What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a structured framework for executing a marketing strategy. The plan should be an integrated approach to the marketing mix of marketing channels and tactics.
A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for the coming year, quarter, or month.
Typically, a marketing plan includes:
- An overview of your business’s marketing and advertising goals
- A description of your business’s current marketing position
- A timeline of when tasks within your strategy will be completed
- Key performance indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking
Why You Need a Marketing Plan
- A marketing plan is a document that helps you determine how you will reach your business goals. You share a plan with your team and the people working with you. It will help you determine how you will reach your goals, what actions you will take and what resources you will need.
- A marketing plan is necessary for inbound marketers to attract and convert buyers in a digital age.
- A marketing plan should include social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and SEO, all of the strong inbound marketing strategies.
Do Research Before Creating a Marketing Plan
Do your research to understand who you are, what you’re selling, and who your target market is.
Here are some things you must research before starting your marketing plan:
- Conduct a SWOT analysis to determine company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Analyse the competition using content analysis, SWOT analysis, and competitive intelligence techniques.
- Define goals and objectives that align with the company’s overall mission.
- Develop strategies based on data gleaned from competitor research and assessment of strengths and weaknesses
- Identify your buyer personas
- Understand your buyer’s journey
- Nail down your budget
What is SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis helps you determine your business’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats that it faces. Once you understand where you stand, you can come up with strategies that make the most of your business’s strengths while addressing any challenges.
A clear picture of where you stand in relation to your competitors can be a great source of information to help form the basis of a new strategy to maximise profits, boost sales, and understand your unique selling proposition (USP).
Market research is an important part of any new business idea. It helps you know what people want and how much they are willing to pay for it.
It’s an easy-to-use tool that can help you better understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Do a Market Research
A market analysis is a process that gathers information about your business’s buyers, target audience, and current customers to understand how your product or service fits the current market, how viable it will be, and if it will be successful.
A market analysis is the first step in developing a strategy for selling online. It’s a quick way to determine your target market and how best to reach them.
- What products will appeal to your target customers, and how can you best position your brand to meet their needs.
- Who are your competitors, and how are they winning your customers?
- In your industry, what products, tools, and services are trending?
When customers make a purchase, they have many factors influencing their decision. Knowing the key factors influencing purchases and conversions in your target market can help you optimise your sales.
Primary market research is used to find out what your customers want. In contrast, secondary market research is used to determine how people in the general population think about your product.
Make a Marketing Plan
Make a marketing plan to persuade potential customers to buy your products or services. Outline your marketing goals and objectives. Remember to create SMART goals for your marketing plan and strategy.
Use these sections in your Marketing Plan
- Target Market: Look at the market’s size, demographics, unique traits, and trends related to your business’s demand.
- Competitive Advantage: It might be a better product, a lower price, or an excellent customer experience. Sometimes, an environmentally friendly certification or “made in the USA” on your label can be important for customers.
- Sales Plan: List the sales methods you’ll use, like retail, wholesale, or your online store. Explain each step your customer takes once they decide to buy.
- Marketing and Sales Goals: Common marketing and sales goals are to increase email subscribers, grow market share, or increase sales by a certain percent.
- Marketing Action Plan: List marketing channels you’ll use, like online advertising, radio ads, or billboards. Explain your pricing strategy and how you’ll use promotions. Talk about the customer support that happens after the sale. The federal government regulates advertising and labelling for a number of consumer products, so make sure your advertising is legally compliant.
- Budget: Try to be as accurate as possible. You’ll want to keep tracking your costs once you put your plan into action.
Developing a Marketing Plan
The best marketing plans are driven by your marketing strategy and are the execution, the roadmap of tactical marketing actions that will help you grow your business. Developing a well-informed, thoughtful marketing plan will help you avoid making the same mistakes others have made and keep your activities targeted to the right markets in the right way.
A marketing plan is a combination of two parts:
- An idea or strategy that will help you achieve your goals.
- A plan that tells you how to implement your strategy.
How to Build a Marketing Plan for Your Small Business
To grow your business, you need to create and execute a marketing strategy that will prompt people to choose your products or services over your competitors and ultimately become loyal customers.
1. Establish your goals
There are many ways to market your business, but the key is to find the ones that work best for you and your business. That’s why the first step is to get really clear about what you want to achieve.
A good goal is to make your sales as profitable as possible. You may want to think about goals for your business, such as increasing sales, making more money, or growing your business.
One goal you can work toward is improving your online business. Once you see traction, you can introduce a second goal and consider activities to help you reach it.
