The first step in developing any marketing strategy is to start with a plan. Developing a plan for your marketing strategy may seem overwhelming. Plans can range from super simple to extremely advanced and complex. However, all marketing plans, big or small, have a few things in common. We will go over ten necessary elements that all marketing plans must contain in order to be successful.
1. The Product
Possibly the most important aspect of your marketing plan is the product. What makes your product superior to others in your industry? Why would someone choose you over someone else? Find what makes your product unique and go with it. Emphasize what you can offer that others can’t.
2. The Research
Okay, so now you know why your product is the best, but whose going to buy it? You need to conduct market research to analyze buying trends in your industry. Collect, organize, and analyze data regarding the demographics of customers, your competition, current sales in your industry, suppliers, and market patterns. This valuable knowledge can help you successfully market to the right people in the right ways.
Once you understand the market, you need to define the target audience. Instead of trying to please everybody, zone in on a specific group of people who will be more likely to purchase your product. Describe you ideal customer in detail. Be sure to get more specific than women in their 30s-60s. Really dig deep to decide who your ideal customer will be.
Don’t just keep your goals in your head. Writing them down can help you more clearly define them and set realistic, but ambitious goals. Write full sentences that state what you want to accomplish in your business overall and through your marketing strategy specifically. You can break up your goals into specific mission statements, and it may be helpful to make them quantifiable. For example, a mission statement could be to gain two new clients a month.
5. The Medium
Where is you marketing strategy going to take place? Will your company benefit most from social media or a more traditional approach? Think about which mediums appeal to your target audience and how your product will best be displayed.
6. The Promotion
Putting your product on social media or on television is not enough; you must also promote it. Promotion could be consistent branding on social media, events, giveaways, etc. There is no right or wrong way to promote your product. You just need to make sure you are consistent with your brand and reaching the right audience.
7. The Positioning
Where your product will be positioned in the market? You must decide if you are going to be top-of-the-line or if you want to seem more casual and appeal to the masses. Decide a position for your product and make all of your advertisements surround it.
8. The Schedule
Once you have all of your ideas mapped out, you need to place them on a schedule. Keep the schedule brief and organized, as it will likely need to be changed frequently. Having a schedule can help you keep yourself on track and better monitor how your strategies are doing.
9. The Budget
Of course, in running any business budget is important. See what strategies you can afford and which may be better saved for a later date.
10. The Analytics
How are you going to monitor your results? You need to ensure you can test and analyze to identify the strategies that are working. You can use tools such as surveys, database management tools, and number of engagements to measure your success.
Now you are ready to begin your marketing plan! Be sure to consistently compare your actual marketing strategy to your plan and make sure you are reaching your goals.