Creating a marketing plan is a lot like taking a trip to an all-you-can-eat buffet. For some, it’s heaven on earth. For others, it’s heartburn before the first bite.
However, if you are in the latter category, don’t start reaching for the antacids just yet. Making the perfect marketing plan for your business doesn’t have to be painful if you approach it for what it really is — a unique experience to improve your organization’s awareness exactly the way you want it.
First, let’s go over the basics. What is a marketing plan? According to the Corporate Finance Institute, a marketing plan is a document that lays out the marketing efforts of a business outlining the strategy, promotional, and advertising activities to be put into place.
Just like a trip to Golden Corral, you need to think and plan strategically when filling your marketing plan plate. Marketing is a complex yet essential part of any successful business, and there are countless, tasty options for how to build one.
Creating a functional, results-driven marketing plan requires forethought — which is why seeking expert knowledge is highly beneficial and rewarding. One of the best parts about living is that it is a shared experience. Whether traveling to a new destination or dining at a new restaurant, the experience is much better when it is shared. The same goes for marketing. Sharing your plan with experts will foster new, fresh ideas, goals, and possibilities, and turn your marketing dreams into an organized reality to set your business up to reach its highest potential.
Let’s take a sample of aspects from a marketing plan and go through their importance bite by bite.
Before The First Bite: Analyze Your Target Audience
Identifying and learning about your current and aspirational customers is an essential part of a marketing plan. Knowing who you are marketing to and what their needs are, allows you to not only meet them – but exceed them. Conducting a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis of your business will help you to identify what makes your business stand out from its competitors.
The First Plate: Set Clear Goals & Objectives
Don’t fall into the “My eyes were bigger than my stomach” trap. When you’re hungry, everything looks good at the buffet, and it’s easy to put too much on your plate. In marketing, the same is true, but the saying shifts to “My eyes were bigger than my budget.” It’s easy to want to do it all, but establishing S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, and time-based) goals will help guide your business to reach its full potential while staying within your marketing budget. Setting these kinds of goals will provide you with an efficient sense of direction and motivate you to achieve them.
One Bite At A Time: Outline Marketing Strategies
Once you have filled your plate with goals for your business, it’s time to dig in and go into detail on how to achieve them. Consider the well-known 7 P’s of Marketing, which will help you continually evaluate your business activities.
For a variety of ideas, breakthroughs, and solutions for your business in the marketing realm, two heads are better than one. The possibilities are endless when an eager business and a marketing firm put their heads together to develop a plan of action.
Ready to develop or revamp your marketing plan? Madison+Main uses a combination of PR efforts, digital marketing, social media, partnership marketing, and organization accolades to create a well-rounded, integrated plan that produces bold, tangible results. Reach out to Madison+Main for help taking on the marketing buffet bite by bite by calling (877) 623-6246! #BoldBrandsWin