Marketing is important for any business. However, without a marketing plan even the greatest ideas can be failures. Plans provide insight and determines if the marketing was successful. There are several parts that go into a marketing plan, starting with the business.
1. Business Identity
All marketing plans should align with the business’ overall mission and vision statements. Marketing plans also need to take in who their business’ audience or target audience is. In other words, the marketing plan needs to be in alignment with the business’ brand identity.
2. SWOT Analysis
Another important aspect of a good marketing plan is the SWOT analysis. A good SWOT analysis provides insights on what your businesses/products strengths and weaknesses are, what opportunities available and the threats business or product may face. A successful marketing plan leverages the business/product’s strengths and opportunities while being mindful of the weakness and threats.
3. A SMART Plan
The actual marketing aspect of the plan needs to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
Specific – A great marketing plan has very specific goals and objectives in mind. What are you trying to do with your marketing efforts? Increase revenue? Expand brand awareness? Objectives are supposed to help meet the goal, which move the company towards its vision or goal.
Measurable – All objectives should be measurable. You want to increase revenue? How much do you want to increase it by? This will also help determine if your plan was successful: whether or not you reached the measured objective you were trying to hit.
Achievable – You objectives and goals should be achievable. Don’t expect to turn your business/products into a household must have overnight. That is not achievable.
Realistic – Similar to achievable, having realistic goals and objectives are ones that can be met. Realistic goals and objectives are ones that are reasonable for your company and products. You cannot increase sales by 200% if production cannot support that number.
Timely – It is important to set a time frame for the objectives. When do you want to see the results? For instance, seeing a 10% increase in revenue by the end of 6 months. The time frame should be achievable and realistic. At the end of the time frame you will see if you met the measurable objective.
After you have laid out all of the above you need to think of tactics that will help you meet the objectives/goals. Tactics can include social postings, flyers, rebranding, SEO, representatives and more. How are you going to use advertising, communication, public relations and representatives to reach your objectives?
5. Evaluate and Modify
Marketing plans are not set in stone. The data and information gathered throughout the process should be looked at and the plan should be adjusted accordingly. If one tactic is not working, try a different one. Evaluating and modifying a plan occurs throughout the entire process until the end of a campaign.
Whether you are developing a marketing plan for a campaign, a product or company, it is important to keep these 5 elements in mind. Having a good marketing plan can be the difference between a failing business and a successful business. So, what does your plan look like?
By Ashleigh Cue