A marketing plan begins with thinking. It is a process to help focus and guide efforts for optimal success with available resources—creating a strategic, integrated and consistent approach to the journey.
1) Understand your target market, competition and industry marketplace
Your Target Market. Who do you help and how do you help them? Spend time and thought crafting the perfect marketing message—that’s time well spent. At the heart of every compelling marketing message are two factors: Who do you serve? And, in what way, specifically, do you serve them better than any of their other options? Answer these two questions carefully, and the rest of your marketing message will flow so much more easily.
Take a look at all solutions your market has to turn to instead of yours. List strengths and shortcomings for each of these competitors. This will assist in answering how you serve the market better.
And, consider the marketplace. What are the trends? Outline opportunities such as new distribution venues or growing demand. And, consider the threats such as growing competition and demand dilution. Address how you will capitalize on opportunity and thwart threat.
2) Define your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)—your purpose, raison d’être
Here again we look at how you serve the market better than all other options. We boil it down to the core and then communicate it with clarity.
3) Develop your marketing messages and ensure the right people are targeted
The way you look has a lot to do with the way people look at you. What you say will make your day, and it will make someone else’s day too! More and more, advertising is becoming advertorial Content Marketing. It is about what you stand for, not what you sell. Informational needs of customers and prospects is the driver. It’s not a proposition, it’s a conversation.
4) Identify the best marketing mix—most appropriate, cost effective channels
Social media (and which venues), print, outdoor, cable television, events, and etc. are dynamic channels of communication that offer specific benefits and costs. Take a look and determine the “fat rabbits” to give you the biggest bang for your media buck.
5) Set out a month-by-month plan of action that schedules your tactical activities
Be consistent. Build your presence and amplify it. Plan around seasonal commemorations and themes, incorporating those that are appropriate. Be ready to adjust with current events and news.
Whether it’s to generate leads, find customers, drive website traffic or build your brand, let’s look at your target market, competitors and positioning then develop a strategy designed to consistently deliver the most compelling message to the right audience.
Set a plan and be ready to revise the plan as the playing field changes.