8 Essentials of a Marketing Plan
Your business continues to do well, but you want to ensure you are always a few steps ahead of your competition. Sound familiar? If so, now may be a good time to take a closer look at your marketing strategy. Before you throw yourself into every social media trend, start printing flyers for everyone in your community, and spread yourself so thin you deplete yourself of all energy, sit down and take the time to come up with a solid plan and figure out what is right for you and your business. Keep reading for the 8 Essentials of a Marketing Plan.
1. Target Market Analysis
Who are you trying to reach? Take a close look at your ideal target market and how they act in the purchasing process of your product or service. What resources do they utilize to help them with the decision process? Identify key demographics information such as age, location, activity levels, income levels, etc.
2. Competitor Analysis
Taking a thorough look at your competitors online and offline efforts can be a very eye opening experience. Evaluate what they are doing well, modify it to be your own and do it better!
3. SWOT Analysis
This analysis will allow you to really break down the internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats of your business. Be honest with yourself! For a more in depth look at a SWOT analysis, click here!
4. Online Assessment
How do you perform online? Can your customers find you? Utilize different resources, such as Google Keywords Tool, to identify if your website is driving the traffic you want for your business. Compare your website to your competition and identify simple changes you can make to improve.
5. Identify your Brand
Now that you’ve established the groundwork through your Target Market Analysis, Competitive Analysis, SWOT analysis and Online Assessment, you can really work to identify your brand. Entrepreneur.com defines a brand as your promise to your customer. Everything your business does should communicate your brand – including tangible items such as your logo, website and promotional items and intangible items such as the atmosphere of your facility and the service your customers receive. It is vital for you to stick to your branding message and remain consistent throughout all communications. Your brand will be what helps you identify your Remarkable Differences (Unique Selling Points), what sets you apart from your competition, and gives you the edge you need to be successful.
6. Set your Goals
You know who you are trying to reach, you know what you can do to reach them, so now set your goals. Look at personal goals, business goals and strategic goals and identify 1-2 in each category. Your goals should be realistic and measureable and attainable through set objectives outlined in your Marketing Dashboard.
7. Marketing Dashboard
This dashboard is the real meat of your marketing plan. The research you’ve done and the brand you’ve developed, will now be rolled out in an actionable plan. The dashboard should include your goals (business, strategic and personal) as well as measureable objectives to reach those goals, responsible party and a timeline for completion. All of the promotion and campaigns within your dashboard will communicate your brand in an effective and cohesive manner.
8. Evaluation Plan
As great as your plan may be, circumstances always change, and it is important to have an evaluation plan in place to assess the effectiveness of your Marketing Plan. Modifications can easily be made throughout the Marketing Dashboard to ensure goal completion and maximum effectiveness.
Now that you have the eight essential elements of your basic Marketing Plan, it’s time to get to work! For more information on how to develop a marketing plan and strategy customized to highlight your company’s remarkable differences, contact VISION Marketing & Consulting today for a free consultation.