s best will be a little different for every business. It may include social media, TV, outdoor display advertising, print ads, email, popup shops or retail storefronts, apps, affiliate platforms, live events, or outbound calls.
This brings us to the money issue in Step 5.
Step 5: Know Your Budget
Once it gets to marketing, it requires money. The marketing plan is going to need financial injection and backing. And once marketing starts, it is not going to stop. I mean, Apple, Coca Cola and the like are still doing marketing.
The budget for the marketing plan majorly covers; how much do you plan to spend on marketing and promotion throughout the next year, and how much will the action items you listed above cost you.
Well, you have through the above simple 5 steps and understood them and now it is time to get the marketing plan actually off the ground into action. Like we said earlier, this process puts into consideration small and large size businesses.