Anything you wish to accomplish will need some kind of plan. As a business owner, your main goal is to get more customers and close more sales. Believe it or not, accomplishing this starts with an elaborate marketing plan. Marketing encourages your target customers to buy your service or product. So, without it, you’re at risk of failure.
A marketing plan is crucial for your business’s success now and over time. You must use this business tool to achieve business growth in the most effective manner. But, before we get into that, what is a marketing plan?
What Is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a specific roadmap used by businesses. It outlines a marketing strategy and highlights the steps taken to reach your target audience over a period of time. A marketing plan includes marketing goals, advertising budget, action steps and more. The purpose is to record your strategies and tactics in an organized manner. This will help you stay on track and measure your campaign’s success. It will be easier since all the information will be in one place.
A marketing plan must evolve to address changes in market trends, customer demand and pricing issues. It can last from just a few months to three years. It’s crucial that you keep your plan as fresh as possible to maintain steady business growth. Some of the different types of marketing plans include:
- Social media marketing plan.
- Branding plan.
- Email marketing plan.
- Retention plan.
- Content marketing plan.
- Customer acquisition plan.
- Print marketing plan.
- SEO plan.
- Reputation management.
- Paid marketing plan.
A marketing plan usually includes:
- An overview of your long- and short-term marketing and advertising goals.
- A description of your business’s target market or buyer persona.
- A description of your recent marketing position.
- High-level marketing strategies and tactics.
- Timeline of when you will complete certain tasks of your strategy.
- Social platform selection to promote products and services.
When creating a marketing plan, keep in mind that it entails review and revision regularly.
This Is Why You Need a Marketing Plan
If you are a business owner, you need a marketing plan. Marketing drives sales and without it, you don’t make the money necessary to continue your business long-term. Marketing separates successful companies from unsuccessful ones. While poor business leaders fail to put in the time and resources into marketing plans, great leaders succeed at it.
A marketing plan is a powerful tool that can help push your business’s success higher than you’ve ever imagined. This is why you need a marketing plan:
It Enables You to Set Measurable Goals
A marketing plan can allow you to set measurable goals to work toward and achieve. There should be very detailed instructions on the task, a timeline of completing the task and for which target audience. You and your team can focus on tangible targets to improve your business performance and sales within the year.
A plan lets you examine your ideas to see if you can achieve one or more goals using those ideas. Business goals can be tied to establishing new products, adding new team members and, most of all, tied to revenue. Your goals will be clearly defined to ensure the actions of your team align with the goals of your business.
As your marketing plan changes over time, so will your goals.
Provides Focus and Consistency
With the available technologies and marketing tools today, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on your business goals. As a business owner, you only have so many hours of the day put toward marketing functions. A marketing plan keeps you focused on prioritizing and working on important tasks first so you don’t waste time. You can become more proactive and coordinate your efforts.
Businesses often focus on marketing activity alone, when what they really need are sales. This wave of marketing activity may be generating new clients. But without a plan, your attention turns to meeting the needs of only the customers you’ve won. This leads to a stop in your marketing activity and a drop in sales opportunities.
A good marketing plan enables you to stay consistent and continuous when marketing your business. You’ll become realistic about your time and energy. A marketing plan is carefully thought out and makes it easy to recognize tasks and the timelines for completing them. This provides a solid foundation to grow your business and becomes easier to make investment decisions.
With a plan, you can ensure that everyone’s on the same page, organized and on track. There are specific instructions for each person. So, they can have their own focus on what to do to meet business goals. Without this, your plan will become ineffective and soon enough fall to pieces.
Helps You Reach Your Target Audience
A marketing plan will help you determine your target audience and how you want to serve them. It can serve as a guide for dealing with your clients. Knowing your audience and knowing how to communicate with them can increase your chances of selling to them.
Once you create a marketing plan, you start to focus on what your intended audience wants to hear. You’ll plan for how you want them to view your business. As a result, you give a clear message to your target audience.
In time your audience will start to trust you, making it easier to close crucial sales.
You Can Effectively Plan and Manage Your Resources
A clear marketing plan allows your business to understand what kind of budget to put aside. You can also know what kind of activities and what resource level you need in order to deliver them. The most important resource a marketing plan can help you manage is time. It helps avoid any procrastination as well as activities that aren’t in the plan and consume time.
With a plan, you can decide on the number of resources needed to allocate your business tasks, marketing objectives, etc. Without a marketing plan, you can’t use your resources efficiently.
Maximizes Your ROI and Budget for Marketing
A budget is critical when dealing with a business. Without a marketing plan, you have no marketing budget. When your plan determines your budget, it maximizes and produces a much higher ROI. A plan can also help measure your success because you know exactly how you used your budget.
Allows You to be Proactive Instead of Reactive
Business owners often do not have the resources to anticipate everything in advance. A marketing plan can help you be more proactive instead of reactive. You will be able to quickly shift conditions because you planned for what your reaction would be in advance. So, when you see things coming you’re able to preposition your response.
It’s Your Point of Reference
No business owner should be expected to keep all their strategies and plans in their heads. Creating a marketing plan gives you a point of reference or an in-depth guide. If you’re ever in a situation where you need to reference your strategy you don’t have to worry. Your marketing plan will be right there for you to use.
Unites Your Team
The more you involve your team in the marketing plan, the more it improves and unifies your team. They become invested in your plan and start to take ownership. As you create your marketing plan, you’ll need to evaluate your team and see what area they’re best suited for. Don’t neglect to engage your team and share with them your plan.
You can divide the workload into separate manageable tasks and duties for your team. Each person on your team will have a certain role in accomplishing the tasks they specialize in. With a plan, everyone works together in harmony. This adds value to your business.
Perfect Weapon Against Competitors
What better way to dominate the competition than with a marketing plan? Without a marketing plan, your competitors already hold one important advantage over you. Creating your own marketing plan can put you steps ahead of the competition.
You’ll have strategies that put you ahead of the game. Better yet, all your strategies will be written down for you to look back at, revise and change if needed. You’ll know exactly how you plan to reach your target audience and increase sales. Competitors will be wondering what your secret is.
Successful businesses use clear, effective plans to achieve their marketing goals. You can build a successful business without a marketing plan, but it will take you nearly forever to get there. Why take the more stressful road to business success when a simple marketing plan can get you there much sooner?
Business Marketing Engine can and will help you reach your goals in establishing a successful business. For more information or any questions on marketing plans, contact Business Marketing Engine today!