Marketing is without a doubt one of the most important parts of building a successful business across any industry. Think about it, no matter how awesome your brand is, how are people going to know about it if you don’t put it in front of them in the first place? You need to get your brand noticed to make it grow and that’s where the magic of Marketing comes in.
This is one of those things where you can’t just fling it though. A successful marketing strategy always has a well-elaborated marketing plan behind it, no exceptions.
What is a marketing plan and why do you need it?
A marketing plan is a sure-fire way to keep your marketing strategy in one place. With a plan in hand, you will know all the details of what you are going to do to market your product to your customers and how you are going to do it. Like with anything that you do, having a plan will ensure that you are prepared for whatever comes your way.
7 Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan
A well-thought-out marketing plan will also be a way for you to be sure that you aren’t missing any important steps along the way. Think of your marketing plan as a way to keep stressful situations at bay and as a map that will keep you on the right path to achieving your goals. Let’s get started with the steps you need to take to create a great marketing plan!
Step 1. Analyze what your situation is:
When creating a marketing plan, a great place to start is with a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When you look at your company through a SWOT lease, you will be able to understand more clearly what needs more work, what you can leverage, where you can grow and what you should keep an eye out for and be prepared for.
This analysis will also help you determine whether your goals are aligned with your business strategy, knowing this will make promoting your business easier as you will know it better than anyone else.
Step 2. Know your competitors:
Knowing who your competitors are is the key to leveling up your business. Now I know you might think of this as the annoying part of creating your plan, but trust us it’s not! Despite popular belief, your competitors are not your enemies. If you know how you compare to your competitors in the current market, you can start thinking about what sets your product apart from the rest, to then turn that into leverage.
So, narrow it down and define who you can consider a competitor, and then ask, what is the product they offer missing? What can I do to my product that might give me a competitive advantage?
Step 3. Know your target audience:
Your next step is to find your perfect client. This is accomplished by understanding your target audience. To better find your target audience, ask yourself this:
- In what age range is my customer?
- What is their gender?
- What are their hobbies?
- What is their income, or what is their buying power?
- What problems do they have that my product might solve?
- What drives them to buy?
The questions above are what is known as a buyer persona, and it mixes demographic and psychographic information to determine who the person buying from you is. Now that you know who your buyer is, you can easily know what they want to see and what will drive them to buy.
Step 4. Set goals:
Next, set marketing specific goals. To do this, use the SMART goals model. SMART objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, timely, and relevant. This means that each of your objectives needs to be defined and have a deadline attached.
For example, you might want to drive more customers to your website, so a specific goal can be to increase website visitors by 10% in a month. It’s important to remember that the goal must be attainable. Set yourself up for success and start small.
Step 5. How are you going to reach your goals?
Now that you have a defined target audience and set your SMART goals, it is time to plot out what steps you will take to reach these goals. For example, if your SMART goal is to increase your website visitors by 10% in a month’s time, you need to now decide HOW to achieve this number.
When considering the delivery of your content, you need to also factor in your target audience. It would be silly to put all your time and effort into a Tik Tok campaign if your target audience is over the age of 40. However, the same Tik Tok campaign could be highly effective if your target audience was 15-25 year olds.
Step 6. What is your budget?
You are almost ready to go, but marketing efforts are rarely free. You now need to settle a budget; how much can you spend on your marketing campaign? A budget is an important part of a marketing plan, because it will let you know how much money you have to invest in things like ads, influencer campaigns, materials, etc. Be sure to set your budget and be assertive in not going over the set amount.
Step 7. What is your timeline?
As part of your SMART goals, you made sure to include a “timely” aspect. While referring to these goals, you can now establish a timeline to help you establish a start and end to your campaign. A marketing plan typically runs for one year, but this can be different for each company’s individual needs. So, make sure to adjust your timeline to what works best for you, this can also be bi-annual or on a quarterly basis.
Define each element of your marketing plan and set a deadline for it, this includes campaigns, events or tasks that will be needed along the way. This might also be the moment to assign tasks to different members of your team. With a timeline everyone will know what needs to be completed and when it should be completed by. As we said before you can determine how long you want to plan for, but friendly advice, plan ahead as much as possible.
Greenstar Marketing Solutions:
Alright, you know what you need to do now, but all this information might be daunting. We know. At Greenstar Marketing, we have a team of marketing rockstars that can help make your marketing dreams come to life. Let us become part of your journey, get in touch with us to have a chat about which of our marketing plans is best for your business.