How To Write A Marketing PlanAug 15, 2021
Running a business requires you to come up with effective marketing strategies to stay competitive. Before you start to implement any marketing strategy you need to create a marketing plan.
A marketing plan is an important component of your overall business plan and is created to identify your ideal target market and how you can reach it. To create an excellent plan, you’ll also need to know your goals, your brand vision, and your weaknesses and strengths, so you can craft a marketing plan to sustain your overall business mission.
Let’s discuss the critical elements that will help you create an effective marketing plan.
The Mission Statement
Your mission statement explains what you are trying to do and why you’re doing it. If you already have a mission statement, then add it to your marketing plan. Treat your mission statement as the foundation of your marketing plan. It may not play an active role in your marketing campaigns, yet the mission statement acts as a guide to help ensure that your marketing activities support the company’s overall vision and objectives.
The Target Market
Your target market is the ideal buyer for the product/ service you’re offering. In writing your marketing plan, describe in detail the demographics, traits, and trends of your ideal buyer in defining your target market. Understanding your target consumer helps you design marketing materials that attract them to your brand, so you need to research who these people are and what drives them to buy your products. You must conduct market research to learn about your market including its location, size, socio-economic status, and other information you need to promote your brand. The more details you include as you identify who is in your market, the more targeted your marketing plan will be. This is probably the most crucial part of your marketing plan as you will need to use this information to create and determine your position in the market. You may want to dig deeper into the habits and hobbies of your target audience to understand how best to connect with them. Creating a persona is ideal during this discovery phase.
One of the best ways to study your target market and plan your marketing activities is to analyze your competition. Research who is out there selling the same product as you, especially if they are targeting consumers who fit your ideal buyer profile or persona. Study the things your competitors are doing right, what they may be doing wrong, or what they have failed to accomplish. Use this knowledge to your advantage by improving something they lack e.g. customer service or packaging, you can also use this information to increase or decrease your pricing structure or overall offering.
Your Unique Selling Proposition
Now that you know what you're dealing with, it’s time to determine the approach that sets you apart from your competitors.
A unique selling proposition (USP) describes how your brand, products, or services differ, in a better way, from your competitors. It identifies what makes your brand the better option, and why your target market should choose you over the other brands. Use this information in ads, your ‘About Page’ on social media, and your website. You may also want to use this in part of your closing script when closing leads.
As a key component of the marketing mix, your promotional plan covers your USP, how your products will be sold, how you’ll inform your ideal buyer about your offer, and your customer service strategy. So, if you want to reach out to your target market, then you must combine various marketing activities, such as:
- Direct Sales
- Sales Promotions
- Digital Marketing
- Marketing Materials
- Public Relations
- Other publicity efforts
Avoid overdoing it initially on promotional activities. Choose 3 to 5 specific tasks that will best reach your ideal customers and will help you implement your marketing strategy. Use the information found about your target audience to determine the best way to reach sell/promote your products/services.
Measuring Your Goals
It would be impossible to know whether your plan is effective or not or be able to improve on it, if you’re not measuring the results of the tactics and strategies.
Your marketing plan should define the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to track so that you can gauge its effectiveness and ROI. Furthermore, your KPI’s should reflect the objectives and goals you’re defined in step 1. The following are some KPI’s you can track:
- Leads generated
- Sales growth
- Cost of customer acquisition
- Email marketing performance
- Website conversion rate
Creating a Budget and Updating It
Since marketing is an important investment for your business, it’s essential to set aside a dedicated budget for marketing and promoting your products. After you’ve set your budget, you may have to revisit the marketing strategies to make sure you can sustain the promotional efforts in a way that can yield favorable results.
A marketing plan should be a living document that you revisit regularly to help you stay on track with your objectives, keep updated with your target market, and make sure you’re using the best strategies to promote your brand.
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