If you look at all top businesses and companies, they will have many things in common. The one thing they will all say makes a real difference in today’s intense digital market is having an effective marketing plan. A marketing plan is a blueprint for the next year that will guide you, your managers, and your employees.
To create an effective marketing plan, you will have to dedicate a lot of time and speak with nearly all levels of your business. As the leader of your company, your marketing plan will act as a sort of company banner that others can look to and rally behind. What a marketing plan isn’t is a set-in-stone list of tasks that must be completed exactly as written down. Business, markets, and the world is full of fluid movements and shifting currents. This makes it impossible to predict exactly what your marketing landscape will look like a year from now, but by giving your company a guiding light, you help direct things in the right direction.
Start With Your Situation Analysis
The first step in any marketing plan is to find out what your company does well and doesn’t do so well. This is called a situation analysis and can be easily figured out with SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will help determine what directions your plan takes as you progress.
This snapshot looks at your business and products and helps define who you are targeting through the SWOT process.
- Look at your company’s strengths. The things that set you apart from the competition.
- Next, check any weaknesses your company may have against the competition.
- Your company’s opportunities should be noted. This refers to outside factors that can help your business grow.
- Analyze any external threats that can be a detriment to your company.
Explore Your Target Audience
If you want to attract the perfect customers, then you need to know who these customers are and what they want. Your marketing plan should always include an in-depth analysis of who your target market. By getting down and dirty with your customers’ needs and wants, you can be sure you craft a marketing plan that will truly speak to them.
- Always conduct demographics research about your target audience. This is where you get to know things such as ages, genders, psychology, and locations.
- There is a wealth of public and government data available on your audience. These can include factors like the economic or employment status of an area.
- Research your competition. The only to make sure you are giving something different to your target audience is know what your competition is offering.
Set a Realistic Marketing Budget
It is futile to simply throw money at marketing ideas and hope something sticks. Instead of wasting money, make sure you look at a realistic marketing budget to follow for the year. The fact is that marketing is an essential part of any business, and you will need to plan and budget accordingly if you want to be successful.
Now more than ever, a strong marketing plan is essential to the life of your company. Visit www.ascend2.com to see how your company can benefit from a strong marketing plan and get any help you may need.