The success of a business strongly depends on a well-structured marketing plan.
In the new digital age, any new business entrepreneur can start an online business with very little effort, most individuals forget to craft a curated marketing plan that lays down the essential guidelines which benefit their business objectives.
Why craft a good marketing plan?
A good marketing plan helps you benchmark against your competitors, conduct adequate research and analyze how you can surge ahead of the competition.
The plan will help you recognize your strengths, take action against your weaknesses, analyze current trends, develop and expand your goals toward the future.
This enables you to create a unique marketing proposition that gives you a competitive edge.
The steps below will help you in detailing exactly what you need to know in order to drive successful growth for your business.
Step 1: Know Your Worth
You know your business best; therefore, it is vital to do the initial SWOT analysis to determine where you are positioned in the market.
The SWOT analysis helps you detail out the small intricate details that you never noticed thus giving you an overall snapshot that highlights opportunities for your growth.
Strengths – Strong Customer Network –Already have contacts of over 500 customers
Weaknesses – Don’t know how to get those customers to follow us on Facebook
Opportunities – Start Facebook page promotion and invite those customers
Threats – Customers may follow Facebook pages of similar businesses
Step 2: Know Your Market
Having a ‘go-to-market’ strategy is key. Ask yourself some valid and important questions.
- Where is my market?
- Who am I looking to attract?
- What are the demographics?
- What do these customers or target audience resonate with?
- What can I do to leverage my presence?
Detailing more about who your customer is and how you can target them can be easily identified in the infographic below.
Once you know who you are targeting, the rest becomes easy.
Mapping out their personas can be detailed through the template below.
Step 3: Know Your Competition
The next stage is to be well-aware of your competition.
You have found out what you do is unique and that it’s important to stand out but consider what your competitors are doing and how you can top that?
Being fully aware and resilient will help find ways to stand out from the crowd and possibly create a niche for yourself.
Ask yourself… Why should people come to you? What can you offer that is different from the rest?
This helps identify how you can reach out to them in the most unique manner and tackle any challenges and demonstrate that you are aware of your competition and are willing to take measures to overcome them.
Step 4: Know Your Goals
Identify your key goals and list them out. The template below can be used to map out your priorities.
Goal Template (With Example)
Are you looking to grow more customers? More Market share? More profits?
The significant part is to work through milestones that pave the way for the projected period of time, whether it’s a year, five years or the next financial quarter.
The key is to identify each milestone with a realistic stepping stone that will help you toward the next step. Slowly but steadily align each milestone to form the bigger picture of your marketing plan.
Step 5: Curate Your Strategy
You have reached the final stages after assessing your worth, knowing your goals and defining where you are in the competition. Now, it’s time to create a strategy that will help you take the necessary action toward your objectives.
Create a strategy that works for you. It is possible to create many small strategies that align with each goal or have a master plan that fits all the tiny pieces of the puzzle together.
Examples of smaller objectives and strategy can be:
Objective -To gain 1000 followers on Facebook
Strategy – Page promotion, page boosts, friends recommend the page to garner more attention
Examples of Larger objectives and strategy can be:
Objective – To gain 100 new customers by the end of the year
Strategy – Marketing Promotion, Sales Outreach, Ask for Recommendations, More Outbound Calling, etc.
It is advisable to target each objective separately so you can move towards that particular goal and adjust accordingly.
It’s a great way to get your ideas moving and it gives you a more realistic picture of what lies ahead and what measures you can input that will help your goals in an efficient manner that deliver the desired results.
Step 6 : Set Your Budget
One of the most important factors is to identify a budget that you want to invest into your plan.
How much of your resources do you want to allocate on marketing and promotion?
Tweak and tailor your approach until you find the budget that works for you.
Map out what your costs are versus how you intend on covering those costs and what necessary actions you need to take to increase/decrease spends.
If you need more page followers, ask yourself, how much am I willing to spend for page promotion?
Do I need to test out with a small budget and monitor the results and then increase it as I go along?
HOW DOES IT ALL COME TOGETHER?
Let’s follow through with an example to understand how it all comes together.
Overall Business Goal – To establish my business on Facebook
Step 1 – Know Your Worth – E.g. the business specializes in custom jewellery
Step 2 – Knowing the Market – Understanding the buyer persona of the ideal customer – E.g. income above 10 lacs a year, loves online shopping, etc.
Step 3 – Knowing Your Competition – E.g. – There are 10 other online custom made jewellery business in my location
Step 4 – Knowing Your Goals – E.g. – Long term goal – to grow more online presence, Short term goal – to get all customers to follow us on Facebook
Step 5 – Curating Your Strategy – E.g. – Send a Customized email to join Facebook, Create an invite-only event, etc.
Step 6 – Setting Your Budget – E.g. – I am willing to invest 10K on my marketing promotion
Now you have the much needed ‘know-how’ on creating a good marketing plan that works for you; that’s all you need! Since you have gained valuable insight on how to create the perfect marketing plan through the various steps and stages of driving marketing and planning effectiveness in your business, all you need to do is pull it together with the right tools!
Remember, your approach is best known to you, so whether you want to craft something filled with intricate details or use it as a starting point to navigate your way through, you can curate your own marketing plan that gives you the best results for your business.