Upon launching a business, there are two scarce things to consider: resources and time. To ensure that you’re not wasting money and that your business is on track in achieving its goals, you need to have a solid marketing plan.
What are the things included in a marketing plan? Read below.
The first thing to include in your marketing plan is market research; it is the backbone of the whole project. A company’s marketing team can research data differently, like going to the local library or accessing online reports from S&P Global Ratings. Overall, the bottom line here is determining the market size, buying habits of consumers, and market growth.
The marketing plan should have a cultivated market description that pinpoints your target consumers. Moreover, business owners should also include more than one target market to expand the business. For example, a company offering boat electrical repair services can target yacht owners and deck boat rental companies.
How would you like your brand to be perceived by people? For instance, if your business sells pizza, would you like to be the place to go to for healthy options and gluten-free meals or the place to run to if you want to devour a double crust pizza with mouthwatering cheese on top? The difference between the two is your brand positioning and how your target audience perceives you. Create marketing messages and branding techniques that will send your message to your target market.
You need to determine your competitors and learn what makes your product or services different from theirs. Know how much they sell and identify their target audience. The information you collect can give you an advantage as it will show you the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. With this, you can put your business in a better position to make it stand out among the rest.
Once you determine your target audience and business positioning, it’s time to plan the strategies you’ll use to send your brand’s message. How will you make your target market notice your business, and what methods should you use to catch their attention?
Your marketing strategy is the backbone in achieving your sales goals. The strategy you plan to use should include various tactics such as direct mail, social media campaigns, email, events, partnerships, and many more.
Create a monthly budget for your marketing plans, and make sure to stick to your budget. In addition, don’t forget to include a marker that will help you decide if the strategy is generating income or not. For every marketing strategy, set a metric that notifies you if it’s time to stop as it’s only a waste of resources.
Keep track of your development by using simple yet detailed excel sheets to compare your actual investment return vs. the budget you spent on marketing. Ideally, the programs should be tested for at least one to two months before you can evaluate their results. If the strategies deliver sales, don’t get rid of them and repeat the process as much as possible.
Importance of Marketing Plan
In general, marketing planning is n organized method that aims to develop marketing strategies. It’s an exercise that looks forward to determining the potential succeeding strategies of the company considering the business’s market and product development.
Here’s why businesses need to create marketing plans:
- Prevents future uncertainties.
- Allows the company to accomplish complete customer satisfaction.
- Assists in achieving company objectives.
- Helps in keeping track of developments.
- Helps in promoting communication and coordination among departments.
In addition, your company will significantly benefit from having a marketing plan due to the following reasons:
- The marketing plan can promote successful marketing strategies.
- Planning helps in coordinating activities that may facilitate the accomplishment of goals in due time.
- It encourages the management to think thoroughly about the future in an organized manner.
- Marketing planning can reduce the risk of wasting resources on useless programs.
- Minimizing the risk of failure.
- A marketing plan can reduce the harmful effects of unpleasant circumstances outside the range of the management’s influence.
- It allows organizations to prepare for harmful things that might follow.
As the business owner, you need to take the time to evaluate if your strategies are helping you achieve your marketing objectives. If they are not bringing in sales, there’s only one thing to do, eliminate them.
You can always start over and go to your plan B. There will always be a better marketing strategy out there, and all you have to do is find what’s best for you. If possible, hire an expert who can identify what’s wrong with your plan.