If you‘re a new entrepreneur, one of your questions might be, “How do I “ After all, having a marketing plan is essential in outlining your marketing strategies for the coming year.
If you have no clue how to start, read on to learn about the basics of a marketing plan and how it can help you achieve entrepreneurial success.
Start with a Situational Analysis
Your marketing plan should start with a situational or SWOT analysis, which provides an overview of your company.
It would help if you determine the following aspects of your business:
- Strengths, such as the products and services that make you superior to similar companies
- Weaknesses, such as the company‘s newness in the field or the lack of employees
- Opportunities that you would like to exploit or capitalize on in the business
- Threats or factors that could endanger the company‘s health
Apart from making a SWOT analysis, you should also be able to position your product. It‘s about analyzing your items’ features and how you plan on setting them apart from those of your competitors.
Define Your Target Customers
The next thing you need to outline is your target customers.
You don‘t need to get all flowery with this, as one paragraph would do. Just make sure to include the necessary data: the target audience‘s age range, gender, salary, geographic location, and family composition.
With the target audience at hand, you need to establish your selling plan next.
If you offer something that many companies are already selling, how do you plan on edging out the competition? Are you going to focus on discounts, convenience, or better product quality?
Set Your Goals
It’s essential to list down the goals that you wish to achieve with your company.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when stating objectives:
- Be specific. Stating ‘earning money for capital‘ is obvious, but it‘s not particular enough. State something you could measure, like ‘raising $5,000 by December 15.‘
- Be optimistic. Your goal should be more than just earning enough money to pay for marketing expenses. While it’s commendable, it wouldn’t hurt to aspire for more. Remember: positive mind, positive vibes, positive revenue!
- Be realistic. While it‘s good to dream big, you need to have your feet firmly planted on the ground. That said, you need to make sensible goals. Planning to earn $100,000 a month is optimistic, but if you aren‘t able to make this in a year, this is more of a fanciful dream.
- Set the time. Your goal should not only be specific, optimistic, and realistic; it should be time-bound as well. That said, you need to group your goals according to the time you wish to attain them. Short-term goals should be achievable within a few months or a year, while long-term goals should be met in five or ten years.
Do Some Market Research
Now that you have analyzed your company, determined your target audience, and set your goals, it’s time for you to move to the core of your marketing plan.
In this section, you need to detail the strategies you will undertake to achieve your objectives. For the best results, make sure to address all the stages of the sales cycle.
You should also adjust your tactics according to client status. Take the case of warm prospects or the people who have seen your previous marketing strategies. You can help close the sale by promoting customer appreciation events, loyalty programs, and email marketing.
As for cold prospects or qualified leads who are not aware of your company, the best strategies include public relations, direct marketing, and various forms of advertising.
Remember, it‘s all about promoting through the media channel that your target audience uses the most. For example, if your company has teenagers as target audiences, you should market your products through their most-used channels, like Snapchat and TikTok.
Establish a Budget
Every entrepreneur needs to manage his/her marketing appropriations effectively. This can be done with a marketing budget, which outlines the money required for promotions, campaigns, and the like.
Depending on the marketing strategies you have outlined in the previous chapter, you may end up going over your intended budget. While marketing is essential for business growth, you shouldn‘t accrue debt because of it, especially if you have just started.
Look back to the previous chapter and make the necessary adjustments for the most cost-effective marketing strategy.
A marketing plan is a document that outlines the strategies a company needs to take to make sales. More than just providing the key element of future planning, this can help entrepreneurs ensure 100% customer satisfaction.
That said, although your plan is only a few pages long, you should give yourself adequate time to write this. After all, a polished marketing plan is one of the things that could help you achieve business success.