Map Out Your Marketing Trip: The Importance of a Marketing Plan
Marketing works to identify a target market audience that has a need or desire for your product or service. It sets the course for introducing your product line to the world. You determine what price point to set for marketing activities and create a distribution procedure that brings brand awareness to your customer. As campaigns come to a close, you develop promotional strategies to keep current customers actively engaging in your business while also seeking out new clients as well.
Although it appears simple on the surface, marketing is an intricate part of your business organization. It becomes the first impression that you make every time a new campaign begins
A campaign message sticks with consumers and plays a role in their decision to select you or the competition. It is not something that you can approach without putting a considerable amount of thought and effort into or trying to make it up as you go. Marketing is what sets you apart from the competition, and it deserves the same degree of attention that you give to other critical areas of your business practices.
Start by understanding the importance of having a marketing plan in place before you orchestrate any marketing activities. Marketing plans provide a guideline to ensure that your activities maximize the marketing budget by targeting the right consumers through the methods that are important to them. Here are a few reasons why marketing plans are so important for your business.
Creates Your Brand Image
Market competition is fierce as companies work to sway potential customers to select their product over a similar one your company offers. Your company needs to set itself apart from the competition by establishing a brand image in the marketplace. A brand image is a message that consumers directly relate to your business. It is the perception they form through engaging with your business, purchasing and using your products or services and what motivates them to continue doing business with you.
Your marketing plan needs to define the brand image in a clear and concise manner. Every marketing action you take reinforces your brand image and creates awareness of it as well.
Refer to it often and make sure everyone in your organization is aware of the brand image.
Identifies Your Target Market Audience
Your product or service needs a target audience to survive. A marketing plan will give you the opportunity to define a target market audience by conducting demographic and psychographic research within your industry. Customer research will allow you to identify a problem that a potential customer is looking to resolve or desire that need fulfillment. It also provides insight into where potential clients turn for information, such as social media, and what motivates them to make purchases. You can then devise a strategy for how your products or services answer these issues and include it in your marketing plan.
Outlines Promotional Activities
The absence of a marketing plan can result in spending time and money pursuing promotional activities in areas that are unfamiliar to your target market audience. Having a marketing plan in place gives you a directional goal that pinpoints the information method the target audience prefers and how to use those methods to your promotional advantage.
Promotional activities are the actions you take to initiate engagement with target market customers. Examples of promotional activities include the following items.
- Email newsletters
- Direct mail pieces
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Content marketing
- Public relations
It is crucial that these activities align with customer preferences to optimize your marketing efforts. Your marketing plan becomes a roadmap for pursuing promotional efforts to maximize the potential success of each marketing campaign. A beneficial resource is the ultimate summit guide that walks you through the various aspects of promotional activities, such as hosting Podcasts and running an email marketing campaign. Pick up your copy of this resource here and begin inserting elements into your marketing plan today.
Develop Promotional Distribution and Pricing
A marketing plan works to provide you with a promotional distribution strategy and pricing structure. You analyze the market and determine what distribution methods work best and how often to access those methods. Establish a baseline budget that includes each distribution method you create plus initial starting costs for things such as business cards or website development. Defining these elements will help streamline other areas of your business practices to function according to the marketing plan components.
It is impractical to think that you can create these items with each new marketing campaign you develop. That would be equivalent to recreating the wheel while costing you time and money.
Every member of your organization needs to be aware of the elements in the marketing plan. Marketing division staff should not make a single decision without consulting the plan first. Marketing plans are as important as the business plan that builds the foundation of your organization.