Most things in life will benefit from a good plan, and marketing is no different. Whether it’s a local business, clinic, or digital service that you are operating, your marketing strategy will benefit from a coherent plan that gives you a structure to work around.
In this article, we are going to present you with some key considerations when formulating a marketing plan for your business. You don’t require any fancy technology to create a marketing plan – an Excel sheet will do. But first, there are some things you need in place…
Know Your Product and Service
It might sound obvious, but you may be surprised how many managers of a company or organization fail to set out their business proposition clearly. You should get to grips with exactly what your product or service is, as a starting point for your marketing plan. What are your major unique selling points? And where are you positioning your product or service within a market. What’s the price point, and how do you match up against competitors in your local area?
Understand Your Audience
Following on from our opening point, what is your target customer base? It may help to do some research in order to create customer personas that you can base your marketing plan around. Are you looking at a particular age range or other demographic? Is your audience all about family, technology, or fun and humor? If you are covering several types of customers, you may need various activities on your marketing plan that make sure each of these types is covered.
Identify the Right Marketing Channels
Taking into account your audience, your plan should include activities that target the right marketing channels. How will you reach your audience? Will it be via search engines, email, advertising, face-to-face meetings, or a mixture of all these channels? Your marketing plan should represent which channels are most important to reaching your audience.
Create a Realistic Timeline
Along with a column for your marketing activities, and the channels that you will use for them, you should ensure that you include a timeline column. Assign a time to carry out each activity. Some activities might be ongoing, while others might be designated to a specific week or month. Your marketing plan should be fluid. Activities might overrun, while others may take less time than you expected them to. You can track the progress of each activity in a “Notes” column, which allows you to insert updates or links to a more detailed planner for that specific activity.
Look to the Long Term
Whether it’s a monthly, bi-annual, or yearly marketing plan, you shouldn’t think of your strategy as being set in stone. Some activities will be more effective than others, and by breaking your marketing plan down into shorter timelines, you can try what works, and what doesn’t. Proper planning, and progress tracking, will ensure that you can fine-tune your marketing activities and hone in on your audience, with the ultimate aim of increasing your customer or member base.