Business owners come out of the gate running. They’re so eager to build their business and reach new customers that they often forget one critical action item – planning. You can relate to that feeling, can’t you?
Planning isn’t something many go-getters embrace. It requires putting on the brakes while details get woven together into a failproof strategy. Although it’s not always the “exciting” part about running a business, it’s essential to your success.
To help you speed up the planning process and still create a smart approach for your business, here are six components you need to include in your marketing plan.
1. Market Research
Knowing what the market has and what it’s lacking is one of the easiest ways to identify opportunities. Without knowing what the industry landscape currently looks like, you’ll struggle to find your spot in the crowd.
Research the market by looking up:
- Purchase behavior. Are your sales dependent on the season?
- Competition. What’s currently being offered alongside your product or service?
- Industry financials. What are the current sales in the industry as a whole?
To get a good pulse on what’s happening in your industry, take your research and perform a SWOT analysis. Outline your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats within the industry. This will expose where you should focus your time and money and help you avoid areas that might not be as profitable.
2. Audience Profiles
Most businesses start their audience profiles off with broad demographic information. This is important to an extent, but it does nothing to show how you will help your customers.
In your marketing plan, define your audience profiles. Dig in deep to what your customer’s needs are. What keeps your customer up at night? What gets him or her excited? What’s missing from his or her life?
As you get more intimate with your customer, you’ll connect on a deeper level, which will help when you start to refine your brand’s messaging.
3. Big Picture Mission Statement
You can’t market your business without knowing the purpose behind your business. What’s your mission? Why are you in existence?
Give your mission statement significant thought. Think about the specifics that you offer your customers and why you matter in the market.
4. Marketing Strategies
Now it’s time to drill down to the details. What are the specific actions you will take to reach your target audience and cut through the noise of the market?
- Where will you advertise?
- What does your blogging plan look like?
- What will your social media presence look like?
- Who will manage each task?
Get as specific as possible with your strategic approach so that you can avoid veering off course.
5. Brand Profile
Throughout your communications, you will need to uphold your brand’s image. What does your brand stand for? What image do you want to have in the market place? Are you the rebellious company or are you more refined? Are you a Tiffany’s or a Kay’s Jeweler?
6. Analytics to Monitor
Your plan won’t matter much if you have no numbers to back up your successes and weaknesses.
Before launching a new marketing plan, define what analytics matter the most to your business. What will tell you if you’ve hit the mark? What will the red flag look like to show that the plan isn’t working as expected?
Plan to Succeed
If you don’t plan then you plan to fail. Creating a strong marketing plan will keep your messaging and approach on course, driving you to succeed.