Not having a plan before embarking on any task can have adverse effects on your outcomes. Most often, you may never get to achieve your goal. And it may also take a longer time than usual and not forget the resources wasted. The same can happen when you don’t have a well-planned marketing strategy.
Therefore, you must know how to create a marketing plan template for your business. Such a plan will enable you to draw your road map towards achieving your business goals. You can also easily measure your performance and return on investments. Sadly about 45% of businesses do not have a marketing strategy template. Suppose your business is part of those without a marketing strategy plan, not to worry. In this article, we’ll look at how to write a step by step plan for your marketing strategy.
Define and Document Your Business Goals
The first step in creating a marketing plan is to define and document your business goals. Consider what purposes you want to achieve in the next, one to three or five to ten years. Also, consider what steps you need to get there. These goals can be a mix of both internal and external factors.
Bear in mind that your goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART). You can also get insights from your team and expert analysts to come up with your business goals. They can give you their perspectives on whether they believe the plans are reasonable. To achieve your business goals and a successful marketing strategy, you’ll need your staff to support your efforts.
Understand the Marketing Environment
Before you delve into your marketing journey, you need to know what’s happening within your sector. This aspect is referred to as marketing analysis. It gives you data and insight on the market situation your business will be operating in. There are a ton of analytical tools you can use such as;
- SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threats)
- Competitor analysis
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis (for your eCommerce business)
- Market research, etc.
Your audit on these analyses needs to be thorough to add real value to your plan.
Define Your Target Customer Personas
The next step in creating a marketing plan is to define your target audience. These are the group of potential customers you wish to change to existing and return customers. When you can determine who your target is, it’s easier to build your brand and select the appropriate marketing channels. Therefore, to define your target customer, you will need to create customer personas.
A customer persona is a profile of an ideal client your product speaks to. It covers the demographics, behaviour, and lifestyle of the target customer. Information like their name, age, location, lifestyle, needs, or buying habits can help you create such profiles. Let’s look at an example using paper writing services Writing Judge.
Rather than targeting the general public, a customer persona can point to their target market. The target audience could include high school, college, MSc, or Ph.D. students and businesses. Their writing needs could range from business plans, proposals, and dissertations to essays. From these details, you can create different personas. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, it helps you create marketing strategies that cater to each group.
Outline Your Marketing Strategies
With the information from the first three steps, you can now create a marketing plan outline. Here you can hash out the details of your marketing strategies. You can also look at each goal to see what strategies need to be implemented to accomplish it. Your goals may be to improve customer experience and satisfaction, beat the competition, create new products, etc. For instance, if an essay writing review website like Pick the Writer wants to improve their user experience and interface. Their strategies could include providing straightforward and user-friendly functions on their site.
Your strategies should also entail campaigns that are effective and align with your goals. These campaign actions should engage, inform, and prompt the audience to make a purchase. Examples of marketing campaigns can cover brand awareness campaigns, loyalty programs, product launch, discount, or 24/7 customer care support. They can be carried out on your social media, webinars, blogs, podcasts, or websites. Additionally, your marketing campaigns should contain relevant content shared in the format of videos, text, images, or infographics.
Create Your Marketing Strategy Budget
Now that you have all the details set on your marketing plan template, you need to create a budget. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of spending without a means of tracking your return on investments. Again, you will need some impute form your team, especially if numbers are not your strongest suit. In your complete business plan, you may have detailed the entire financial side of your business. However, for your marketing strategy plan, you should focus strictly on marketing related activities. It will enable you to prioritize the important stuff.
Thus, you’ll need to consider:
- The cost for digital advert and promotion campaigns
- The price for the software and tools you need
- Your marketers, influencers, and PR support fees (especially when using external employees)
- Content development and marketing
- The time frame it takes to implement each strategy
- Traditional advertising (direct mails, radio jingles, print, or TV adverts), etc.
It’s also important to know where this money will come from, your savings, profit, loan, or investors. It can help make your budgeting and planning process more realistic. Irrespective of the size of your budget, all investments should be geared towards your business growth.
With a well laid out marketing plan outline, you can create realistic marketing goals. Your marketing strategies will also be based on accurate analysis and information around your niche area.
Additionally, these plans are an evolving blueprint you can continuously tweak. They can help to guide your efforts and monitor your business growth and success. Thus, with the right amount of dedication and these planning tips, your marketing strategies will be geared to succeed.