Every business needs a marketing plan. It’s necessary for success and growth in a company, and chances are, every business has one, whether they know it or not.
In plain words, a marketing plan is a blueprint of ideas that outline a company’s long term goals for productivity and progression. It’s a way for a company to know exactly what they need to do to accomplish a goal, and how they’re going to do it.
So, where do you start when you decide that your company needs a clearly defined marketing plan? Check out these great tips!
Before you even start planning your marketing plan, you need to pre-plan the planning of your plan. Have I confused you yet? It’s actually a lot simpler than you think.
First, outline a completion date for your marketing plan. This will be the date or time frame in which you’d like to complete your goals. It can be anywhere from a few months, to a few years, depending on the scope of the goals you have in mind.
Next, figure out your budget for the plan. Money is always a factor when coming up with a rebranding strategy or the launching of a new product, and the same goes for a marketing plan. You don’t want to get halfway through the implementation of your new plan and then realize you’re out of money!
Finally, designate the responsibilities of each team member involved with your marketing plan. That means deciding who’s in charge of the finances, who should be keeping people on task, and any other positions on the project.
Once you’ve gotten the pre-planning out of the way, it’s time to get down to the meat of your marketing plan.
The first step is to set clear objectives for your plan. Once you know your objectives, you’ll know what you need to do to accomplish goals.
For example, if your marketing plan is to increase your company’s revenue, then your objective could be to add more customers. Or, it could be to keep current customers coming back for more. Whatever your marketing plan is, objectives help you define clearly what you need to do.
Remember when you had to write research papers in grade school and college? You were usually given a topic by your teacher, and were required to research your topic to fully analyze the writing prompt.
Most of us wouldn’t just jump into writing about the subject without doing research first (hopefully).
In the same vein, you need to research your market, and customers wants, to understand how to get your plan to succeed once you start putting it into practice. Utilizing market research and market analysis tools are great ways to conduct necessary research.
Every plan needs a strategy in order to succeed. The greatest generals and wartime leaders didn’t just charge into battle, weapons drawn, without first adopting a cunning strategy in order to conquer their goals.
Running a business isn’t quite like leading an army to battle (although at times it can feel like it), but a good strategy is still necessary.
The strategy is basically the “how” of your marketing plan, and can include “building brand awareness” or “delivering unmatched customer service.” Think about what strategies would work best with your plan’s goals, and then implement them.
Stick To the Plan
What’s the point of a plan if you bail halfway through it? Once you figure out your objectives, research your market, and strategize a plan, make sure you stick to that plan.
There’s nothing more defeatist than jumping ship halfway through because something’s not working out the way you imagined.
But, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to fix a problem. If something isn’t working out the way you expected, there are ways to steer your business back in a positive direction. The best way to do this is to be flexible, and realize that sometimes a certain strategy that you and your team come up with isn’t going to work perfectly as planned.
Just remember, don’t completely give up on it and toss it in the garbage. Learn to be flexible in your marketing plan.
Following these simple steps can help you and your team create the best marketing plan. Marketing plans take a lot of thought, but the time spent coming up with an idea will ultimately optimize your business and save time in the long run!