Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Now that you know that a marketing plan can help you set your goals and objectives, define your target audience, determine where you stand in your industry, organize and delegate responsibilities, and set your budget, you need to create one. But where do you start? What components make up a successful marketing plan?
Here are some key elements you need to get your plan started:
The business summary isn’t just a list of general information about your business, like the name, location, industry, etc. Even though you know what your company consists of, it’s still a good idea to put it on paper. You must remember that you’re not the only one in this company, and communication is key to running any business. Although you may have solid goals and ways to achieve them, you may not effectively relate to your employees. Using the business summary section, you can clearly define the mission and purpose of your company. The business summary also includes the SWOT analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). This helps you visualize where your business compares to others in your market, while showing you the areas where your company excels and the areas that need a little work.
If you want your marketing campaign to be a success, you will need to collect as much information as possible to make that happen. This is where marketing research comes in. Focusing on the different dynamics of your industry can really help you grow your business. By using market research, you can learn what factors influence success and how you can use those to your advantage. When it comes to research, data on your market’s competition, customer demographics, buying patterns, products, and recent sales are some major areas to target when looking at your industry.
Your marketing strategy plays a very important role when it comes to figuring out your marketing plan. You know your product/service and you know the goals that you want to achieve, but what methods do you use to get there? By utilizing your market research, you can determine what works best when it comes to marketing your business. It’s 2019 and online marketing should be the center of your marketing strategy. There are several virtual platforms to choose from, including email, SEO, and online paid advertising. Many companies incorporate social media, which includes the use of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Each of these networks offer different types of ads and gives you the option to customize your marketing experience.
When it comes to any business, you know how much money you have to work with. The same applies to your company’s marketing plan. If you want to advertise successfully, you must know the amount of money you can spend and where you want to spend it. In order to stay on track financially, you need a budget. By incorporating your budget into your marketing plan, there’s no second guessing or debating when it comes to financial decisions. The budget gives clear direction on how much is spent, where its spent, and what its used for. This gives your team a better idea of which marketing strategies are the most beneficial and cost effective, and which are not.
Using your market research, you can determine your target audience and how to reach them efficiently. Analyzing your competition, as well as patterns and trends in your industry, helps your company to understand the characteristics and demographics of those most likely to purchase your product or use your service. With this knowledge, you can decide on the best ways to go about reaching your target audience with advertisements. If your target audience largely consists of females in their mid-20’s, you will more than likely want to use your resources on social media networks. However, if your target audience is closer to males nearing retirement, you would like have more success advertising on golfing websites. Knowing your target audience is a big factor when it comes to your marketing plan.
Acknowledging and affirming your business goals is one of the most important aspects of your marketing plan. Without knowing where you want to end up, how do you expect to get there? By stating the company’s goals, you are ensuring that every employee is on the same page and they know what to expect. It also helps you keep track of your goals and gives you a way to compare where you are and where you want to be.
A marketing plan is a must-have, but it can be intimidating for small business owners. Need help with your marketing plan? Call us at The Social Bullpen, and we can get you started on the right track!