For your business to be successful and attract the right types of customers, you must implement the right marketing strategy. Part of a marketing strategy is a marketing plan, which is a document detailing everything that you need to successfully promote your business. Depending on the size of your business and what you need to accomplish, this document can be anywhere from a few pages to hundreds of pages long. Nonetheless, creating a marketing plan follows the same process regardless of the size of a business.
Know Your Business
The first step in creating a marketing plan is knowing your business. Since you already completed this step when creating your business plan, it should not a difficult step. Consider the opportunity that your business enjoys in the market, your business structure, how long the business has been running, and the kind of service or products that you offer. This section also involves conducting a SWOT analysis to get a clear picture of where your business stands.
Determine Your Target Market
Once you have defined your business, the next step is to determine your target market. This part of the marketing plan includes a list of the traits about the business’s ideal customer. Think of what makes them ideal and the traits that sets them apart from other sections of the market. Include all the basic demographic information like their geographical location, age, gender, income levels, as well as their purchasing behaviors and decisions. The more information you provide about the target market, the more effective the marketing strategy will be.
An essential part of the marketing plan is conducting competitive analysis. Since businesses operate in a shared space, competitive analysis helps in determining what other players in the market are doing. This allows you to identify more opportunities in the market and what you can offer differently to your customers. A good approach is to describe the major competitors in detail, what products they offer, and how they market themselves. This will give you a good picture on how the market is.
Set Clear Marketing Goals
Your marketing plan should have clear goals, providing the marketing team with a complete direction. Consider your marketing goals for the years, the objectives to accomplish, and specific targets to hit. The goals could be anything between modest and lofty depending on the size of your business and your ambitions. Examples of these goals could beincreasing your social media following by 50% or doubling your sales over the next six months.
Outline Specific Strategies
Setting clear goals is only one part of the equation. You need to specify how you are going to attain these goals. An effective approach is listing strategies under each goal to ensure you do no miss a thing. If you want to double your sales, for example, thenyou need to know how you are going to achieve this and what resources youwill need.
Set a Marketing Budget
Your marketing plan will be incomplete if your do not set a budget to finance your various marketing strategies. Work on these numbers and determine the amount of money needed to implement the marketing plan. Make sure the marketing team is fully funded and that everything is budgeted and accounted for. After this, it’s timeto set the plan in motion and start implementing everything from your marketing plan in order to get the best results.