How To Make A Marketing Plan: As you know that it is not so simple to start a business and expect it to rise high while you just sit there and relax. To run a successful business means that you must constantly promote and evolve for your business.
A proper marketing plan must be followed in the hope of achieving your target and success. By doing constant marketing you can get more eyeballs on your business or people through your door.
According to a common saying: “Built it and they will come”, it is a well-known statement, but if it comes to your personal business, it will miss the mark. As you can’t just wait for the opportunity, you will have to struggle.
The terms “marketing plan” are sufficient to send shivers down someone’s spine. It sounds extremely technical and absolutely unsettling, doesn’t it? But it is not as intimidating as you think and obviously, you don’t need a degree in marketing for that.
What Is A Marketing Plan?
Before you jump in with making your plan, it is very important to have a basic knowledge of what exactly it is. Basically added as an extended part of your business plan, the marketing plan is a document that contains the details about everything you need to successfully promote your business.
Some bigger organizations make the marketing plans of hundreds of pages or above but some small businesses may have just a few pages. This means that there is no fixed size or length for this document just include the important information.
Also, it is necessary to know that your marketing plan is just for one year. This is sufficient time to reach your goals and long-term objectives. Keep it simple enough to easily adjust it in any situations and flexible enough so that goals can be changed anytime.
Steps To Make A Perfect Marketing Plan
Now as you know the basics about making the marketing plan, let’s see the details. Here are some easy steps which you need to follow in order to make a perfect marketing plan according to your business.
Step 1: Know Your Business
You might have done this while working on your business plan, so the first step should be very easy for you. As no one else knows about your business as much as you do. Consider this as an opportunity to give an overview of your business and its environment.
At this stage, some companies perform a SWOT analysis. This analysis includes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and Threats for any organization that could hinder the progress of your business. It is the best way to keep track of your current situation.
Step 2: Determine Target Market
Target Market is a phrase that you will hear repeatedly in your marketing class as it is the main thing you will ever need for your business. It is a key element for coming up with efficient and successful strategies of the market.
In this step, you will list down each and everything you that you know about your targeted customer. This involves basic information like gender, age, etc. You must also go into the depths of their decisions and behaviors.
Step 3: Analyze Competitors
It would be great if you work in a vacuum and you do not have to worry about your competitors stealing your clients. But unfortunately, businesses do not work in that way. There are always companies doing something similar to your business.
Start by explaining the services or products that you offer to your customers. In this way, you will be able to expand your business by giving an overview of your products. Then tell spell out how your services or products measure up to the existing market.
Step 4: Set Goals
Here is the interesting part, creating your goals of marketing for the entire year. What are your objectives? Are there any targets that you want to meet? What level of goals do you want to achieve in a time span of one year?
Depending on the current situation of your business, your goals can be achieved from doubling sales or increasing market share. The vital part of setting your goals is to highlight and focus your milestones the most whether there is a chance of achieving them or not.
Step 5: Outline Strategies
As you have set your goals now it is time to define your strategies in detail that you are going to use in order to get the desired results out of your objectives. Take each goal individually and list all the related actions needed to perform to achieve that goal.
It is also the best way to know whether a goal is achievable or not or if it needs little amendments. Your goals should be compelling and motivating, but not as difficult that they discourage you in achieving them.
Let’s take the example of getting more followers on your business’ Instagram account. Here’s what this could look like:
Goal: Gain at least 100 new followers on Company XYZ’s Instagram account by December 31, 2016.
Starting Number: 458
- Be more active in the space by posting at least three new photos every week.
- Engage with users by responding to comments on photos as well as commenting on photos posted by similar, relevant accounts.
- Research industry and community-related hashtags that we can utilize in our own posts to attract more organic traffic.
- Host an Instagram contest for our followers.
Step 6: Set a Budget
This is the most dreadful part – the numbers. The word budget is enough to run the shivers done anyone’s spine. But, as you know, it is important when it comes to running your business.
Budgets are not as fun as they look like, it is really necessary to remain honest with your work. You would rather discover that you want to adjust something to make it affordable right now.
Step 7: Get to Work!
There you go. Now that you have determined all the steps that you need for creating a marketing plan, now you just need to put the pieces together. Marketing plans range from basic to complex.
Remember, it really depends on what is the best suitable plan for your own business. It doesn’t matter if your document is of 2 pages or 200 pages, what matters is that is your document helpful enough to let you achieve the goals.
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