Do you know that marketing is the most crucial element of a successful business? Being a smart business owner, you can imagine how important of a role a marketing plan plays in taking a business to the next level.
But what if you do not have a marketing plan? Well, that is probably the reason you have landed on this page.
Devising a marketing plan from scratch may not be a piece of cake, but it is not rocket science either. So in today’s blog, we are going to spill the beans and give you insight into creating an effective marketing plan for your business.
Now without further ado, let us get started.
What will we cover in this blog?
- Why having a marketing plan is crucial for your business?
- 5 Steps for creating an effective marketing plan
Why Having A Marketing Plan Is Crucial For Your Business?
A marketing plan does not only align your marketing efforts in the right direction. But it also guides your employees throughout the marketing funnel.
The valuable benefits that a business gets by having a marketing plan by their side are:
- It enables you to see the bigger picture and helps in making better decisions.
- It aids in dodging future uncertainties.
- Having a marketing strategy allows you to gain customer insights.
- It helps you in achieving goals.
However, if you do not have a marketing plan, you may find your business in hot waters. Therefore, it is time to make you aware of how to create one for your business. Read on!
How To Create An Effective Marketing Plan For Your Business?
Begin With Figuring Out What You Want To Achieve As A Business Entity
Being clear in your head about your marketing goals is the first step towards creating a successful marketing plan.
Start with listing down all the objectives you want your business to achieve in a particular time frame. Further, set milestones that you think your company has the potential to accomplish in a given time.
Moreover, your focus should be on setting smart goals. And by smart, we mean goals that are:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Realistic
- T: Timebound
Now you might be wondering what the examples of smart business goals are. Let us have a look:
- Lead generation
- Increasing brand awareness
- Substantial ROI
- Leveraging sales
- Building a solid and loyal customer base
Conduct Market Research
Operating a business without actually knowing what type of market you are operating in can be a catastrophe.
Therefore, after setting clear, concise, and smart goals for your business, the next step is to research the industry you are planning to step into.
So in order to put your business idea into perspective, you need to research and find out the answers to some essential questions like:
- Who is your target audience?
- Which platform/platforms do your target customers use?
- Who is your competition?
- How do your competitors operate, and how do they capture leads?
To make you better understand the concept of market research, let us walk you through an example. Suppose you are the owner of a company that sells basketball equipment.
In this scenario, who would be your:
- Target Audience: Basketball enthusiasts/players
- Target Demographics: Probably 10-35-year-olds
- Competition: Other basketball equipment sellers in your locality
Determine How Much Time And Money You Can Invest
Being aware of your resources is vital for achieving business growth. However, small business owners often overlook it.
To create a marketing plan that converts, it becomes essential to sit back and analyze how much time you can give and what amount of money you can invest in creating a marketing plan.
First, let us talk about money. Most new business owners tend to get confused while deciding how much money they should allocate for creating a marketing plan. So what is the answer?
Most new companies tend to allocate 10-12 Percent of their total revenue for their marketing budget. And most established companies dedicate 6-10 Percent of their total revenue to their marketing budget.
But wait! How can you have revenue if you are starting out fresh? Well, in that case, you can use your forecasted revenue.
Further, when it comes to deciding how much time to dedicate to your marketing, you need to analyze how many hours you can invest in marketing per week?
You might get involved in other business operations, and your marketing plan may suffer. Therefore, it is imperative to determine how much time you can invest weekly in your marketing plan.
Identify Your Target Group Of People And Create Customer Personas
Before putting your marketing plan into action, it is vital to identify the people you will dedicate your marketing efforts towards.
The target audience varies from business to business. Therefore it is imperative to keep several factors in mind while finding your target group of people. For instance, you need to:
- Conduct research and compile data on your target audience
- Understand their pain points
- Distribute them into segments based on their location, needs, etc.
- Use social listening techniques.
Moreover, if you want a detailed guide on finding the right target audience for your business, you can check this blog out.
Finally, after figuring out the right audience to target, you should pay attention to making customer personas. Customer personas aid significantly in understanding the ever-changing needs of the customers.
Further, with the help of the buyer personas, you will be able to get insight into the essential factors that determine customer buying behaviours.
If you are curious to find more about customer persona and how it can help leverage sales, we have penned down this blog for you.
Decide Which Marketing Tactics You Would Use
Now that your goals are set and the target audience identified, it is time to cut to the chase(implementation).
In this final step of creating a marketing plan, you need to decide upon the marketing tactics that you would use to spread your word.
Keep your marketing goals list by your side and figure out which marketing tactic you would implement to reach those goals.
For instance, you can make use of:
- SEO(Search Engine Optimization): for making your website rank on search engines
- PPC Advertising: for attracting new leads and driving traffic to your website
- Email Marketing: for increasing your sales through emails
- Content Marketing: for raising your brand awareness and promoting your content(blogs, video)
- Social Media Marketing: for marketing your business across social media platforms
After deciding which strategies to go with, make sure to align them with your marketing budget.
However, if you plan to hire a marketer to get the job done for you, you need to spend some extra amount, but it will save your time nevertheless.