2. Identify your target market
You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to find out who your customers are. Start by reading market research papers on your industry, which will give you an idea of where your customers are located.
After identifying your ideal customer, you need to research how other companies reach them. You might find certain product reviews and interviews you could conduct to learn more about what people who look like your customers think.
Your customer’s persona will help inform the marketing channels you choose and what messaging you use to attract your ideal customers.
Define the demographics of your customers. For example: Where are they located? What do they do for work?
3. Conduct a competitive analysis
To market your brand effectively, you must first understand who else is doing what you’re doing. You’ll want to evaluate your product, pricing, location, and promotion against others in your industry.
- How much does it cost?
- How do you know if the product or service is of good quality?
In order to amplify its message and attract customers, the brand needs to be very clear about its purpose. It’s important to answer these questions because they’ll help you build your business model and marketing plan.
4. Articulate your unique selling proposition
You have a lot of options when it comes to starting a business. You can start with a service or a product. You can offer a product or service that someone else doesn’t have, or you can focus on a product or service that you can’t find elsewhere. Your USP is the basis for your key marketing message.
5. Develop your pricing strategy
Pricing is a key factor when planning your marketing strategy. Three common ways to price your product are:
- Competitive: What does your competition need to be doing to succeed in your market?
- Product or service: How much does it cost to produce your product or service?
- Value-driven: What do you think your customers want in terms of quality, features, and functionality?
You have to consider how you’re positioning yourself in the market because it will determine the type of product you make and how you deliver it. Is it high quality, high priced, or both? Is it only available through you, or can you offer it to a wider audience?
Pricing your products too high (or too low!) may repel your target customers, so choose your pricing carefully and communicate it to your potential customers.
6. Choose your marketing platforms
Who are your customers? Are they always on their phones checking emails? Are they addicted to TikTok? Maybe they’re baby boomers who love social media like Facebook. Or maybe they love traditional media like magazines.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, here are some things you should know before you start.
- Social media: You can use organic and paid social media posts to communicate your product and related content. Building brand partnerships are a good way to grow your audience. For example, you can bundle your product with other products on Instagram or Facebook and offer a special promotion.
- Search Engine Optimization: You can spend money on SEO (search engine optimization), which will help your business show up at the top of Google search results. And you can continue to post relevant content to your blog, which will make your business appear more frequently on search results.
If you want to get featured in a press outlet, you’ll need to make cold reach-outs to editors, writers, and publishers.
Additional Tips in Implementing Your Marketing Plan
1. Measure and update your plan
A marketing plan is essential for assessing or measuring the produced results. A specific action plan is vital for ensuring that all the criteria are met comprehensively.
A rolling review planning one full year each new quarter helps ensure that the respective firm can assess and monitor the success of its approaches with regards to the new brand introduction.
To improve the effectiveness of your plan, measure and update it regularly. This ensures that the plans embody the latest information and are realistic.
2. Don’t forget about operations
Knowing your audience and what they want to see on social media is key.
When it comes to your target customer, you should know things like age, location, average income, typical job title or industry, interests, etc.
They used that information to target their ads, resulting in a 40% lower cost per referral.
3. Spread the word
Marketing is important to a company, product, or service.
Understanding consumers and the main market research techniques are essential to succeed in marketing.
To properly execute a marketing strategy, you need to know how to segment, target, and position your product correctly.
The four Ps of Product, Price, Promotion and Place are also important factors in marketing success.
Consult with Digital Strategy Experts
Digital agencies fit into your marketing strategy. They can help you grow your business by helping you generate more leads, reach more people and increase sales.
In order to get more value from your marketing, it’s time to partner with an agency that can deliver comprehensive digital components. Contact Ubique Digital Solutions, and surely you can get the rightful help you need for your digital marketing needs. We’re always interested in meeting new people. Get in touch if you’ve got an exciting idea and are looking for someone to collaborate with. Help your business thrive with UDS. Reach out to us today.
Q: Why do you need a Marketing Strategy?
It’s important to have a competitive edge in your business. A well-thought-out marketing strategy helps you stay on your competitors’ minds. This is a good way to set goals and outline how you plan to achieve them. It will help you get your business growing faster.
Q: How do I start a new marketing plan?
To begin a marketing plan, set clear goals, understand your audience, research the market and competitors, choose marketing channels, allocate a budget, and create a strategy.
Q: What is the most important thing for a successful marketing plan?
The most important thing for a successful marketing plan is a clear understanding of your target audience and their needs.