Write a Marketing Plan that Rocks
Write a Marketing Plan with Systems to Promote Your Business, Drive it Forward and Beat your Competition
By: Corporate Training Options, Australia
You need to write a Marketing Plan for your business, if you want to prosper and grow. A marketing plan focusses on winning and keeping customers, and lays out your strategies to achieve your sales goals. It’s your action plan – what you’ll sell, who wants to buy it, and how you’ll generate leads that result in sales. A great marketing plan allows your business to be proactive, evaluate new opportunities and have clear, measurable goals. It doesn’t have to be long either – just use bullet points, and get to the point!
Begin with a snapshot of your current situation, which describes your organisation, your products and services, and how the benefits you provide set you apart from your competitors.
Provide an overview of the Strengths and Weaknesses of your orgnaistion, which refer to charachteristics that exist inside your business. Strengths could include your superior products or more comprhensive services. A weakness could be that you are struggling to meet deadlines or have poor record keeping.
Next, list the Opportunities and Threats to your business. These refer to factors outside your business. Opportunities could include loyal customers or having new products ready for sale before Christmas. Threats could be that your competitors have similar products, or have recently launched a new advertising campaign.
Who is your Target Audience?
Understand who your customers are and where they are. This can be done by using online analytical tools, customer surveys, visiting business groups and more.
Who is likely to purchase your products? Does your buyer want convenience, lower prices, great quality? If you know what your target customer wants, it will help you to describe them.
Develop a simple profile of your target customer. If you are marketing to consumers, develop their profile based on age, gender, family, locality, income, hobbies, interests and lifestyle.
If you are marketing to businesses you can also add categories such as the types of industries they work in, job title, size of business, etc.
Then give your customer avatar a name, address and even a photograph. Thinking of your customer as an actual person allows you to talk directly to them in your marketing campaigns.
What is Your End Goal?
When you prepare to write a marketing plan, start with the end goal in mind. Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve.
- More customers
- Increased revenue
- Sales growth
- Greater customer satisfaction
- Customer retention
It may be that your goals include a combination of all these things and more.
Once you have written down your marketing goals, make them measurable.
We will achieve a 20% increase in sales of our best-selling product or service per quarter, by running Facebook ads each week; special offer promotions to our prospect list each fortnight; and sending monthly emails to our existing customers.
Writing an actionable marketing plan gives your marketing team a roadmap they can easily follow.
Your Marketing Strategy
How will you find and attract your most likely buyers? Your strategy needs to outline the answer to this question. Start by considering your customer avatar and which media they would use for information on the types of products or services you sell. Then list the activities that will help you gain access to similar customers.
These can include:
- Social media
- Email marketing & Newsletters
- Website marketing via Google Ads or SEO
- Direct mail
- Public Relations
- Events and Seminars
- Trade Shows
- Joint Venture Partnerships
- Loyalty Programs
Once you have settled on the marketing activities you will use, put systems in place to ensure you stick to your marketing plan. Then, be persistent. Market, analyse the results, adjust your strategy, repeat.
Set Timelines and Budgets
The general consensus is that you need to spend between 3% and 7% of your total revenue on marketing each year to maintain your current position in the market. However, you need to consider that this may be less if you are already an established brand, or more if you are a start-up. You will also need to increase marketing spend when you launch new products and services.
One you have settled on amount you will spend, create an annual budget based around a monthly schedule. You can then plan how much you will spend on marketing each month, which will ensure you stay on track.
Identify specific monthly marketing activities, the budgets associated with each individual activity, and at which point you will stop an activity if it is not generating a good return on investment (in money or time).
It is critical to know how much budget is available to spend on marketing. There is no point in allocating funds if there is no budget. Your available budget will have an impact on the marketing strategies that you choose to action.
Keep Your Plan Brief and Regularly Updated
Your marketing plan should be concise. Aim for no more than 5 pages, and if you can distil it down to a 1-page plan, that is even better. You can then print it out and stick it to the wall, where you can view it on a daily basis. A brief, concise Marketing Plan keeps it clear and to the point, and easy for your team to follow and to action.
Your plan also needs to be reviewed regularly. Your team should look over your marketing strategy on a regular basis and ensure that it is meeting your organisation’s best interests, as well as your short-term and long-term goals.
Developing a marketing plan is an ongoing process. Change is constant, so review and refresh your plan on a regular basis.
Tips for Beginners
- Concentrate on finding customers who provide you with ongoing or repeat business.
- Develop your customer profile by surveying existing clients. When you know why a customer comes back, you can work on finding prospects with a similar profile.
- Stay focused on your target markets.
- Choose just one or two strategies to begin with, then be persistent. Marketing usually needs to be repeated over and over before you start to see results.
- Revise your plan as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
- Don’t be afraid of failure. If a strategy fails, learn the lesson, and view it as a natural part of the process.
Your Marketing Plan that Rocks !
Remember when you write a marketing plan that you are creating products and services to serve the needs and wants of your target market. Your marketing plan should outline how you’ll inform and educate them about the benefits of your products and services, and how they will improve their lives.
Continually track your marketing successes, evaluate your results and repeat programs that are delivering leads, sign ups to your email list, or direct sales. If you are not bringing in leads, then revise your plan, and keep going. Persistence will provide you with a marketing plan that rocks !
The CTO course in Writing & Implementing a Marketing Plan helps you to create a great marketing plan for your business that is actionable from day one.
You will develop an effective marketing plan, understand the methods needed to implement your plan, create strategies to attract and keep new customers, and much more.
About Corporate Training Options
Corporate Training Options is a Business Training Company, which provides you with training in essential business skills via customised, onsite courses Australia-wide.
The courses provide a cost-effective way of ensuring you and your staff develop strong skills in:
- Leadership & Management
- Strategic Business Planning
- Project Management
- Marketing & Sales
- Customer Service & Relationship Management
- Business Administration
- Finance & Accounting Skills
- People Management & HR
- Computer Training
CTO’s Training courses are tailored to meet your requirements, and your training is provided on-site, on dates which suit you.
We look forward to working with you, to build your confidence, improve your efficiency and maximise your potential.
For more information on the range of Business Training Courses available, please visit the CTO website – cto.com.au
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