An effective business plan can bring a whole list of benefits to your company. It assists you in turning your business goals into reality by providing the team with actionable tactics, the right direction, and a lot more.
A marketing strategy is one of the crucial components of the said plan; organized marketers are 7 times more successful than competitors having no marketing strategy.
With that in mind, let’s walk you through everything you need to know about developing a marketing strategy.
Table of Contents
What is a Marketing Plan?
A thorough marketing plan describes a business’s overall marketing strategy that helps identify the target audience and how to best reach it, providing analytical findings to guide future strategy.
All-in-all, an effective marketing strategy
- Is a roadmap for promoting products or services to the target audience and developing a price strategy.
- It outlines a company’s broader marketing strategy and goals.
- Also, it includes an analysis of competition and customer needs.
Although marketing plans don’t always provide instant results, they are nevertheless a crucial component of the business plan. That’s because marketing plans allow a business to distinguish itself from its competitors.
Also, an effective and comprehensive marketing plan reveals business opportunities, from new audience segments to pricing strategies and brand differentiation.
Thus, a successful marketing plan includes the following:
- Current status of your company’s marketing.
- Summary of marketing objectives.
- Guidelines for the completion of assigned tasks.
- Metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators).
- The methodology that will be used to determine the performance of the marketing plan.
Why Your Business Needs a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan bridges the gap between business strategy and marketing implementation.
Since a marketing plan can assist your business in achieving long-term goals and how to achieve them, the benefits don’t stop here. A well-researched and thorough marketing plan will help you with the following:
- Understanding Your Business Need. A thorough analysis of market conditions will not only help the company with the identification of its strengths and weaknesses but also reveals potential new markets.
- Help You Align Marketing Goals with Business Goals. Without a proper strategy, it is possible to lose track of where your business is heading. Hence, a marketing plan ensures that your marketing objectives stay consistent with the company’s vision and goals.
- Makes Sure Everyone is on the Same Page. Having a working document of your company’s marketing plan promotes collaboration among the marketing team, management, and the whole organization.
- Helps Make Better Decisions. Preparing ahead of time helps you avoid making hasty decisions when difficult circumstances arise.
- Maximizes Value. A well-coordinated marketing strategy boosts the effectiveness of every marketing campaign.
How to Develop an Effective Business Marketing Plan?
A targeted marketing plan has two main objectives. The first is to retain customer loyalty and engagement, and the other is to gain market share within a particular audience segment.
Thus, the marketing plan covers the strategies your business will be using to reach its marking goals. With that, all marketing strategies revolve around the 4Ps framework, which is indeed one of the preliminary documents of your marketing plan:
4Ps of Marketing:
- Product – What are you selling? (Could be services or physical products).
- Price – What’s the price, and how do you set it?
- Place – Where would you be selling?
- Promotion – Which channel would you be opting for to promote your product or service?
There is no certain defined rule for creating an effective and comprehensive marketing plan for your small business.
Nonetheless, the following tips and guidelines will help you curate a winning marketing plan.
The executive summary plays a crucial role in any marketing plan by providing an overview of the marketing summary, including:
- Simplified marketing plans and goals.
- Company achievements.
- Future Guide.
- Some facts that are relevant to your brand.
Its main objective is to generate interest in the marketing strategy and explain the company’s marketing goals and show how campaigns are linked together. Marketing campaigns should be viewed as a coherent story of your brand.
To establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) marketing goals that work together to help achieve internal and external harmony – CONSISTENCY IS VITAL.
A well-crafted executive summary with a concise, focused, and jargon-free tone can increase the success of marketing campaigns and ultimately help businesses achieve their goals.
Know Your Target Market
Before setting up a marketing plan, you must have a sound understanding of your specific niche. One way to achieve this is by creating one or more detailed buyer personas that may include
- Demographic data.
- Behavioral data.
- Psychographic data.
Creating marketing material that is relatable to your audience requires an understanding of their motivations, problems, and objectives. The buyer personas should include traits such as age, location, occupation, goals, pains, and triggers.
This knowledge can then be used to create a compelling positioning statement, a unique selling proposition, and a strong brand.
