What should you consider when creating an effective marketing plan for your small business?
While there are many options, the key is to address questions specific to your products, target audience, and business plan. There’s never a bad time to build a marketing plan, especially if you don’t have one already. Sure, starting from scratch might be time-consuming, but having a marketing strategy allows you to stay in front of the competition, understand the value of engagement, lead generation, conversion, and even when you need to adjust and improve marketing tactics. In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on building an effective marketing plan, but first, let’s discuss what a marketing plan is.
What Is Marketing Plan
A marketing plan outlines your advertising strategy, social media, emails, SEO, and content marketing. Consider it a tactical map that shows you where you’re starting from and how to get there.
Marketing plans can act as a road map for your business growth.
While not all marketing plans are made equal, here are some basic structures:
- A list of goals
- SWOT analysis, including competitor analysis, buying cycle, and buyer personas
- Details of marketing strategy
- Result tracking methods and tactical process
A marketing plan specifies the goals, such as improving website traffic, brand awareness, or expanding lead generation. Aside from that, it lays out the action plan for marketing your products and service—the steps you will take to reach your objectives and assign a deadline to achieve your goals.
What Are the Benefits of Marketing Plan
- Set your content marketing
Your marketing experts will have a route to follow if you have a good marketing plan. It represents the expectations and goals in detail and also how to achieve them.
If your business wants to increase conversion, your marketing plan will include what you’ll do at each buyer’s sales journey. You should add blogs or videos that answer questions about your business and buyers’ decision-making. You need to generate more content to help prospects engage with you and then purchase your products or services. If you’re not getting enough leads into your funnel, it’s time to ramp up your social media presence and marketing strategy.
The plan lays out a step-by-step procedure for developing and distributing information to maximize its value. This ensures that your plan has goals and can be implemented.
- Marketing and sales efforts guide
A marketing plan not only directs your content marketing efforts but also streamlines your sales process. It provides your team a template or guide that gives a quick rundown your sales team must perform to get results.
Let’s say your website has 1.000 monthly visitors, with 3% of them converting. That means you’ll get 30 consumers per month. If you have to double your monthly client base, you must double your site traffic or enhance your conversion rate. Your conversion goals are documented in a marketing plan, so you can quickly confirm to see if they are being reached.
- Track your goals and strategy
Only by having quantifiable goals can you be effective in tracking your goals and how to achieve them. Because a marketing plan directs your efforts, it may readily draw the dots to the marketing and sales goals you use to assess their effectiveness. It is not to mention that it gives you a framework to track your development.
If your goal is to increase website traffic, you can track traffic in the first quarter to check if the results reflect what you predicted in your marketing strategy. If you’re losing track, re-evaluate your plans and change certain elements to get back on track.
It is ideal to evaluate and refine your marketing plans constantly to help you achieve your goals.
- Keeps your team working together
Your sales and marketing teams have their own goals and practices to follow, despite their identical goals. Your marketing plan can help them keep on track so that nothing falls between the cracks. It provides a clear, shared path for teams to follow, helping them see both the jungle and the branches of the broader marketing objectives.
If you want to raise public awareness for a new product, a marketing plan will ensure the teams are informed of the target demographic and how to communicate. Everyone may concentrate their resources and efforts on a single goal. This simplifies marketing procedures and allows your staff to work more effectively.
How To Build An Effective Marketing Plan for 2022
A strong marketing plan is a significant advantage that is well worth the time it takes to develop. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on putting one effective marketing plan.
- Assess your current business situation
Before laying out the meat of your small business marketing plan, you must first assess your current situation to select the most appropriate marketing goals.
This is an excellent moment to conduct a SWOT analysis, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. When building your marketing plan, a SWOT analysis can help you take a critical perspective on your business and identify areas where you’re doing well presently and where you might also want to grow.
After you’ve completed your SWOT analysis, examine your main competitors and see what kind of branding they’re working on, what they’re doing effectively, and where you might be able to stand out from the competition.
You may have a solid foundation of your marketing plan by looking more closely at your business and competitors’ business.
- Define your target audience
The next step is to create a one-paragraph persona of your potential customers. Prospects can be described in terms of age, gender, family size, income, location, and lifestyle.
Consider the following when identifying your target audience:
- Are you a conservative or forward-thinking customer?
- Are you a leader or follower?
- Do you prefer to be reserved or assertive?
- It is better to be traditional or modern
- How frequently do people buy what I have to offer
You can define your target audience by their industry, job title, company size, and other criteria that make them potential customers.
Whatever your target audience is, be sure to identify them precisely because it will serve as a guide for your marketing and advertising activities.
- Specify your marketing goals
It’s now time to pay attention to business!
You may create your marketing goals once you have a firm grasp of your strengths, weaknesses, and budget.
SMART marketing objectives should be set.
Increasing website visitors by 10% in six months would be a SMART marketing goal. This objective is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. When creating your marketing plan, consider the following goals that many small businesses have:
- Improve online presence
- Generate leads
- Increase brand awareness
- Connect and engage with your audience
- Grow and expand your target audience
You can determine which of these goals are relevant to your business needs and then make them SMART.
- Research marketing strategies
You have established what your marketing must do and determine your prospects, and now it’s important to detail the strategies you’ll employ to reach these targets and achieve your objectives.
A good marketing plan focuses on prospects at all phases of the buying cycle. Many advertising, engagement, social media, and lead generation techniques are excellent for reaching out to your target audience. Warm leads typically respond to permission-based emails, loyalty schemes, and special offer events since they’ve already been exposed to your marketing efforts and may have met your business firsthand.
Your annual marketing budget should be based on the proportion of predicted gross sales. When launching a new product, this may imply additional funds, borrowings, or self-financing. Keep in mind that marketing is necessary for your company’s success. With so many different methods for reaching out to any potential market niche, even the smallest budget can be met.
You may discover that you’ve blown your budget as you begin to gather costs for marketing strategies you’ve defined. Simply go back and tweak your marketing plans until you have a collection that is within your budget.
Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart. — Joe Chernov
How We Can Help You Build A Marketing Plan
A small business marketing plan requires research, planning, and strategy.
Our Business Planning Guides, include a checklist and workbooks designed in response to Real Estate Agents, Brokers and Managers, Small Business Owners, and Network Marketers who are overwhelmed by what they think at first is an impossible task.
At Pro Business and Life Coach, we can help you create various marketing programs based on specific methods that are appropriate for your business.