The Steps to Creating a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
Having a marketing plan is an essential element of the sustainability of your business. It highlights the goals of your business and provides a direction to achieve them. Without one, you are most likely to miss out and your business may fail in certain core areas. With that in mind, the following information should help in creating a marketing plan for your business.
- Write a Business Summary
A business summary provides a brief description of your business. This include the name of the business, its location, vision and mission statement, as well as its main activities, and other important information about the business. You may also want to include the SWOT analysis of your business and how these relate to your business operations.
- Develop Business Initiatives
The initiatives of your business segments and your business goals should be based on your departments that exist within your business. They include what you want every part of your business to accomplish. It is important to avoid confusing the big picture of your business with your specific initiatives. For instance, your production team may need to outsource more materials while your marketing team may need to define the target market more clearly. Define the goals of each segment of your business and success in each area will be measured.
- Identify Your Target Market
Basic market research is needed to define your target market. If you have conducted a comprehensive market research study, then this section should be pretty easy to put together. The aim of identifying your target market is describing the industry that you will be selling to, your buyer persona, and an analysis of the competition. The section should be clear on demographics like geographical location, age, personal traits, income level, and other traits of your ideal customer.
- Define Your Market Strategy
Once you have defined your target market, develop a strategy to approach them. In this section, you need to think of what your business is offering that your competitors are not offering. In a comprehensive marketing plan, this section should define and specify the seven P’s of your marketing strategy. explain your product, the price that you set, location, promotion methods, people marketed to, processes used, and the physical evidence.
- Budget Your Marketing Strategy
The budgeting aspect of marketing is different from what is used to develop the product or running other aspects of your business. In this section, you need to consider the amount of money that the business will allot to the marketing team. The amount should be enough to allow the team meet the goals that you have outlined in the plan and pursue all their initiatives. Some of the expenses that the team may incur include launching marking campaigns, hosting events, or outsourcing certain functions to a marketing agency.
- Identify Your Marketing Channels
The last element of creating a marketing plan is the channels that will be used. You should be specific on the marketing channels to be used based on the goals of your marketing team. While traditional marketing channels like advertisements are still effective, online marketing is much more effective with the modern customer. Identify channels like email marketing, social media and blogging, paid ads, and other channels that work well.