If you haven’t completed a strong marketing plan to complement your business plan, you’re missing some salient benefits.
An effective marketing plan generates revenue and alleviates uncertainty for your business.
There are four tangible values from the return on your marketing investment.
Firstly, when employees are apprised of your marketing vision, you’ll benefit from more teamwork and employee loyalty.
Provide them with an abridged copy of your marketing vision for growth.
Secondly, development of a marketing plan means you are up-to-date on your company’s situation.
You thoroughly know your company. You’re more aware of your dynamic marketplace.
Thirdly, a malleable marketing plan is an action to-do list. At the minimum, it’s a roadmap to success in the coming year.
Fourthly, details won’t be forgotten. It keeps the focus on the long-term objectives.
So you need to begin with an executive summary.
Keep in mind your preferred end results from the specific actions you’ll take. Include your resourceful ideas and voluminous research, but specificity in measurable plans is vital.
Your marketing plan needs four specifics:
1. Situational analyses
A market analysis with customer data, segmentation, market needs analysis and market forecast; a SWOT analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; your brand’s personality; and competitive analysis.
A mission statement, goals, branding, product positioning and pricing.
In other words, remember the 4 Ps of marketing – product, price, place and promotion.
Plan smart goals as in the acronym, SMART:
- Specific – who, what, when, where, and how
- Measurable – determine how you’ll attain your goals
- Agreed upon – make sure there’s a consensus or agreement
- Realistic – Make certain you’re being pragmatic
- Target date – a feasible timeline is best
Marketing plans are also helpful for better time management — once you have determined the annual big picture for your goals — then determine the intermediate steps for each month.
3. Sales forecasts
Product and market segment, sales channels, responsible departments and managers – all designed to be tracked.
4. Investment budgets
Details about sales programs, management and strategies to track expenses each month.
You’ll need input from virtually everywhere in your firm – consider finance, human resources, manufacturing, and marketing. You’ll learn unforeseen insights on problems and opportunities.
Oh, and in this age, consider whether your business would benefit from branding and selling your business as green or how cause-related marketing can increase sales by double digits.
Again, even after you’ve written your marketing plan, remember you’re not done. You must be relentless in continuously monitoring your progress. Fine-tune your plan as needed. Figure out what’s wrong and what needs to be done to remedy any undesirable situation.
From the Coach’s Corner, additional resources:
Why B2B Marketers Like Content Marketing – Study — B2B marketers ostensibly get a satisfying return on content marketing because that’s the preferred choice for 82 percent of respondents in a survey. “Content Marketing is now a more popular marketing tactic than search marketing, public relations, events, or print/TV/radio advertising,” wrote the study’s authors.
14 Strategies to Rock on Google — Periodic changes in Google’s search criteria and algorithms have indeed hurt many Web sites. But it’s possible to bullet-proof your site’s prominence on Google by taking 14 precautions, which is worth your time and energy. Google has perennially owned about a 66 percent search-market share in the U.S. and a 90 percent share worldwide.
Best Practices to Manage Your Global Brand, Web Reputation — As you no doubt know, the digital age has brought new challenges and opportunities. Best practices are critical in order to maximize your Web presence and to manage your online reputation.
“Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
-Dr. Peter Drucker