As a business owner, you need to create a marketing plan for your business. It’s as essential to your business as a map is to a traveler.
Having a carefully laid out marketing plan can mean the difference to having a thriving business and one that has to shut its doors. A marketing plan helps you and your team by giving you a clear vision, direction, as well as actionable activities to follow.
If you’re new to doing this, don’t worry. Pro Business and Life Coach will help you with where to start and what areas you need to focus on to build an effective marketing plan for your business.
In this month’s article, we’ll show you a step-by-step guide on creating a marketing plan that will work for almost every kind of business.
You can also take advantage of our Business Planning Guides to help you not only create your marketing
The Need To Create A Marketing Plan
A marketing plan acts like a roadmap that helps you set your destination – your goals and target audience so you can adjust your marketing campaigns.
In simple words, it helps you get a clearer view of the what, why and how of all your marketing activities.
As Russell Glass puts it: “Focus on the right message for the right people at the right time.”
A well-prepared marketing plan also helps you communicate the overall strategy and the different tactics that are involved to your marketing team.
In addition, having a marketing plan will help you:
- Understand Your Business Better. By researching the current market conditions, you can see where your business is, thus letting you see the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding your business.
- Align Your Marketing and Business Goals. When you travel without a map, you can get lost. In the same manner, when you don’t have a marketing plan, you can lose your goals and end up wasting time and resources. A marketing plan helps you ensure that your marketing goals are aligned with the goals of your business.
- Make Better Decisions. Having a marketing plan can help you prepare for different scenarios, preventing you from making hasty decisions.
- Make Sure Everyone Has the Same Target. When you create a marketing plan and document it, share it with your team. Now each of them will have
- Keep Your Eye On The Prize. A marketing plan is a constant reminder of your goals and strategies, which keeps you from getting sidetracked.
How To Create A Marketing Plan
There are different ways to create a marketing plan, so here are some key elements to make sure you create a winning one. Follow the steps below to create an effective marketing plan.
1. Analyze the Current Situation of Your Business.
Before you start building your marketing plan, you need to know your business’s current situation.
What are your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? Perform a SWOT analysis so you can easily identify where you currently stand.
Aside from this, you should also take a look at the current market. How do you compare to your competitors? Are you faring better than them, or are you doing worse?
Think about what sets your product or service apart from the competition. Plus, consider the gaps in a competitor’s approach. What are they missing? What can you offer that will give you an advantage over your competitors?
When you know where you are, you can then move to step two and identify what your audience wants.
2. Know Who Your Target Audience is.
Matchmaking is important when it comes to business. When you understand where your business is, you can then begin to identify who you should be marketing your services/products to.
If your business has buyer personas that you have been using for the past year, you might just need to update them.
If not, it’s critical that you create one. To do this, you need to do market research.
Your buyer persona should include demographic information such as age, gender, and income. However, it will also include psychographic information such as pain points and goals. What drives your audience? What problems do they have that your product or service can fix?
3. Write SMART goals.
For someone who loves to travel, I always remember to bring a map with me. It helps me find where I’m going, and what stopovers I’ll need to make if the destination is too far.
This applies to marketing as well. You have an overarching goal, but before you get there, you need to have these “stopover” goals that will help you get closer to your destination.
After you’ve figured out your current situation and know your audience, you can begin to define your SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This means that your goals should be specific and include a time frame for which you want to complete them.
For example, your goal could be to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months. depending on your overall marketing goals, this should be relevant and attainable. Additionally, this goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound.
Before you draft your tactics, you should write out your goals. It is only then that you can begin to analyze what tactics are needed to achieve those goals.
4. Figure Out What Tactics Will Help Your Goals.
At this point, you’ve written down your goals based on your target audience and current situation.
Now, you have to figure out what tactics will help you achieve your goals. Plus, what are the right channels and action items to focus on?
For example, if your goal is to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months, your tactics might include hosting a giveaway, responding to every comment, and posting three times on Instagram per week.
Once you know your goals, brainstorming several tactics to achieve those goals should be easy.
However, while writing your tactics, you have to keep your budget in mind, which brings us to step number five.
5. Set A Budget For Your Marketing Plan.
You can’t implement any of the tactics you developed if you don’t have the resources to back it up. Thus, you need to set a budget.
For example, your tactics might include social media advertising. However, if you don’t have the budget for that, then you might not be able to achieve your goals.
While you’re writing out your tactics, be sure to note an estimated budget. You can include the time it’ll take to complete each tactic in addition to the assets you might need to purchase, such as ad space.
Now that you know how to create your marketing plan, let’s dive into creating a marketing campaign outline that will help you reach the goals outlined plan.
Do you need help to create a marketing plan for your business?
Pro Business Life and Coach is here for you.
We work with real estate professionals and small business owners to help them achieve real success by making quantum leaps in their business and personal lives.
Request a complimentary coaching call with us today and discover how you can create a winning marketing plan for your business.