Every business owner has to create a marketing plan.
There are different factors that you will need to take into consideration when creating a marketing plan for your business.
There are certain things that might not be necessary for some businesses, but some things must be included in your marketing plan.
There are also certain factors that will help you to determine the success of your marketing plan.
Here are five main things to consider when creating a marketing plan.
How much do you want to spend on marketing?
The answer to this question will be different for each person.
For some, a few thousand is plenty.
For others, ten thousand may be more realistic.
As long as your budget allows you to run an effective marketing plan, you’ll be fine, but if you don’t allocate a reasonable budget, your marketing campaign may be unsuccessful.
Marketing takes time and patience and most people don’t have enough.
So, set some money aside for your marketing plan, and then after a few weeks (or months) later, take a look at what your budget has produced.
Did you earn extra revenue?
Was your web presence improved?
Did you sell more products?
Your marketing budget must cover the cost of your marketing activities, tools, and content.
Who’s your target market?
If you’re not sure, don’t worry.
The answer isn’t as complex as one might think.
Your target market is the group of people who seem most likely to buy your product or use your service.
For example, if you own a pet food store, your target market will be pet owners who are looking to buy food for their pets.
While creating your marketing plan, you should first know who you need to market your products to.
If you have no idea who they are, it is impossible to work out a marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that every business usually has its own unique target audience, and it all depends on what your business sells.
Determining your target market is essential to the success of your business.
Having a clear idea of who you want purchasing your products or services, allows you to properly communicate with them and market your products to them.
Marketing objectives are the foundation for any marketing strategy.
They should serve as the “why” as‐well as the motivation behind your marketing campaign.
What results do you want to see from your marketing campaign?
Here are some of the most common marketing objectives:
- Target new customers
- Increase sales
- Generate new leads
- Build brand awareness
- Enhance customer relationships
These are your marketing objectives, although a marketing campaign will target specific results.
For example, lets say you want your marketing campaign to increase sales by 25% within 12 months.
That will be the objective that you need to add to your marketing plan, because that is what you want to achieve from it.
It is important that you plan out the specific strategies that you want to use to market your business.
Will you use paid ads?
Will you print out flyers and business cards?
In your marketing plan, you need to include the specific marketing strategies that you are going to use.
Knowing what your marketing strategy will be, will help you to set a budget, and decide on your marketing objectives.
In a genius marketing strategy, domino’s filled potholes in America.
Their campaign is called “Paving For Pizza”, and yes, a pizza company went around filling in potholes!
In marketing, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis helps identify the strongest possible position you occupy in the market.
By writing a SWOT analysis, you are making it clear what your company does well, what it needs to improve on, opportunities that can help your business to grow, competitors that could make business difficult for you, and much more.
Take a look at this simple graphic to understand how to conduct a SWOT analysis for your business.
You can conduct a SWOT analysis on paper, or you can use a spreadsheet, it’s up to you.
All you need to do is answer the following questions:
- What does your company do well?
- What qualities separate you from your competitors?
- What are your assets?
- What is your unique selling point?
- Do you have access to unique resources?
- What can your company improve on?
- What do your competitors do better than you?
- Do you have a large enough budget?
- Do you have low profit margins?
- What changes / trends could positively impact your industry?
- Is there a new market that you are not yet targeting?
- Can you steal your competitors’ customers by offering a better deal?
- Is there someone that you could hire that could improve your business?
- What obstacles do you face?
- Do any of your weaknesses prevent you from reaching your goals?
- Who / what could cause you problems in the future?
- Is your website at risk of crashing or being hacked?
- Are your competitors planning on selling new products?
Then, when you have completed your SWOT analysis, you will have a good idea of what you can do to grow your business.
Once you have covered these five things in your marketing plan, you should be ready to start your marketing campaign.