How To Create A Marketing Plan For Your Business
Unsure how to create a marketing plan for your small business? We have you covered.
Examples of marketing plans vary and depend on your business and industry, before launching a marketing campaign, you first need an understanding of your market and consumer. This will help you to identify how your product or service differentiates from competitors, what the market needs are and how best to attract your target audience.
How to write a strategic marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated and should always include your vision, goals, target market research, messaging, and budgeting, to solidify your position in your desired industry.
Think of your Mission Statement
Think of your marketing plan as the blueprint for launching a new product or service.
A well-designed marketing plan starts with your mission statement, which is a short summary of your business’s purpose and focus.
Establishing a business mission statement in the beginning stages of your marketing plan is important, as it concisely covers what exactly your product does and why it does it.
Whether you’re a big company or small business, investing greatly in defining your ideal missions is key for success. Here are our top examples of successful mission statements that can help when writing your own.
Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Google: Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
My New Venture: To help people starting a business cut through the noise and get expert advice to help them make better decisions.
A mission statement’s core function is to contextualise what your small business does, not only for customers but employees and owners. Acting as the framework for why your business exists and what exactly makes it different.
Here are our top tips when writing yours:
Keep it short and concise
What is the value for consumers and employees?
Ask for feedback on whether your mission statement resonates well
Identify Your Target Audience
Accurately identifying the target audience for your small business is the most important component of your marketing strategy. Illuminating the characteristics of your ideal consumer is imperative to fuelling sales, creating, and implementing marketing campaigns, and boosting brand loyalty.
If you want to have a real impact on your marketplace, it first starts with gathering a clear understanding of your target audience.
As a small business, competing with large conglomerates can be complex and frustrating, however, by identifying your target audience you can help ensure your marketing efforts successfully connect to the right buyers.
The best way to do this? Create a buyer persona.
This means you establish a detailed description of an individual that perfectly represents your target audience. Based on extensive research and data, creating a buyer persona can help you craft a tailored marketing strategy to implement in your small business.
You may have multiple buyer personas with detailed descriptions of why that person chooses to buy your product or service. It’s best to consider your core customer group’s age, location, goals, challenges, and job title.
Check out these simple example buyer personas to get inspired:
40-year-old, professionally successful city-dwelling woman with no children
Young, local healthcare workers with little free time during the week
Tech-savvy remote workers who want to improve their socialisation
HubSpot has created a great and free tool to use for creating buyer personas, find it here. This tool not only helps shape a persona for your business but helps you market, sell, and serve better.
Identify Your Key Marketing Channels
Once you have carefully researched your target audience and how they consume information, you have created a clear basis to understand how to target them.
Selecting the best marketing channels for your small business is the result of thorough research, time, and testing. The marketing channel you initially choose usually evolves and changes with your small business.
Concentrating solely on one channel of marketing can be detrimental to your growth and revenue, limiting your presence to consumers. As a business owner, you should take into consideration more than one channel to broaden your reach and market access.
During the test period, it’s vital to consider the various channels available and which you should focus on. Find the right marketing channel for your small business, here are some examples:
Social media marketing
Internet display advertising
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Newsletters and blogging
Determine A Budget For Marketing
Spending revenue on advertising and marketing is vital for the health and longevity of your small business.
Whether you’re new to marketing or not, offering the best product or service with little noise means potential consumers are not aware of your efforts.
Strong marketing relies on money, expertise, and energy to help customers understand why your product or service is better than the competition.
Here are the reasons why:
To create a strong launch to create awareness of your small business
Educate and inform consumers
Establish brand loyalty and trust
Create a sense of community
Understand your target audience’s wants and needs
Boost business sales
Stay on-trend and relevant in your industry
Allows you to spotlight growth opportunities
Unsure how to prepare a suitable budget? Start by accessing the stage your business is in, which is usually the infancy stage. Starting from scratch with no revenue or customers means marketing is key for success.
Every business is unique, however a general rule is allocating between 7-8% of your gross revenue on marketing to help influence decisions in terms of increasing or decreasing your ad spend.
Plan Out Your Marketing Strategies
So, you have got to this stage of your marketing plan, and you should have a strong understanding of both your target audience and how best to connect with them.
The strategy of your marketing plan outlines the tools needed to accomplish your targets and goals, and how they will be implemented. Once you have generated informed and innovative marketing campaign ideas, it’s time to consider the required resources to bring your ideas to life.
Attracting customers is vital at all stages of the marketing funnel, to not only generate leads but measure and track your marketing performance and efforts. Each stage of the funnel serves specific purposes on your customer’s journey to purchase, making this consumer-focused marketing model perfect for aligning your marketing campaigns to consumer interests.
The five stages of the funnel and the marketing activities you can undertake:
Stage 1: Awareness — articles, advertisements, SEO, social
Stage 2: Interest — online content, social media, blogs, email campaigns
Stage 3: Consideration — webinars, video content, infographics
Stage 4: Conversion — brochures, e-books, sign-up to brand
Stage 5: Commitment/Purchase — case studies, data sheets, testimonials
The funnel starts with prospects identifying a problem, then learning about your brand, carrying out research and finally making a purchase. To retain consumers, continue to provide value with supporting articles and effective customer service.
These digital marketing channels not only let you access insights on consumer patterns but can develop your prediction of consumer behaviour, continuously elevating your marketing campaigns.
Set Your Marketing Goals and KPIs
Marketing goals and KPIs (key performance indicators), are used to measure the performance of your marketing efforts. Creating clear and highly defined goals and objectives can propel your business health as improvements, opportunities, and growth potential are outlined.
Marketing goals help small businesses focus on what they want to accomplish and how best to do it, this means following this framework can determine the overall effectiveness of your marketing plan.
Marketing goals to help grow your small business:
Social media reach
Email open rates
Increase signups or sales to grow revenue
Build a strong sense of community
Effective social customer service
Increase customer lifetime value
Boost awareness and demand for new products or services
Not sure how to implement KPIs in your small business? Learn our best tips for creating a set of KPIs here.
Top Tips For Implementing Your Plan
Now it’s time to act on your research and planning.
Implementing your marketing plan starts with organising your marketing efforts to maximise their influence and impact on your business. This means starting with short-term solutions with the strongest potential for results.
Use these tips as a starting point:
Have patience on your marketing journey, as trial-and-error can create huge positive learning curves
Create an action list for each marketing channel with realistic goals
Regularly update and monitor your marketing plan, don’t refrain from carrying out additional research
Communication is key for both customers and employees
Create a loyal customer base by not neglecting existing customers
Establish a timeline for targets and objectives
Report on results at each timeline interval, to look back, reflect and learn
Make improvements with customer feedback
Your marketing plan is the best way to create and continue genuine connections with a community of consumers beyond a revenue stream. Monitoring budgets, goals, and actions can make your marketing plan a reality.
You can find more tips and advice for your small business in the Branding and Marketing module on the My New Venture learning platform.
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