Ten important steps to developing a strategic marketing plan:
Before you create a marketing plan, you must have a purpose for it. This purpose is based on the long-term goals that guide all your efforts. Once these long-term goals are established, break them down into specific objectives. Your objectives should be measurable over a period. For example, your goal may be to establish a social media marketing strategy. Meanwhile, an objective related to this goal could be to gain 100 followers on social media during the first month on the platform.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis can give you a snapshot of the situations you face as you market your business. Your strengths are what makes your business unique, while your weaknesses are what you can improve on. The economy, your competitors, technology, and other external factors contribute to your opportunities and threats. By analyzing your situation this way, you can improve your marketing strategies, while overcoming challenges that may or may not be in your control. Create customer personas to help figure out who your ideal customers. This will help with your analysis.
Your messaging is part of your marketing strategy and your brand. To create a message map, start by writing an XYZ statement or boilerplate that contains basic information about your business. Then, center other messaging related to your products, clients, and services around the XYZ statement. These messages can then be incorporated into your mission statement, press releases, and other marketing materials.
Your business has a set of values that guides it. Creating a mission statement outlines these values and ensures that the people who interact with your business are aware of them. Just be sure that this message reflects your brand honestly so you can actively demonstrate the values outlined in the mission statement through your interactions with clients. This statement and how it is carried out can make or break your clients’ trust.
A successful marketing strategy is made up of many different tactics, including both online and offline options. Your goals, target audience, and industry factor into this decision. For example, if your target audience is young, focusing on social media is more beneficial as this is primarily where this group consumes content. If your industry is product-based (for example, if you design jewelry), then using a more visual platform would better showcase your products. To be most effective, you must choose which methods are right for your business. Once you’ve selected your tactics, list them in your marketing plan and determine how they’ll help you reach your goals.
Your time is precious, especially when it comes to your marketing strategies. Based on the goals and objectives you’ve set for your business, create a timeline that will determine what will be completed and when. Remember to allow extra time for unexpected events that may delay some of your goals.
Creating a budget for your marketing strategies can inform your efforts by determining what you can and can’t afford. Choosing the most cost-effective options for your business ensures the success of your overall marketing plan. This doesn’t have to limit your options. Paid advertising on social media and search engines allows you to choose the amount you can afford to pay, making them accessible to even the smallest of budgets.
Once you’ve created a timeline for the creation and distribution of your marketing materials, assign these tasks to members of your staff. If your business is small and doesn’t have the staff required to carry out your plan, you may need to consider hiring another person or a marketing agency. Ultimately, your staff’s size and qualifications will determine this for you.
Establishing a marketing plan keeps your business goals organized and focused, saving valuable time and money. Even if you already have a marketing plan, you can still reap these benefits by keeping it up to date.