By targeting your advertising campaigns and using the right messaging, you’ll waste less time and money and convert more leads.
DID YOU KNOW? Targeting your audience through detailed buyer personas can improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and avoid fruitless campaigns.
Find Out Your Competitors
No matter how much originality is in your service or product, there will always be competition out there for your target audience.
Small business owners often fail to study their competitors in depth; they have just as much ability to attract customers.
Hence, conducting a SWOT analysis of your competitors is important to identify what’s working for them and how you can improve.
Also, market research will help you provide your audience with what your competitors may be lacking. Here’s what you need to consider while conducting a competitive analysis:
- Marketers and leaders of the company.
- Services or products that they are famous for.
- Their social media marketing plans/efforts/
- Growth and finances of the company.
Define Your Marketing Goals
Marketing goals form the basis of a marketing plan and should be established after identifying problems and opportunities.
They often focus on financial or communication objectives such as:
- Sales revenue.
- Lead generation.
- Customer satisfaction and brand awareness.
- Customer perception and retention.
Defining goals using the SMART criteria, which includes being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, is crucial for effective measurement.
- SPECIFIC. You should be clear about what you want to achieve.
MEASURABLE. Goals should be quantifiable so you can evaluate the progress easily. You also need to decide which type of data and the methodology will be used for evaluation.
- ACHIEVABLE. Make sure you are setting realistic goals, so it’s easier to achieve them. Break lofty goals into smaller ones so you can manage them efficiently.
- RELEVANT. It is essential to keep your company’s goal aligned with its vision and mission.
- TIME-BOUND. What’s the point of setting a goal that has no due date? How would you determine whether it was a hit or miss? Hence, goals should have a deadline.
State Your Brand Position Strategy
Your brand is your most powerful asset since it shows what you have to offer to the customers.
Thus, to STAND OUT, you should be able to articulate a clear and concise statement of how you will fulfill customer needs and outperform your rivals.
A strong positioning statement should emphasize solving a customer’s problem while providing the greatest value possible.
Plan Your Budget
The amount of money a company reserves for its marketing team to accomplish its objectives is known as a marketing budget.
Moreover, drafting a plan that estimates the costs, assets, and time needed to achieve the desired results helps set a realistic budget and prevents financial surprises.
Also, to make sure that the objectives set are achievable, you should take the marketing budget into consideration when implementing a marketing strategy.
Additionally, it’s imperative to itemize the budget to account for expenses such as:
- Outsourcing marketing costs
- Buying application software
- Paid promotions and events.
Choose the Right Marketing Channels for Your Plan
Now that you are done contemplating one of the crucial elements of your plan, here’s what you can opt for to mark your place in the tech-driven world digital world:
- Social Media. Almost 59% of the world’s population uses social media. Thus, social media is a huge deal for businesses seeking success since every type of consumer is there on any social platform, be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Try and go with the channel that best serves the interest of your business.
- Emails. Email marketing is still a viable and popular option for small businesses. Transactional emails, newsletters, and promotional campaigns are a few email marketing techniques that businesses can choose from.
- Mobile Devices. Mobile marketing is all about reaching customers on their smartphones and tablets. Everyone carries their phone with them almost everywhere, so it is easy to reach people via their cell phones.
- Paid Searches. Another digital marketing channel that many businesses use is paid search. This involves spending money to have your website appear first on search engine results pages when people type particular keywords phrase associated with your business.
Google Ads and Bing Ads are two popular platforms for running paid search campaigns. With the right strategy, paid search can be a powerful tool for growing your business.
Track and Measure the Marketing Results
A comprehensive marketing plan should not only focus on developing a good strategy but also on tracking and measuring results. Time and effort can be saved by establishing guidelines for:
- What to analyze?
- How to track it?
- How frequently to track it?
As businesses grow and change, marketing plans should evolve too.
In a nutshell, analytical tools that track customer behavior and engagement rates can provide valuable insights for developing marketing campaigns that reach target audiences at the right time.
Pulling off an extensive marketing plan requires time, effort, and resources. Nonetheless, digging deep into your target market’s audience data, competitor research, and search channels can help you develop an effective marketing strategy.