All businesses, however big or small, need to develop a great marketing plan in order to succeed and become popular in their sectors.
A marketing plan is a document which contains market research studies carried out by the business, as well as a list of marketing goals to be achieved, including a detailed plan on how the business intends to achieve these goals.
The purpose of a marketing plan is to identify the most relevant activities and channels, to make them a strategic tool in order to increase the number of users, leads and potential customers. Contrary to what many individuals believe, a marketing plan is not only necessary for big businesses, but is it also crucial to organizations of any size, from small startups to large multinationals. Besides, if a company is small, it is incredibly important to use its limited resources wisely, therefore a marketing plan is key in order to obtain great results.
However, keep in mind that a marketing plan does not have to be long or super complex. Creating a simple, straightforward marketing plan with clear, manageable steps and deadlines can guarantee the success of any company.
A great marketing plan should focus on clear and achievable goals, along with an accurate outline of the strategies you will put in place in order to to achieve these objectives. It is also crucial to know in advance how you will be keeping track of the progress. A marketing plan should also be used to maximize the reach of online and offline campaigns and ultimately gain new customers while finalizing existing ones.
In this article, we are going to list five key points you should definitely include in your successful marketing plan!
1) Know Your Market
Knowing your market by conducting market research is the first and most important step to include in your business plan, as it will give you an objective overview of the positioning of your business in the market compared to your competitors.
Market research will also allow you to understand the needs and preferences of your customers, so ask yourself who might be interested in your products or services, or what extra services you can provide for the client. What makes your business unique and why should the client prefer it?
It is important to ask yourself these questions and answer them carefully, because once you clearly understand who your client is and how he can benefit from the purchase of your products or services, it will also be easier for you to reach out to the client and convince him to choose you instead of your competitor. Make sure you get to know your competitors: check how they are
managing their businesses, what sort of advertising campaigns they have put in place and how successful they are.
2) Set manageable goals
Your marketing plan should contain a clear outline of your vision and business goals on short and long term.When you set up your goals, they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and time-bound.
It is important to define exactly what your goals are, making sure you will later be able to measure the results you have obtained and learn how to make your marketing campaigns even more successful. In this phase, is it necessary to set up an amount of money that you are willing to invest in your marketing plan, so that your business can take off.
3) Choose the Right Strategy
Strategy greatly varies depending on the type of business you are working with as well as the goals you have set on short and long-term.In order to choose the right strategy, ask yourself what could be the best way to achieve your goals. Nowadays, tools such as social media and SEO are incredibly useful to promote a business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great tool which will allow your business to be found by potential clients.This means that you will not only focus on finding new clients, but you will also allow them to come to you.
LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram are also great platforms to find visibility and run successful campaigns. You can set up a business campaign through the platforms and keep track of your impressions and traffic using the analytics tool.
4) Check your Progress: Celebrate your Victories, Accept your Defeats
Take some time to evaluate your results and objectively establish whether your goals were realistic or not. If you understand that a goal was not realistic, consider changing your marketing strategies.
Make sure you review your marketing plan regularly in order to avoid critical mistakes or any distractions from your main business goals. Also keep track of your income and expenses in order to establish whether the plan is profitable or not. Although defeats are inevitable, they can also be a wonderful opportunity to change your strategy and move in the direction of success.
If one of your campaigns was very successful, celebrate your victory and learn from it. What made it so successful? How can you apply the same concept to your next campaigns? Vice versa, if a particular campaign turned out to be a total fiasco, make sure you never make the same mistake again and adjust your strategy accordingly.
5) RACE RACE!
This popular marketing framework is key to improving your digital presence and it should definitely be part of a successful marketing plan. You should always keep the word RACE in mind: Reach, Act, Convert and Engage.
REACH: reaching users means involving them, increasing the visibility of your brand as well as brand awareness. You should clearly and creatively advertise your products and services to drive traffic to your website or pages. You might choose to create special landing pages or dedicated mini-sites for the campaign.
ACT: as the word suggests, the main goal is to reach more people online, by persuading users who visit your website or social media pages. It is important to invite users to take the next step and visit your socials, learn more about your products and consider visiting your business. Interaction on social media is very important in this phase, as it helps building a community and increase trust.
CONVERT: this phase is all about converting these new, online users in real customers, both online and offline. In other words, your active audience will move on to the next step and become a paying customer. The payment can happen both online or offline.
ENGAGE: this phase is all about the development of a long-term relationship with your client. The aim is to retain your customers and make sure that they will buy again on your website or request your services, using posts and offers on your website, dedicated content on social media, mailing lists and direct interaction with the client. It is also very important to check the satisfaction levels of your clients and see if they have purchased repeatedly on the website. If a customer is satisfied, he will probably spread the good word and recommend your business to other potential clients!
We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make a marketing plan! If you found it useful, don’t forget to share it with a friend or colleague who might find it interesting and insightful. See you in the next article!