“I love it when a plan comes together!“
≈ Hannibal Smith, A-Team
Microsoft was one of the corporations to put marketing on the success map. The software giant proved the prowess of making marketing a business growth engine. The company also proved the importance of investment consistency and coordination of marketing moves.
Make no mistake. There was no overnight success involved. As the process needs well articulated planning and 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.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a plan that outlines your marketing strategy over a period of time. It’s a map that will help take your business from where it is to where you want it to be. It needs to identify your target market, set out why customers should buy your product and how you plan on persuading them to do so.
Marketing strategy for success
Marketing strategies for business should be referred to often, to ensure your business is on track. In addition a marketing plan should not be treated as if it were written in stone. Your marketing strategies need to be revised regularly, and tweaked to suit changing conditions.
But let’s start the process first.
The critical first step in developing your marketing plan is to identify your current customer profille/s and those for potential new customers.
Once this is clear cut it you will need to firm up your Unique Selling Proposition. This concept – known for short by marketers as the USP – was developed by Roesser Reeves in the 1950s. What’s most important to know is that it must link to a granular understanding of your target market and has to align with your business strategy.
A marketing strategy plan will help keep a business firmly on track towards achieving their business goals. But take care in crafting it correctly, as failure to align business and marketing strategies will dull its potential to be a business maker.
Another 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, your competitors and your customers to create a good route to market. The plan will help you to set goals for your business.
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 when compared with competitors. 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 also help you to 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 clear and concise way.
Another part of the marketing strategy for businesses involves setting a budget to determine how much money you plan to spend on reaching 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.
After all, that’s what success stories such as Microsoft got right, as they made marketing directly accountable for business achievements. As a result, this unlocked strategic conversations around measurement, as it was seen as being a marketing function priority. This in turn secured a critical connection between those responsible for both the business and marketing strategies.
If you’re looking to create a professional, comprehensive and helpful marketing plan, engage an expert to help you create a marketing strategy and rollout plan that will be indispensable.
Get in contact.
If you’re looking to create a professional, comprehensive and helpful marketing plan, engage with an expert to help you create a marketing strategy and rollout plan that will be indispensable. Let’s talk – call us on +27 11 327 6871 or email firstname.lastname@example.org