As business owners, we’re always striving to grow and take our business forward and aiming to achieve good levels of growth and sales. In order to stand any chance of success it’s crucial to have a marketing plan in place. It doesn’t need to be a huge document, but it should address these five key elements:
Objectives – “If you don’t know where you’re heading you won’t know when you get there.”Setting your primary objectives is the first step in any marketing planning process, what do you want to achieve with your marketing activity? Examples could include:
Increased brand awareness
Improved search engine rankings
Increase sales by x %
Increase leads by x %
Increase website visits by x %
Target Audience – Any successful marketing plan relies on knowing who your ideal target audience is. This needs to be clearly defined prior to any marketing activity takes place and your campaign is launched. Clearly define your audience, know who they are, where they are, their likes / dislikes and target with your relevant marketing content and messages.
Tactics – Once you’ve identified your target audience you need to determine what tactics you’ll use to effectively communicate and engage with them. There are a wide range of different marketing tactics and techniques you can employ but you need to ensure you’re implementing the right tactics that are relevant to your business and your ideal target audience. Just a selection of potential marketing tactics can include:
Budget – Decide and set a clear budget for your marketing plan and activities; how much you will be spending on your specific marketing tactics. Knowing your overall marketing spend is crucial to ascertaining the ROI of your marketing activity and the overall success of your marketing plan.
Measurement – If you don’t have a regular monitoring and measurement process in place you can’t determine if your marketing plan and associated activities have proved successful or not and if your primary objectives are being met. Ongoing measurement is crucial to any marketing planning process to ensure you’re achieving your desired ROI and to then make decisions as to which areas you need to concentrate your marketing budget and efforts.
Developing a targeted marketing plan can prove highly effective for your business but you must conduct the relevant research first, know your ideal customer, what communication methods will prove the most effective for them, do you require any external expert resources and of course have clear, measurable objectives. Also, don’t forget to include and communicate your plan with other staff within your business, everyone needs to know the contents of your marketing plan, what you’re aiming to achieve and how you’ll achieve it.
If you have any further questions, or need any advice on how to develop and implement an effective marketing plan for your business, Contact Us for an initial consultation.