Are you tired of brainstorming, day and night, to develop intricate steps of marketing plans only to fail? (Well…) That’s a sign that you need help. Building marketing plans is a complicated process that can give most people a quick headache. But there might be an easier way. What if I offered you the chance to learn about marketing plans from those who do them better than anyone?
What if, by following the steps those people created, you could create a strategic marketing plan to:
- Identify your target market.
- Define your unique selling position.
- Ensure high ROI.
- Plus more… all without tripping over yourself to get your assets/ content in line, or misspending your budget on misguided marketing efforts.
Would you take me up on that offer?
This is your chance. Business Marketing Engine has created numerous unique marketing plans for various industries. We understand the ins and outs of strategic marketing plans better than anyone. Recently, our team sat down and developed this list of the nine most essential steps of marketing plans.
If you want to grow and scale your business with effective marketing, continue reading below. All the information you need to get started is here. We’ll teach you how to write a marketing plan like the pros.
What Is the Most Important Part of a Marketing Plan?
By far, the most important part of a marketing plan is understanding your target audience. It’s a job that is never over, as your audience and the industry you occupy continually evolves. You must always be ready to research, test and then update your targeting based on your findings. If you neglect that part of the process, you risk wasting your marketing efforts on an uncaring audience.
You might as well flush your marketing approach and budget down the toilet.
Also, as you follow the sections below, focus on mixing universal truths into your marketing. Those are things that won’t stop being true or become unpopular as the seasons change. Doing so will ensure your marketing always connects with an audience.
But that isn’t to say that you can’t have fun and mix some trending elements into your marketing! That’s also a great way to ensure you catch some eyes. You just want to ensure that when the trend moves out of popularity, your brand does not.
If you need any help developing your marketing plan or strategy, contact Business Marketing Engine! Our marketing experts will be happy to assist you as you build your brand and reach your target audience.
Steps in Creating a Marketing Plan
Congratulations! This is the point you’ve been waiting for since you first searched the web for help. Below, you can find the nine most important steps of marketing plans. As we said before, each step was decided on by our knowledgeable team at Business Marketing Engine. Trust, you’re in good hands.
Also, keep in mind what we mentioned just above. You must research, test and update your targeting as you go along. If there were ever a way to ensure your marketing efforts don’t flop, that would be it. Pens and pencils out! Good luck.
Set Your Marketing Objectives
This is the first of the many steps of marketing plans.
Great marketing objectives or goals will essentially be the destination on your marketing plan GPS. There are no hard and fast rules with these objectives. However, you must ensure your objectives are obtainable. Be realistic. You may include more than one objective or goal, but doing so will complicate things.
So if you can, limit yourself.
Tracking your marketing results and comparing them to your objective will also help you tell if your efforts have been successful. An example of a marketing objective would be to increase landscaping revenue during the off-season by 15 percent over the next three years. It’s clear and obtainable.
Conduct a Marketing Audit and a SWOT Analysis
Marketing audits are comprehensive, systematic analyses of a business’s marketing environment. (Normally, internal and external.) The audit covers your business’s goals, objectives, reliable strategies and principles. It identifies issues or opportunities and recommends a course of action that suits the needs of your business.
Meanwhile, a SWOT analysis— standing for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats— is very similar. Both of these, or at least one in a real crunch, are crucial for your business. They will help you understand the world around your business, from trends to current issues and competitors.
All of that information will strengthen your marketing plan.
Do Research and Data Collection
You need to do enough research to inform your marketing plan down the line. This research will primarily focus on your main market; usually, there are two ways to do it. There’s primary research where you gather information from your customers/ visitors. Then there’s secondary research handled outside of your business by another company.
If you’d prefer secondary research, you’re in luck. There are many great options online. All you have to do is search for them. Those of us at Business Marketing Engine can also help you conduct thorough market research— anything to ensure your business is prepared. Reach out at any time.
Examine Your Data
You did your audit, your analysis and your research. You have all the pieces to this puzzle. Now, all you have to do is put everything together. It’s not as hard or as complicated as it may seem, and better yet, there’s no glue required. The truth is it’s just like comparing notes. However, instead of doing it in math class to pass a test, you’re doing it for your business to grow.
If you aren’t exactly at the professional level of data examination, get some help. Just as you can get help doing the research, you can also get help examining it. So check around, find some help and then use your data to inform your marketing plan and strategies.
Determine Your Intended Audience
Who is your target audience? Who are the people that will connect with your offer the most? Who would immediately click on your ad? If you don’t know or have some vague idea, you need to find out for sure. Identify who you are speaking to, what is important to them, what their needs and wants are and how your brand can help them.
During this step, you need to consider your audience’s various demographics, lifestyles, brand loyalties and beliefs. Once you understand your audience, you can use that in your marketing and position yourself as a friend rather than a random business.
Create a Budget
Every marketing plan needs a sound budget. You want to ensure it’s high enough to provide your marketing department with the resources they need to produce quality. However, you also want it to be low enough to ensure you don’t put your company in a precarious position. It’s a fine line.
You’ll need to meet with your marketing department or agency to discuss what you can accomplish within a reasonable budget. Keep in mind that marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be all that expensive. There’s certainly a cost involved, but you’ll be safe as long as you hit a high ROI.
Develop Your Marketing Strategies
This is the fun part for us at Business Marketing Engine. During this step, you explore your options and develop the best strategy to reach your marketing objectives. The typical strategy accounts for your audience, market positioning, allocation of resources and unique marketing mix.
A plan can have multiple strategies. What matters is whether or not those strategies will genuinely help your business hit your marketing objectives. If you haven’t developed marketing strategies before, getting a consultant is wise.
Schedule Your Strategy Implementation
Once your strategies are ready, schedule your implementation and develop a plan detailing the steps and resources required. This step is complicated. However, it’s indispensable. Without a detailed plan to implement your strategies, the timeline of your marketing plan becomes foggy and unclear. That can lead to heavy production delays and lousy results— the opposite of what you need or want.
Measure and Evaluate Results
Welcome to the last addition to our list of important steps of marketing plans.
After you have everything running for a while and take a step back, measure and evaluate your results. This is your chance to update your strategies if necessary. Of course, if you’re on track to hit your marketing objectives, there may be no need to risk changing everything. However, even in that case, small adjustments to further align your business with your audience are always valuable.
You’ve reached the end! The nine most important steps of marketing plans go by in a flash. Luckily, by embracing these steps and leveraging your research, your business won’t go by in a flash. You’ll stand the test of time and connect with your audience.
If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to contact Business Marketing Engine. We’ll help you develop the perfect strategic marketing plan for your unique business. Contact us today.