Developing a marketing plan is an important aspect of developing an overall business strategy. If given the attention it deserves, the marketing plan will serve as a roadmap for setting objectives then determining and scheduling the steps to reach those objectives.
When new clients come to us it’s typically because the marketing plan they had been executing wasn’t yielding results. Without a focused plan you run the risk of trying to market to “everyone.” You know you’re really lost when you find yourself saying “yes” to any marketing idea, or find yourself making reactive decisions.
Reactivity makes carrying out a disciplined course of action more difficult. Having a written plan gives you the ability to know what your reaction to things ought to be in advance, which lets you preposition your response when you see things coming.
It’s not enough to know you want to use social media platforms — dig into specifics that go way beyond determining which platforms you want to use. Knowing where your audience is requires you to intimately know who your customer is. It’s not enough to know you want to attract annual donors to your organization. You have to know what type of content they review to make decisions and where to reach decision makers.
You want to advertise and that can be great— but what type of digital advertising suits your business and your budget? It can be affordable and highly targeted. Not sure what to budget? Well, that’s a good place to begin as it can be determined by whom you want to reach and what your goals are when you do reach them.
These are the types of questions Baker Labs help marketing managers and business owners answer during our Strategic Marketing Sessions. These six big picture questions can help you begin to evaluate the strength of your plan.
Q: What promotional strategies do I have planned? How do I think those will effect both sales and my public image? Your marketing plan is the action plan for sharing your brand story and meeting sales targets.
Q: Do we have clearly defined timescales? Reaching deadlines on time is what keeps the business on a forward growth trajectory. Setting achievable timescales should be part of the work in planning promotional strategies.
Q: Are my marketing and business objectives aligned? These two should go hand in hand. This should come down to choosing the right strategy to fit the end goal of the business. For example, f you want to reach a business-to-business audience you don’t want to employ business-to-consumer marketing strategies.
Q: Is my public persona clear and consistent across all media? Creating a marketing plan is meant to help you tie together all aspects of your marketing. So, if your audience is clearly defined and your story brand has been developed, you should be sharing cohesive messages across all platforms that work together to establish the buyer’s journey.
Q: What does success look like? State it in your plan. It helps put everyone on the same page working toward the same outcome. Metrics matter in measuring success and when there is no plan it is hard to figure out what is working.
Q: Am I spending money wisely? Be purposeful in deciding when to spend money, when to re-evaluate and how to course correct. When you target your ideal customer in a smarter way, you reduce the costs of marketing and increase your chances of converting leads into sales.
When you take the time to regularly develop marketing strategies and formulate a plan you are investing that time in building a company with a purpose. We love digging deep and fine tuning strategies so much that we’re offering a limited number of consultations before the holidays.
When you schedule a strategic marketing session, you’ll share your goals, what you are currently doing, and we’ll provide an outline that will give you a clear roadmap of what to do.