We’ve all done it. Gone into the grocery store to pick up a few things and come out with a cart full. How did that happen? It’s probably because you didn’t have a good plan.
Small business owners who are strategic with their approach understand the value of a good business plan. A business plan is an outline that determines the success of any organization. One of the most important aspects of the business plan is a marketing plan. Your marketing plan plays a big role in the success of the business, so it is good to understand how to build a good one.
When a company decides to build a marketing plan from the ground up, new opportunities in terms of potential product line and target audience can be revealed. In addition, a marketing plan also helps organizations make determinations about their competition, their progress, pricing strategies, potential reach, and more. Thus, an effective marketing strategy can increase your reach and profitability.
What are the steps to build a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a business document that outlines your marketing strategy and tactics. The plan outlines the specific actions you intend to carry out to increase awareness of your company and to persuade potential customers or clients to buy your product or service. For a small business, it is an essential and effective tool to reach your target market to maximize your efforts.
If you are a startup or a small business wondering to build a marketing plan from the ground up, here is what you need to do:
Determine your target audience
When you are planning to build a marketing plan from scratch, it is important to identify your ‘ideal customer’ from the beginning. Once you have figured it out, you would know who you are trying to reach with your marketing plan. All in all, a business should devise a targeted market plan for increased profitability.
Know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
To stand out from your competitors, your business must offer something that makes it different than others. Once you have performed competitive analysis, you can easily figure out and set a unique selling proposition to set yourself apart from others.
Perform competitive analysis
As a small business owner, you want to stand out and be regarded among industry leaders. This is only possible if you know who you are up against and where you stand. By comparing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (aka SWOT Analysis), you can see more how your company compares to its competition, and can then build a marketing that will help you stand out among them.
Define your marketing objectives
Decide what the purpose is for your marketing. Do you want to increase sales by 25% in the next year? Sign 2 new clients per month for the next 6 months? It is important to remember that your marketing plan will contribute towards organizational objectives and goals, so the marketing objectives should be directly related to the business goals.
Build an action plan
An action plan includes detailed information about each product or service, including its benefits and price points, and the plans for how the product or service will be promoted. Are you planning for social media advertising? A Google AdWords campaign? Maybe you will write and distribute press releases or sponsor local golf tournaments? When building the action plan, don’t forget to consider customer service protocols.
Decide on your budget
Set a realistic budget for marketing and stick to it. How much will you spend on a new website? New promotional video? What will your monthly costs be to promote your business on social media, in print media, or online? Don’t forget to add in the costs of your networking associations and local chambers of commerce.
If you would like some guidance building a marketing plan, we would love to talk with you. Give us a call at 813-892-2545 and we can help walk you through the process. We might even have an idea or two you haven’t thought of yet.