Creating a Strong Marketing Plan: Tips and Best Practices
A comprehensive business plan is crucial for any successful company. A key component of this plan is a marketing strategy, which outlines a business’s actions to distinguish itself from competitors and achieve its goals. Even though marketing plans may not yield immediate results, they should still be a top priority in a business plan. An effective marketing strategy can uncover new opportunities, such as targeting new audience segments or differentiating the brand from competitors through pricing strategies. Here are some ways to develop a successful marketing plan for your company.
How to Create a Strong Marketing Plan
The main aims of a carefully crafted marketing plan are to retain customer engagement and loyalty and to acquire a market share within a particular target market segment. To achieve these goals, the plan typically outlines a set of strategies like targeted outreach campaigns, preferred communication channels, budget allocation, and data-based performance projections. The development of successful marketing strategies relies on a data-driven approach that requires continuous campaign improvement over several months. A well-structured marketing plan helps the company remain committed to its long-term objectives. The four P’s of marketing, which are product, price, place, and promotion, guide every marketing plan. The following recommendations provide starting points for continuously emphasising these four P’s.
1. Make a brief overview of the main points
To make the most of your marketing efforts, it is crucial to view your campaign as a cohesive story instead of separate tasks. The coherence of your brand narrative and the uniformity of its style and characters are essential, and it is advisable to create a summary of your marketing objectives for the year. Your marketing goals should satisfy the SMART standards, which means they should be precise, quantifiable, realistic, pertinent, and have a fixed deadline. It is essential to align these goals to ensure consistency both internally and externally and create a consistent message for your customers. One example of a SMART goal could be to increase social media traffic by 15% in 90 days by creating four high-quality and relevant weekly posts on each platform, using your brand kit to maintain consistency.
2. Identify your target market
Before developing a marketing plan, it is essential to discover and comprehend your area of specialisation. You should inquire about the particular demographic that you aim to serve. For instance, if your company offers 30-minute meals, then people with conventional 9-to-5 jobs are most likely in your target audience. Examine this group to comprehend their difficulties and determine how your business can solve them.
3. Express your brand uniquely through inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a technique that leverages internal resources such as social media, content marketing, and SEO to draw potential customers primarily through online communication. Content marketing may consist of blog posts, interviews, podcasts, or guides that provide valuable information about your product or industry. For instance, if you sell kitchen equipment, you could provide some holiday recipes that can be made using your tools. These strategies work in unison to attract more customer attention in a cycle. With high-quality content, you can improve your search engine ranking, which will attract more visitors to your website and social media channels. You can then share your content with a broader audience, which will further enhance your search engine ranking. This approach does not necessitate spending money on celebrity endorsements or conventional advertising campaigns.
4. Identify competitors that also target your customers
To succeed in a market, it is important for small business owners to conduct thorough research of their competitors, even if their product or service is unique. This research may extend to businesses outside their industry that have the potential to attract their customers. The first step is to identify and understand competitors and their strengths and to anticipate their reactions to your strategies, such as pricing and communication. This knowledge enables you to develop plans to mitigate potential losses. By analysing your competitors, you can determine how to differentiate your business and provide what consumers may not get from your competitors. Observe their operations to find ways to stand out from the competition and attract your target audience.
5. Express to your target customers the position of your brand
In the end, your brand and its significance to customers are your most potent asset. Your ability to satisfy customer needs and surpass competitors should be conveyed in a concise and straightforward sentence. A positioning statement that focuses on solving a customer problem while providing the best value is a powerful tool.
6. Budget the plan
When implementing a strategy, it’s important to keep your marketing budget in mind. Marketing requires funds for various purposes, such as paid advertising, marketing tools, events, and outsourcing. Therefore, while creating a marketing plan, you should ensure enough budget is allocated for executing the plan and achieving the desired results.
When preparing the plan, estimate the costs, assets, and time needed to accomplish the goals. This will help you determine the actual budget that you need. Ensure that your goals are feasible and can be achieved within your budget.
Incorporate different platforms in your marketing plan
Once you have determined the components of your marketing plan, the following step is to create a plan of action to approach your target audience. Apart from traditional print and broadcast media, there are three online marketing channels that a lot of business owners utilise.
Brett Farmiloe, the founder of Markitors, an internet marketing firm, recommends including social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in a business’s marketing strategy since almost all types of customers are on some form of social media. Instead of being overwhelmed by the variety of options, businesses should concentrate on the platforms that will benefit their business the most. Brett recommends that businesses start with social media by becoming familiar with their customers and the social media platforms they use. Once you have identified where your customers are active, you can develop a content strategy that can be carried out internally and post branded content on the chosen platforms to implement your plan.
Although not a new technology like social media marketing, email marketing remains a popular and effective option for small business owners. It can be utilised in various ways, including sending newsletters, promotional campaigns, and transactional emails. Brett Farmiloe, the founder of Markitors, suggests that businesses can manage their email drip campaigns using platforms such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact. To stand out in email marketing and avoid unsubscribes while increasing open rates, Farmiloe recommends segmenting markets based on subscriber activity. According to him, it is recommended for businesses to segment subscribers early on and continually segment them based on their behavior. By doing this, businesses can minimize the number of unsubscribes, boost open rates, and most importantly, increase the number of actions taken as a result of the emails sent.
Smartphone and tablet use has transformed how businesses approach their marketing strategies. Given that people have these devices with them almost always, companies are now focusing on methods that can reach consumers on their gadgets. Brett Farmiloe, the founder of internet marketing company Markitors, highlighted the significance of mobile marketing and how it has enabled marketers to let consumers decide when and how they want to receive marketing content. Farmiloe also emphasised the importance of giving consumers the power to choose whether to turn notifications on or off, making mobile marketing less disruptive.
In order to implement your marketing plan, it’s important to establish a clear budget, specific goals, and a set of actionable tasks assigned to specific individuals. This includes determining your budget, expected results, and the necessary actions to achieve those outcomes.
Using analytical tools to monitor customer behaviour and engagement rates can provide valuable insights for your marketing strategy. Unlike traditional advertising methods such as billboards or commercials, digital channels offer detailed data on customer journeys and behaviours. By analysing this data, your marketing team can create targeted campaigns that effectively reach your desired audience at the right time.
For further information on measuring your marketing return on investment (ROI), you can visit the provided link.
Author Bio: Mark Edmonds is a marketing expert who has worked in the industry for over a decade. He is a skilled professional specialising in creating marketing plans and providing tips and best practices to help businesses succeed. Mark is currently working at Academic Assignments, a company that provides students with the best quality MBA assignment help. With his vast knowledge and experience, Mark is also an expert in providing marketing assignment help to students. His expertise and dedication have helped countless students and businesses achieve their goals.