Understanding the term Marketing Plan
In business, you don’t act and decide on things based on guts. Especially in marketing. You have to have a plan. Something that will guide you on how you will do things to achieve your goals. If you think that’s right and you’re actually looking for a guide– this one is for you. Here I’m going to give you ways, tips, or best practices about building a marketing plan.
Don’t skip this part! You might think you know everything about a marketing plan but maybe not. Given the fact that it is a document that you or your marketing team creates for the sake of promoting the business–it is also a part of your overall business plan. The marketing plan serves as a guide on how you will identify and reach your target market to achieve business goals. It is your map! Thus, it should be followed if you don’t want to get lost.
How to Create a Marketing Plan
Now that you know what a marketing plan is– it’s time to know how to create one. To get started, here are some questions you have to list down:
- What are your business goals that the marketing plan will support?
- Have you identified your target market yet? Who are they and how will you reach them?
- Do you know who your competitions are? Where do you rank among them?
- Is your business unique? In what ways?
- Have you thought about your pricing strategy? What is it?
- How about the budget on this marketing plan? How much will you spend on this and that?
- What tasks need completion to reach your marketing goals?
- How will you measure your marketing plan’s performance?
You can actually get started creating a marketing plan by just answering those questions. But if you want to know what are the things that you should put in a marketing plan– better read further.
Step 1: Set Goals and Timeline to Achieve Them
Before you begin creating a marketing plan, you should already have a business plan. Or at least its goals and mission statement. Then you have to identify how your marketing plan will support those goals.
About the mission statement, since it tends to what are you attempting to do and why you are doing it– make sure that it is included in the marketing plan document too. With it, you’ll be able to keep the actions on the plan to be on the right track.
Tip: Set a time frame or timeline for your goals. It will help you make a more focused and reasonable marketing plan.
Step 2: Identify Target Market and Set Actions to Reach Them
Your marketing plan is a waste of time if you won’t be able to identify your target market. They are the ideal buyer of your products or services. People who are–based on market research– that will most likely patronage your offerings. Keep in mind that it’s best to focus your marketing efforts on them rather than reaching “everyone”. Therefore, target market’s details or data should be included in the plan.
And when it comes to reaching your target market, it should still be based on their data. To be exact, it should be based on their location, demographics, interest, lifestyle, and hang out places (virtually and physically). Now here are ideas on how you will reach them:
- Advertising (TV, Radio, Newspaper)
- Internet marketing (Including Social Media and Email Marketing)
- Sales promotions (Discounts, Freebies, etc.)
- Public relations
- Direct sales
- Marketing materials (Pamphlets, flyers, print ads, billboards.)
- Other publicity efforts
Tip: Not all of those ideas are applicable to your target market. You must carefully study them so you won’t waste marketing efforts.
Step 3: Analyze Competitors and Set Plans to Outrank Them
Your marketing plan won’t be successful if you don’t analyze your competitors. But of course, you must identify them. Those businesses that sell the same type of products or services like yours. And more importantly, those that have the same target market. Find out what they are doing right, wrong, and even where they are lacking. Ultimately, you have to do a SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats) to your business and your competitors. Doing so will help you set plans and actions on how you will beat them.
Tip: Once you’re done with your SWOT analysis, you should come up with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It will outline how your business, offerings, or administrations vary, in a superior way, from your competitors.
Step 4: Set Pricing Strategies
In this section of your marketing plan, you have to include pricing information and payment details. Offer a summary of your product or service pricing in the pricing section of your marketing plan, and remember how certain factors will impact on supply and demand, thereby influencing quality.
Tip: When it comes to pricing, it should still be based on your target market’s capability. That way you will ensure sales and patronage. While also getting loyal customers.
Step 5: Set Marketing Plan’s Budget
Your marketing plan’s budget should be able to support your marketing campaigns or executions. That’s why you should know every price that it may incur. If the budget is tight, you must adjust some actions on the plan or find an alternative. Also, make sure that the budget will be used to marketing efforts that directly reach your target market.
Tip: Try to work on a budget-friendly but still effective marketing plan. Always remember that a business with fewer expenses gets more profit.
Step 6: Create a Checklist and use Metrics
Create an action list for your marketing plan. Doing so would let you see the things you need to do, what you already did, and haven’t done. Also, track and measure your marketing plan’s result. That way you’ll see if it’s effective, need revision, reaching the goals, and more importantly– if it’s giving you a return of investments. Use metrics, analytics, etc. Whatever you will do, it is a must!
Tip: Your marketing plan’s metrics can be used for your next plan. Use it as a reference to improve, replace, and reuse some of the parts.
There you have it! You may now create your own marketing plan. Just keep in mind that a strategy takes time to develop. But if you can create something that your business can confidently follow… success awaits!\
See Also: MARKETING IDEAS