STEP UP GUIDE – Marketing Plans to Impact Possibilities

The Marketing Department needs to be empowered to be accountable for its business impact. The key to this step up for the function is the humble marketing plan.

The process of compiling your marketing plan needs precision to pull the work of multiple teams together and to coordinate communication across channels to connect with the right people, at the right time.

Marketing strategies for business should be referred to often to ensure your business is on track. At the same time a marketing plan should not be treated as if it were written in stone as marketing strategies need to be revised regularly and adapted to changing conditions.

But let’s start the process first. The initial step in developing your marketing plan is to identify your current customers’ profiles and those for potential new customers.

Once this is clear you will need to firm up your Unique Selling Proposition or USP. What’s most important to know is that the USP must link to a granular understanding of your target market and has to align with your business strategy.

A marketing strategy plan will help to keep a business on track towards achieving its business goals. Take care in crafting it correctly, as failure to align business and marketing strategies will dull its potential to be a business maker.

An advantage of a solid marketing strategy is that it provides focus for your marketing efforts. By taking a thorough look at all options and channels available to you, you can have a clear view of where and when to communicate or advertise.

What elements are included in a marketing plan?

Research is the backbone of a good marketing plan. You need to fully understand your product, competitors and customers to create a good route to market. The plan will help you to set goals for your business such as:

  • Where do you want to be?
  • How much do you plan on growing?
  • Are you aiming to gain new customers or generate more awareness for your brand?
  • Are you focusing on retaining current customers or are you hoping to generate new leads?

A typical marketing plan or strategy includes an analysis of competitors as well as your company’s strengths and weaknesses. It will also contain an in-depth analysis of your target market. Who are they? Where will you find them? What media do they consume? What appeals to them and how can you reach them?

The plan will further help you draft and craft your marketing message. You need to be able to distil what your product or service can offer to your target audience in a concise way.

Another part of the marketing strategy involves setting a budget to determine how much money you plan to spend to reach your target market with your marketing message. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) need to be proposed and agreed upfront as this will empower the marketing team to track the results of the marketing strategy and tactical outputs.

A considered and detailed marketing plan is key to open the right doors to impact possibilities for your business.

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