The Marketing Plan Your Business Needs to Succeed
When it comes to running your business, you can’t just cross your fingers and hope that people will just find you, you need to market yourself. This is when a marketing plan comes in.
A marketing plan is what you need to drive your business’s campaigns, goals and growth, without one, things might look a bit messy and opportunities could be missed. It can be very daunting pulling together a plan (which is why many businesses don’t have one!) but with this guide, you’ll have the marketing plan your business needs to succeed.
Where is the business now?
The first task of any marketing plan is to figure out where your business is right now, this is sort of like a review of your business and this needs to include even the basics – the company name, where it’s based, the mission statement… an in-depth summary of the business. A key part of reviewing your business is also doing a SWOT analysis and this is looking at your internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – try to be as specific as possible with this.
Where you want to go
An important section of your marketing plan should be about where you want your business to go. What are your ultimate goals? Knowing this will better help you pull together an effective marketing plan that will ensure that you have the right tools in place to help you achieve them. When you’re setting your goals, don’t make them general, develop SMART objectives instead; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. It’s also a lot easier to set a budget when you know what you’re going towards!
Market research – where do you stand?
Research, research, research. A marketing plan isn’t all about your business, it’s also about what’s going on outside your business. This section of your plan is going to contain a lot of facts and figures which will ultimately see where your business stands within the market. You start this with a competitor analysis, figure out who your competitors are, how much they charge, what they are doing well and any other information you can find that will be useful to know.
You should also put some focus into who your customer is, how old are they? Where do they work? How much do they earn? What do they do in their spare time? Really get down to the nitty, gritty as the more specific you are, the better.
Knowing all of this will help with your business’s positioning and define its image.
Identify marketing activities
After deciding what your goals are and who your audience is, choosing your marketing channels just got a whole lot easier! The marketing channels you choose will all depend on your business, everyone is different – you’ve got social media, TV advertising, email marketing, print, apps… the choice is endless but just ensure you’ve got a solid marketing mix and give yourself room for trial and error as marketing is never as straightforward as you think.
Obviously, it’s all week and good having a marketing plan but unfortunately, you need a budget to do it all. Even if you’re not doing Facebook advertising, PPC, TV ads, you still need to have a budget for your time and resources. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking they don’t need marketing, but in actual fact, when you stop marketing, you stop the growth of your business.
Look at the largest companies in the world, like Apple and Starbucks, even as multi-million dollar companies, they still spend a huge amount of their budget on marketing – are you?
Grow with us.