Writing a marketing plan is not as hard as it sounds. Whether you are launching a new product or promoting your latest offer, it is worth taking the time to complete it. Planning your strategies will help you direct your day-to-day activities, guide your approach and ensure you are taking advantage of all your available resources. The good news is that a marketing plan doesn’t need to be overly time consuming to prepare. Sometimes simple is better! You don’t need too many details in order for it to be effective and keeping it simple will also give you the flexibility to quickly adjust your tactics if you need to.
Read these 5 tips and learn how to develop a basic marketing plan:
- Build a precise picture of your ideal customer. The first and most essential step of any marketing plan is identifying your target market, being as precise as possible. Ask yourself questions such as: Who in your current customer base is the right fit for your product or service? What have they purchased from you before? Do their purchasing patterns suggest they might be a good target? Are they the kind of customer you enjoy doing business with? What about reaching new customers outside your customer base? Being really specific will make it easier to craft the right message and tactics for reaching that audience.
- What do you want to accomplish? Once your consumers are made aware of your campaign or promotional activity, what is your call to action? Do you want them to register for an event, take advantage of a special offer, upgrade an existing product, invest in training, or request a quote? Maybe there are more than one action that you want them to take, so be specific. These actions will drive your messaging and delivery methods.
- How can you reach your targets? Now you already know who you want to reach and what actions you want them to take. The next step is identifying the best ways and messages to reach them. In order to find the most effective way, consider the following:
- What associations do they belong to?
- Are they active on social media?
- Do they subscribe to your email marketing?
- What print or online media do they read?
- What types of messages or call to actions have they responded to in the past?
- In what ways will they benefit from your service?
- Work Out Your Budget. When it comes to planning your budget, determine your tactis and price them out, prioritizing what is most necessary. Keep in mind that you can always adjust your budget as you go, so be flexible.
- Plan Your Tactics. Whether it is direct email, email marketing, print/radio/online advertising, blogs, social media, webinars, case studies, or events, you need actions that will help you reach your target market and accomplish your goals. However, do not rely on one tactic alone. Invest on an integrated approach that delivers a consistent message across multiple, targeted platforms. Above all, be flexible and track your results, keeping a close eye on what works and what doesn’t and adjusting your tactics as you go.