The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.Roy H. Williams
A strong marketing plan is a foundation for any successful company. The better the marketing plan, the better the achievement of your company’s goals. It is essential to consider the potential risks involved with any marketing activities and how they will affect your business. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve created this blog on creating an effective marketing plan.
We’ll cover what elements need to be included in the process of creating an amazing marketing plan and will give you some pointers on how to make it work for you.
1. Create a business summary
This is the first step you should take in creating a marketing plan. A business summary includes information about your company, products, services, markets, and more. Examples of sections or topics in a business summary are:
- Company Summary
- Mission Statement
- Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Plan Parts
To avoid any gaps in your marketing plan, it’s important for this section of your plan to include research about what market share you already have.
2. Outline business initiatives
The different business element of a marketing plan helps you segment the numerous goals of your department. Software projects, for example, are one business initiative that may be appropriate to include in your marketing plan.
Be careful not to include companywide or big-picture plans that you can typically find in a business plan. This section should only contain those projects specific to marketing and outline the goals of those initiatives and how you will measure them.
3. Build buyer personas
For a business to thrive, you need to know who your customers are. While marketing fundamentals have been established over time, what has changed is how data and customer interactions are being used to draw insights on relevant information about a company’s customer base.
Customer Analysis is crucial in assembling a cohesive marketing plan to increase revenue by making products or services more valuable to current and future clients. Find out who your company’s target market or audience is or if there’s not an actual match with the customer profiles you see, then create an imaginary person you call the buyer persona.
4. Do competitor analysis
Since you may have many different competitors, it is important to evaluate them. It allows you to see what’s working for them and how your company can rehabilitate any gaps that might be there.
Of course, you need to identify competitors, both at a macro-level and a micro-level. Doing so will allow you to better position your business in the market based on what customers are looking for and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.
There are different ways to conduct a competitor analysis. One approach is to look at the products and services they offer, how they’re priced, and how they market them. You’ll also want to examine what their strengths and weaknesses are. Additionally, you can implement these changes or improvements based on the data gained through competitor analysis.
You can also be creative when finding data about your competitors: browse their websites, look up their recent articles on social media sites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor, read reviews posted by their customers on third party vendor sites.
5. Run a SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s a framework that marketers use to understand their situation and create a strategy to take advantage of opportunities while minimizing negative results.
The first step is calculating your SWOT score: take your total strengths minus your total weakness, which should give you a positive number. If it’s zero or negative, you need to work on balancing these numbers out before you can move on.
Next, calculate the strength of your competitors by adding up their strengths and dividing by the number of competitors you have. This ratio should be somewhere around 1-3 for most industries – if it’s not, then there may be too many companies in that industry for you to realistically compete.
Do the same for weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will give you a good overview of your company’s standing in the market. From here, you can start to develop a strategy. Opportunities should be taken whenever possible, and you or your marketing outsourcing agency should put strategies in place to increase the chances of positive outcomes.
6. Develop a market strategy
When developing a market strategy, consider your target market, your competition, and what you can offer that is different from your competition.
Keep in mind the “seven Ps of marketing”:
- Physical Evidence
Each of these seven Ps will significantly impact your marketing plan.
7. Establish a budget
Marketing is an investment. This means that you shouldn’t view the money you’re spending on marketing as an expense but rather as an investment in the future of your business. That being said, you also need to be realistic about how much money you have to spend on marketing. Don’t forget to consider the company’s overall budget and the amount of money you can realistically afford to spend on marketing each month or quarter.
Typical examples of marketing expenses include outsourcing costs to a marketing agency or other providers, marketing software, paid promotions, and events. Remember that these are just some examples – you may have additional expenses related to your own marketing efforts. Make sure to track all of your marketing expenses so you can get an accurate picture of how much you’re spending each month.
8. Choose marketing channels
With marketing channels, you can find your niche and choose your distribution method. Your company might advertise with traditional media like TV, radio, print ads, or billboards. But what about using podcasts? What about search engine optimization (SEO)?
With these options for marketing channels, the sky’s the limit on reaching the right audience. However, be careful not to spread yourself too thin. Try focusing on 2 or 3 channels that fit your niche and your target demographic.
9. Analyze financial projections
Wow! You need to take many steps to create a great marketing plan. The last one on this list is analyzing financial projections with the best tools for the job. It’s beneficial to have a clear overview of your sales figures to know which marketing channels you need to invest most heavily in and how much budget you should allocate to each one. You can do that easily online with the help of an Excel sheet, for example.
This will help you determine how much budget you can spend in which areas and the expected return of your investments. You can create a year-long marketing plan with various tactics planned based on this information.
Get help with strategy, planning and execution
As you can see, there are many elements to consider when creating a marketing plan. Leveraging the expertise of marketing specialists will help you strategize, plan and execute your marketing with confidence. If that sounds like something you need but don’t have time for, we’re here!
Brieffin Marketing Outsourcing will help develop your strategy from start to finish by managing every step of the process while providing fresh at each stage.
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