Just having an idea is not always good enough. Everyone knows that a new idea or innovation along with a good business plan can help kick start a business. But what many people don’t realize is that a perfect marketing plan is equally important for the business to sustain itself. We won’t say that you need to make your plan beautiful or charming, but we would recommend the use of bulleted sections and precise writing. In fact, here are eight tips to create a successful marketing plan for your business.
A good marketing plan aims to win and keep customers’ trust. The statistics and numbers involved make a marketing plan more substantial. A decent marketing plan spells out the strategies and tools that you should use to achieve your marketing goals.
1. Situation Analysis
It is always a good idea to start with a snapshot of your business’s current status regarding products and services. This is called a situation analysis. Getting a proper idea of the scope and availability of products and services should be done before getting into any kind of planning regarding marketing or advertisement. Not only do you need to be able to know your niche market, but you must also have a clear understanding of your own products against what your competitors are offering and be able to show how your product or service provides a better value.
2. Recognition of Target Audience
Today’s audience is very selective, as well as segmented. Developing a simple profile of your prospective customer is of utmost importance. Prospects can be described by age, sex, earnings, location, etc. Knowing the target market and target audience is very helpful. It allows you to decide where you should advertise and how you should advertise. Unless the target market is properly understood, you cannot effectively express how your products and services will meet their needs.
3. Examine external opportunities and threats
Knowing the competition is very important as that will determine the advantages and disadvantages of your product or services over your competitor’s. No matter how original your product or service is, there will always be some competition for your target audience. It is always better to be prepared and know who they are, what their core competitive advantages are, and how they will respond to your offerings (price cuts, communication, etc.). All these will help you figure out strategies to combat losses.
4. Market Survey
Recently, all industries, especially service-based companies, have been stressing the importance of market surveys. They have many advantages. They will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Over the years, companies have realized the importance of these surveys. E-mail surveys, phone surveys, and in-person surveys are widely used. Of the three, in-person surveys are the best, though a bit expensive.
5. Set your budget
This is the backbone of your marketing plan. A well-planned budget can do wonders. A certain percentage of projected gross sales have to be allotted for the annual marketing budget. You may have some brilliant ideas about how to market your business and reach out to your target audience, but if the budget is limited, then you may need to rethink your marketing strategy.
The budget should always be realistic and reflect the current state of the business, as well as the potential growth visible in the business’s future. Here is an example of budget comparisons of big spending.
6. Smart and effective means of advertisement
Before jumping into a deal with any agency, you should have a clear idea of what kind of advertisement the business needs and how to go about it. A small background check of the agency or service provider is a must to know which agency is better at doing what, and how your goals should be achieved. The average click through rate of display ads across all formats and placements is 0.06%. A study revealed that 2.8% of participants thought that ads on a website were relevant. So, smart advertisement is a necessity these days.
7. Smart use of Social Media
Social media platforms are one of the most highly effective and inexpensive means of advertising for businesses and should be a component of any overall marketing plan. Social media can be useful for advertising specials, promotions, and communicating with your target audience. So remember to make suitable planning regarding the social media activity of your business.
Discussions, promotions, and surveys can all be ways of involving customers in the business while learning more about their preferences and building a stronger relationship with the brand. Using a few facts that are available, such as Facebook is the most visited website, 53% of people recommend products on Twitter, and 56% of people check Facebook every day, a business can do wonders.
8. Assign roles and prepare a Chart to Success
Assigning roles to people is a tough job. For that, you need to be well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Be careful when determining who would be the best fit for each role for your marketing plan and define precisely what that role’s responsibilities will be.
It does not end there. It is equally important to keep track of their progress in regards to the tasks allotted to each person on the team. Always maintain an annual plan to review performance. This chart will further guide you when you need to improvise your marketing plan.
These are just a few tips for gaining the most out of your marketing. The above eight tips to create a successful marketing plan for your business will help you get the ball rolling. It is also important to continually improve your plan for building a better brand.
Image credit Freepik
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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