How You Can Benefit From a Marketing Plan
Your marketing program is just one part of the multifaceted role you play as a small business owner; showing the world what you bring to the market is only one side of this complicated role. Many small businesses struggle to reach the broader audiences they wish to target, but one of the first steps to improving your marketing strategy is creating a plan.
3 Advantages of a Structured Marketing Plan
When you employ a structured plan, everyone working across platforms is still on the same page. Organization of priorities, target markets, sales targets, deadlines, and all other factors in your marketing plan help to prevent confusion or drifting off-topic.
A structured plan also prevents certain goals or content from getting lost in the weeds. When all aspects of the marketing strategy are organized, deadlines and goals are unlikely to be forgotten; planning also makes it much easier to make adjustments to goals and deadlines, because things don’t always go as planned.
Teamwork is usually an essential part of running a small business. With a structured marketing plan, everyone is more likely to stay on top of deadlines.
Nothing halts a project like a bottleneck due to waiting on others to complete their tasks. With a structured plan, deadlines and responsibilities are easily tracked and changes can be made quickly if needed.
Reaching KPIs and other goals is also more efficient with a marketing plan. A clearly defined plan will articulate what goals should be prioritized and can reveal areas of inefficiency in your current strategy.
Unification is essential for maintaining a successful marketing program; with a structured plan, you identify the main purpose of your brand.
A brand purpose is the role you aim to fulfill with your products or services. Understanding what exactly it is you are marketing helps you to take the next step in identifying targets. Identify what you do better than the competition and how you increase customer value to understand what your brand is at its core.
Having a brand purpose also helps to maintain the core values the company is meant to uphold; this can unify employees and help to identify ideal job candidates. Your brand identity will also be strengthened once the core of your brand is established.
Overall, when you unify your marketing efforts under one structured plan, you ensure that everyone contributing to the plan understands what needs your products or services are meant to fulfill, what segment of consumers you want to attract and delight, and how you plan to make a profit.
Organizing your marketing efforts is a key part in maximizing the potential of your strategy. Our One Page Marketing Plan is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to establishing a solid, successful marketing plan that will help you reach your goals.
1. Define your product or service
What are you offering that is unique, special, and of value to someone else? How does it work? What does it do?
Because all brands work within some industry, the small differences between competitors in each industry are the key motivators in customer choice. What makes you different is your greatest advantage- embrace it! And flaunt it in your marketing efforts.
Ex: “ABC Company creates hiking gear designed for women and sourced from recycled materials.”
2. Identify your buyer
Who will benefit from your product or service? Is there a demographic that is most likely to buy? Any demographics you can clearly state including age, location, interests, job, education etc?
Depending on the generations, your marketing efforts may greatly differ; millennials have different expectations and demands of brands than Baby Boomers. Defining what groups you are targeting will help you to better research and approach your ideal target.
Ex: Women in their 20s through 30s who live in New England and are interested in outdoor activities.
3. Create a sales target
What is your revenue or specific sales target for the year, the quarter, or the month? Is your target realistic, based on experience, or a WAG? Just good to know.
If you think targets will limit your progress, think again! Having specific goals is key to progress; working towards specific targets helps to unite and streamline efforts throughout an organization.
Ex: “Generate x sales in the current year, a 10% increase year over year”
4. Create a marketing goal
What does marketing success look like? How will you know a program is working? Sales? Brand awareness?
While they may sound similar, “sales targets” and “marketing goals” are very different in this context. A marketing goal is an overarching goal to which your entire organization (or marketing department) is aiming towards. This goal will differ depending on the needs and aspirations of the individual company. These goals can also be long- or short-term. You may decide to make this a goal of all marketing efforts or a specific goal for a campaign.
Ex: “Convert 10% of website visitors to inquiries”
5. Identify a strategy
Look at your description, your value, your audience, and what differentiates you to identify a high level strategy that you can leverage to market your product or service.
The internet has empowered small businesses to reach endless consumers, which means it is now up to marketers to sift through the crowd to find the ideal customer; or more exactly- marketers now must fine-tune their marketing efforts to reach the ideal consumer. Your strategy should define how you plan to use your unique advantages to attract your audience over your close competitors.
Ex: Engaging existing customers to further promote the product by offering promotions.
6. Identify your marketing tactics
How will you get the word out? Will you network with business leaders? Call your friends? Use digital advertising or social media? Content marketing and email? Or a combination of the above.
Identify key channels you plan to use to engage your target audience. This is the last step because your choice in marketing tactics will be based on all the information you have collected throughout this plan. To effectively approach your target and make progress, you need to understand what your brand has to offer and which consumers will be most intrigued.
Ex: Create promotions for existing clients to share their story via social media and offer discounts on purchasing based on using hashtags or specific channels.
Click here to download our convenient One Page Marketing Plan!