How To Craft A Marketing Plan
The success story of small businesses is always amazing, and everyone is always keen on hearing the journey leading up to the success.
How has your business succeeded in marketing, and how has it been performing?
How do you find executing an activity without a plan? Have you ever done an activity where there was no prior plan, how was your experience like? Was it simple, or it was hard? Usually, anything without a plan gets hard to attempt or to approach; thus, you will find yourself going through a hard life to make small attempts for the success of your business.
For proper execution of any single activity, whether in the fields of business or the walks of life, having a plan is essential to have your activity come to accomplishment otherwise, without a plan, any activity would appear like it’s just random without a starting point. Customers don’t just come your way because you have a beautiful name rather what you offer. So that at least it can get known within a region, and one of the ways of doing that is through marketing.
To be in a position to do marketing appropriately, you need to conduct market research. This helps you to understand your target customers, know who they are, what they want, what they expect from, gives you knowledge about the awareness of your product or service, how many people know about your product, is your product moving or not and at what rate is it being consumed, what do people talking about your product all this and so much more can be done in market research to help you craft a plan upon which you must base on to do marketing for your company.
Marketing is the activities you do to attract customers and even retain them; however, what matters a lot in this context is how you do it; of course, how it has to be done is that there must be a guiding plan called a marketing plan. Marketing is one of the biggest expenses and challenges for businesses is marketing. It has been seen that most businesses end up with little profits; however, this can be made easy with a clear plan in place, and that is none other than a marketing plan.
A marketing plan is a document that clearly shows your marketing strategy; this may be an annual plan, quarterly plan, monthly plan or a weekly plan. A marketing plan might have a few aspects, for example;
· Business marketing and advertising goals
· Business’s current marketing position
· The timeline of finishing up tasks
· Key performance indicators
· Target market and customer’s needs
A well-defined marketing plan helps you keep focused on your business goals. Having your own marketing plan helps you think deeper to create an important marketing strategy that will last longer while supporting your business to stay on top. Much as it is possible to have a marketing plan broken down every week, an annual marketing plan aids you to set your marketing on the right course to make your company’s business goals a reality. It is a high-level plan that creates the direction of your team’s campaigns, goals and growth. Without a marketing plan, things can become funny. They might become hard a little bit, especially when executing activities and achieving your set goals could be a little bit hard if you have not laid out a well-organized marketing plan.
What you need to include in a marketing plan;
1. Information about the business (a summary about the business)
This is literally about the business, for example, where it is located, mission statement, vision, goals, values, company name, and so much more.
2. Business initiatives
This carries the goals of each business function; this part specifically outlines objectives that are meant to be filled by each department. The goals for each function and how they should be achieved are always outlined here and how they are measured.
3. Knowing your customer
This literally looks at knowing who your customer is, and this calls for market research focusing on this like; their age, who they are, where they are, what they do and what they like.
4. Defining your marketing strategy
The marketing strategy is defined by the kind of products, services and goods you offer to your customers; this partly depends on the market research you make. Market research is what informs the strategy you are to deploy.
5. Knowing who your competitors are;
While doing competition analysis, this can be done during the market research to help you understand what your customers are doing, how are they doing it, how are their products performing, what is unique about them and what is outstanding about them and the find out where there is a gap so that you can come in and occupy that gap and out-compete them if possible.
6. SWOT analysis
This involves understanding the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and also threats around your business. Studying weaknesses and threats around your business helps to know how you can manage them if they come up. Knowing the strength around and opportunities available for your business helps you know how to prepare enough to know how to tap into those opportunities if there is any chance by case.
7. Budget for your activities
To align your marketing goals and have them achieved, you need to allocate a budget to your marketing team upon which they will work with. This depends on your marketing strategy and the methods of marketing you intend to use.
8. Marketing channels
This entirely depends on the kind of marketing method you want to use; for example, if you choose to use inbound marketing, then you might have to concentrate more on social media, and if it's outbound marketing, then you might have to use things like billboard posts, televisions, radios and so much more.
This involves a financial estimation regarding how much will be spent and how much will be earned in return.
CRAFTING A PERFECT MARKETING PLAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS
1. Unveil your business
Before you put pen to paper to draft the marketing plan, you must first understand your business. Have knowledge of your running, what it does, target customers, your target market, and your competition. Knowing and understanding your own business helps you to know the threats and weaknesses that might be available at your space and how these can be addressed in case they pop; it also allows you to peep into the opportunities and the strength available so you can take advantage in case there is space for you to do that. Think of this section as your opportunity to provide a general overview of your current business operations, as well as your internal and external environment. How long have you been up and running? What’s your business structure?
2. Discover your target market or audience
Knowing your target market and the audience is very key for your business. To know your business, you might need to have a buyer persona in place; this helps you know who your target audience is, what kind of things they like, where they are, their preferences. Additionally, your buyer persona should include; demographic information about your supporters or purchasers; this information includes; age, gender, income, what they do and any other thing you would like to know about your customers. Concerning the above, you can ask your audience to know what drives them, the problems that your product or service can address.
3. Set smart goals
Setting goals in your marketing plan is important because once you don’t have your goals set, you might not get to where you want and give direction, but smart goals are preferable. Smart goals are the ones that are; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.
4. Analyze your competitors
There is no single business that operates without the existence of competitors; perhaps there is no single entrepreneur who enjoys competition because it infringes on their space and takes away customers; being armed with all sorts of knowledge about your competitors will help find ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
5. Define your marketing strategy
A marketing strategy is essential for your business because it helps to identify which marketing means you are going to deploy were to use social media, email marketing, using blogs, search engine optimization or whether to use billboards, televisions, radios or mouth to mouth however for the success of your business you should use the two methods that are both inbound marketing and outbound marketing especially business companies that operate in developing countries.
6. Put up your marketing budget
When you are designing your marketing plan, it’s time to include your budget to run your marketing activities. How much do you plan to spend on marketing and promotion throughout the next year, and how much will the action items cost you? Most importantly, where will this money come from? Indicate the money for every other single activity and indicate where the finances will come from. Budgeting helps not to run short of funds since everything is done before time and gives you a chance to make informed decisions.
7. Get started
When you put everything you may need in place, you can now set off and start your marketing activities, and so those are essentials and the steps you need to have your marketing plan ready, and from there, you can get started with field marketing activities.
In conclusion, marketing is an activity that is essential for the survival of every other business that is involved in offering goods and services or products and to have your marketing plan ready; you really don’t need a lot but just a few steps above as discussed by Monkeypesa.
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